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Day #13 – (512) Whiskey Barrel Aged Double Pecan Porter

January 14, 2011

Now after yesterday’s review of a lame cider, I figured I would go all out on this Friday and review something to blow everything else out of the water. While I have said before that I will try to only review things that are available to me locally in DFW, I never said how easily you could find them. 🙂  Basically this beer is pretty scarce. So don’t spend a lot of time trying to track this down, because I am digesting the last of it. The brewery released one batch of this during late summer and I missed out on it. I heard through my spy network that there was a single cask of this left at a bar in Plano, so what did I do on my half day of work? Took a mini road trip!

First I called up to the Plano Ginger Man to see if they still had it, and they said they did. So I made the trek up through rush hour traffic just for this one beer. (That should tell you one of two things; either this beer is awesome or I am absolutely insane. Ok scratch that last one.) Upon arrival I proudly march up to the bar and spout off my well rehearsed order. And to my utter dismay they tell me they ran out yesterday! Well quite obviously I was horrified, and in desperation frantically told my story to anyone who would listen. Luckily the manager was in earshot and happened to be the one I spoke with on the phone, and she pulled out a pint from…somewhere. I didn’t ask questions but I left a big tip.

Enough about me…

(512) Whiskey Barrel Aged Double Pecan Porter

(512) is a fairly new brewery based out of Austin, Texas. That’s right, another Texas beer! (512 is the Austin area code in case you are wondering.) They recently celebrated their 2nd anniversary and are showing no signs of slowing down. In fact it appears that they are increasing production even though for the most part they are still draught only. You can find most (512) offerings at your local high-end beer bars.

This beer is classified as an Imperial/Strong Porter and should be served in a snifter. What was it served to me in? A shaker. Boo…….

This beer pours a very dark black color with a tall foamy tan head. It was served on cask so it is carbonated a bit differently which lends to the creamy appearance and head. The picture does not do this beer justice to see just how dark it is.

The aroma is in a word, gorgeous. Tons of bourbon and whisky notes greet the nose upon the first draw. Big wood and toasted oak scents with sweet vanilla and roasty chocolate. This beer is so inviting to smell I almost just don’t want to drink it. Seriously it has been sitting in front of me for 10 minutes and it has yet to touch my lips. I’m very excited at this point!

The flavor is very woody upfront, and I mean extremely woody. It’s like I took a plank of oak and bit into it. Very creamy mouthfeel that almost coats the tongue. There is almost a hint of tart fruit in the middle which might be early warning signs of something awry with this beer. That’s not surprising as this was the first barrel aging venture this young brewery tried and the barrel aging process is pretty squirrely to begin with. but keep in mind, it was only a hint of it so it could be nothing. As it warms it becomes increasingly more and more bitter wood. The aroma definitely trumps the flavor here.

The finish is when all the whisky glory shines through. You can literally feel the warmth of the alcohol on the back of your throat, trailing all the way down.

The regular Pecan Porter is already an excellent beer, and this was fantastic.  I am anxious to see what their future batches of this will be, and I really wish I could have had this a bit fresher. At 8.2%, I do not recommend enjoying more than one of these at a time, rather let this one sit and take your time with it. Love it. Treat it like a lady.

Cheers!

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