Barrel Aged For Modern Times
This is Jim Boyce, K&L's beer buyer, doing a little guest blog on the spirits page today. Andrew Steven’s “Lifecycle of a Barrel” article from last week gave a fantastic rundown of the lifecycle of a whiskey barrel at K&L, highlighting our program that over the last few years has used our empty whiskey casks (including those Whistle Pig barrels from the recent post) in conjunction with local breweries like Hop Dogma, Freewheel, Cellador, Shady Oak, Good Beer Company, Alpha Acid, and Highland Park. Many of these barrels are currently filled and tucked away, letting beer and oak harmonize for months to come. If you sign up for beer emails via your K&L account you can keep an eye out for these bottles to arrive, some in the very near future!
This program really gained steam in late 2014 when David OG from K&L hooked up his childhood friend Jacob McKean (whose brewery Modern Times was just barely a year old) with three Four Roses barrels. He aged their decadent Monster’s Park Imperial Stout in these barrels for nine months, at the time three months longer than any other BA beers they had made. The bottles, sent to us with a smaller run of Elijah Craig casks (at the time, the last barrels that were sent out via the discontinued Single Barrel program), became the first K&L Barrel Aged Beer releases, available only at K&L and through the small Modern Times Membership. Classic bourbon traits of caramel, vanilla, oak spice, cinnamon, and toasted bread interwoven with rich chocolate and coffee notes from the Imperial Stout made them an instant hit, selling out within a few hours.
The most recent drop from Modern Times includes the three barrels listed below. The base beer is Devils Teeth, an Old Ale – Stout hybrid with robust maltiness and rich chocolate and caramel notes that the team developed to play perfectly with the character of these barrels. They aged the beer for 12-14 months, now by far the longest of their barrel aged releases, in casks from Wild Turkey (Russell’s Reserve), Four Roses, and Bernheim Wheat Whiskey. Production maxed out at 30 cases for the Four Roses down to 20 cases for the Wild Turkey, lending half or less to exclusively hit the shelves here at K&L.
This Thursday (TODAY!), 3/22, in Redwood City and Friday, 3/23 in San Francisco, we will be hosting Modern Times from 5-6:30pm to taste through these three Barrel Aged releases along with many of their other core, seasonal, and small batch beers! The full lineups are listed under the local events page.