Last fall, someone named Matthew made a stop in the Jacksonville area and caused some havoc. Different people have different ways of dealing with such an occurrence. The brewers at Wicked Barley Brewing had one advantage over most of the population dealing with the storm: they hunkered down in their brewpub. Their experiences during that time inspired the brewery’s first barrel-aged beer, which also happens to be its first bottle release. Wicked Barley will release its “Isolated Incident” Bourbon-Barrel Aged Imperial Stout with a party and cookout on Saturday, June 24, starting at 11am.
The label on the bottle tells part of the story. According to Fred Thibodeaux, Wicked Barley Production Manager, the brewing crew decided to ride out Hurricane Matthew at the brewery after evacuating their houses, because “it was the only fun place with safe drinking water, unlimited beer, and an emergency smoker grill.” Apparently, after consuming random bottles of Imperial Stout and bourbon during this time, the proverbial light came on, and the crew formed a “collective opinion of what and how this ‘isolated incident’ should taste.” In view of Fred’s extensive background in brewing dark and barrel-aged beers previously at Duck Rabbit Craft Brewery and Cigar City Brewing, the brewery turned to his knowledge and passion for brewing high-gravity imperial stouts to produce this beer.
The “Isolated Incident” stout (10% ABV) is a blend of the brewery’s base imperial stout aged in Four Roses Kentucky Bourbon Barrels for six months together with a more recent imperial stout, which creates a balanced flavor profile, says Fred. The result is a beer featuring “notes of smooth chocolate, dark caramel, toffee, roast, and a light malt backbone,” while the charred oak barrel “imparts notes of mild coconut, vanilla, and a slight hint of smoke,” he adds. The bourbon “adds a slight hint of bourbon heat with accents of light caramel, vanilla, and dried raisins.”
Look for more barrel-aged beers — including Doppelbock, Barleywine and Wee Heavy Scotch Ale — to make their way into the Wicked Barley tap room later this year. “Barrel aging beers adds a new dynamic to brewing and offers a fun and interesting way to add depth and complexity.” Fred adds that the brewery will also offer non-barrel aged versions of its high-gravity beers, as the brewers “continue to improve the recipes and re-brew test versions throughout the year.”
Wicked Barley’s first bottle release party kicks off at 11am on June 24. Bottles (22 oz. bombers) of the “Isolated Incident” Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout will be available for purchase for $15 each, with no bottle limit (cash only). The party features a cookout in the beer garden, with live music by Who Rescued Who from 1-5pm.
Wicked Barley Brewing Co. is located at 4100 Baymeadows Rd., Jacksonville, along Goodby’s Creek. The venue includes an on-site brewery, dining room, tap room/bar, covered outdoor deck, outdoor beer garden, and 100-foot boat dock. The brewery opened in July 2016, and a one-year anniversary party takes place on July 29, 2017. The brewery earned the “Best Brewpub” Award, along with additional product medals, at this year’s Best Florida Beer Championships.
Linda Johnson, Certified Cicerone®
Covering Florida’s beer scene, and locally around Jax/North Florida
(cover photo by Linda Johnson)
(edited from http://www.brewnymph.com)