Have you ever been torn between two equally good choices? Two different options that are each so good that it pains you not be able to experience both at once? On episode two of The Charlie Tonic Hour we review a drink that can solve that problem for you, at least as far as having to choose between bourbon and beer: Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale.
So I may have waxed poetic for a little too long on episode two, but believe me when I say that this beer deserves it. Bourbon Barrel Ale is hands down the most delicious beer I’ve ever tasted. It’s like a miracle. Kentucky Ale is aged for about six weeks inside a recently decanted bourbon barrel and what comes out tastes better than either ale or bourbon tastes individually. This truly is a case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. The flavor is sweet and malty not at all bitter. It is surprisingly light for such a dark ale and the bourbon flavor is distinct but not overpowering. If you are a porter or dark ale fan you may find this beer a little too sweet for your tastes but for everyone else, even if you are not usually a beer drinker, I highly recommend that you give this one a try.
Of course it’s easy to love a beer that you tasted for the first time immediately upon finishing a 200-mile team relay and having been up for 36 hours straight, as I did after completing the Bourbon Chase in 2010. But luckily you don’t need to go to such extreme measures to get a bottle. Although Kentucky Bourbon Barrel is made by a microbrewer in Lexington, Kentucky they have been making a big push to get it more widely distributed. You can pick up a four-pack in most grocery stores and buy it on draft in many bars in the Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana region. Readers further afield in Wisconsin and Massachusetts can probably find it in a liquor or specialty beer store. The beer is best drank from a wide mouth cup to allow the flavor to aerate, the brewery sells snifters that they recommend although a Christmas wine glass that came free with purchase at Arby’s worked just fine for me. It’s strong, almost 9% alcohol by volume, so be careful. Although it’s easy to drink, a few bottles can knock you off your feet quickly. I could tell you a funny story about what the combination of exhaustion, physical exertion, and several of these beers can do to you but I think I’ll save that for another podcast.
For more thoughts and to hear the whole rapturous rant that I gave on the subject listen to Episode Two of The Charlie Tonic Hour debuting on January 11th.