What always makes things better? Bourbon. This American made elixir is fantastic on its own, but elevates other culinary goodies to a new level, most notably beer. Mikkeller embraces the gift of bourbon and has allowed one of their better brews to rest in its barrel, Beer Geek Brunch Weasel. This beer is packed with oats, coffee, charred grain, and of course, some of that vanillay, caramelly bourbon. Enough said, let’s run them numbers!
Smell: Bourbon, molasses, chocolate, roasted grain, coffee, slight smoke, slightly tannic, and hints of vanilla. This beer smells big, bold, and in your face – very much like the original version.
Taste: Oh dear lord, this beer is insane. On first taste there is so much going on: coffee, graham cracker, bourbon, roasted grain, vanilla… and those flavors are all identified individually, but also collaborate brilliantly with one another. The depth of flavor in here is what makes this beer so great. It starts off strong and finishes with the same tenaciousness. The bourbon lingers from across the palate and its presence can be found from sip to swallow imparting whiskey flavors as well as cinnamon and vanilla. The base of this beer is strong enough to hold up to the bourbon aging with a ton of coffee breaking through paired with grain that has a nice, deep toast to it. The finish to this beer is ever so slightly bitter which can be attributed to the tannins in the wood or the bite of the coffee, either way it actually works with the other aggressive flavors in the brew.
The mouthfeel on BA Brunch was full bodied and silky smooth as if Mikkeller added tons of oats to the mash. The carbonation was light as it should have been for an imperial stout and the ABV on this brew was 10.9%, which is actually the same as the non BA version. You can taste a little more booze here, but it does not overshadow the flavors; with that said, it also is pretty drinkable for a BA stout. I found my teku to be empty earlier than I wanted.
Overall: This beer is awesome. I loved the original beer, but the Bourbon aging process just elevates this to another level. So many flavors, yet very cohesive at the same time gives this beer an A/A+. The only think I would ask Mikkeller to improve upon is the finish, but that’d be really splitting hairs. Enjoy this beer with a bourbon chaser.