Beer Review: Moylan’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Ryan Sullivan’s Imperial Stout
Style: American Double/Imperial Stout
Drink if you like: Chocolate, espresso, vanilla, the star wars soundtrack.
Many years ago, in 2012, we reviewed Moylan’s Ryan Sullivan’s Imperial Stout. If you haven’t been keeping up with the Arkansas craft beer scene, 2012 is the equivalent of 1985. 3 years ago is the equivalent of 30 years. You think I’m kidding, but I ain’t be. Back in 2012, Moylan’s had the best IPA in the state. You couldn’t get anything hoppier and danker than Hopsickle. Now we can fill our shopping carts with amazingly hoppy beers. It’s a good time to be alive. As tribute to how far we’ve come, let’s revisit some of our old friends. While most of us tickers are trying the newest stuff (we are said tickers) we must not forget the people who brought us craft beer love in the early days. The people who saw Arkansas as a place where craft beer can make it…… I mean, look at us now! Looks like we’ve made it after all! Now that we are in our totally awesome and cool teenager mode of state-wide craft beer geekness (DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO MA! I KNOW WHAT’S COOL!), we are given some more adult / complex beers. Many of these are the oh-so-trendy barrel aged beers. Wait…. Let me correct myself – barrel aged used to be trendy. Now it’s like a right of passage for any brewer.
So our friend’s over at Moylan’s are all like “aight, we got this.” They procure super fresh whiskey barrels and toss in their delicious Imperial Stout. While the beer is in said barrel, some interesting things happen. Among some of the sought-after traits are the whiskey flavors that are actually charred oak flavors that whiskey pulls out from the barrel. Isn’t that funny? Moylan’s has given Arkansas a good 2013 vintage. It’s a great deal, and can be used to say to other beer geeks “I was there 30 beer-geek years ago, before drinking Moylan’s was cool.” Let’s take a taste drive shall we?
Moylan’s barrel aged stout pours an eye-enchanting dark black/brown with a business-causal khaki foam colored head. Lean in and you’ll find lots of chocolate, some whiskey heat touching your nose, and coffee. The beer doesn’t have an excessive amount of heat, and hits a good balance of an Imperial Stout that wasn’t aged too too long. You’ll still find easily identifiable dark bitter chocolate and coffee, but now you have another wonderful nice layer of vanilla and whiskey in your nose. It’s not as big, bold and viscous as some geeks would want, but it sure can scratch that itch. Especially when you are trying to destroy that guy nicknamed “Bulls-eye” in a dart game. It’s highly quaffable and enjoyable for those who love layers of flavor.
We gave this beer 3.5 Diamonds