From Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub in Victoria BC comes the “Ciel De Nuit Dark Sour” a beer aged in French oak barrels. The beer pours a deep red colour with an off white head. The flavour is of dark fruits, oak and some mild sweetness but not to much more. The flavour is of oak, dark fruits, sweetness, mild tartness, bitterness, resin and earth. The alcohol content comes in at 7% with an IBU of 30. Spinnakers is taking a much different approach to sour beer as they are making very understated sour beers with other flavours that overtake the sourness. Almost no alcohol shines through in the flavour and the beer is quite enjoyable.
Mission Springs Brewing out of Mission BC have been quietly building up a brand new series of beers. This series of beer is called the Stave Lake – Lost Barrel Series and the first beer in the series is a “Barrel Aged Scotch Ale”. A portion of this beer was aged for 10 months in French Oak Barrels while another portion was aged in a freshly drained Okanagan Cabernet Sauvignon barrel for 2 weeks. Large portions of both barrels were then blended with fresh stainless steel fermented scotch ale to create this beer. Only 750 bombers were made and are hand numbered with this bottle being number 673. The beer pours a deep brown colour with hints of ruby red under light and an off white head. The aroma consist of roasted malts, peat, fruit, oak and a hint of Cabernet Sauvignon. The flavour is of roasted malts, earth, caramel, toffee, dark fruits, Cabernet Sauvignon, maybe some cherries, oak and a sweet finish. This is a very complex beer! The alcohol content comes in at 8% alcohol. I will probably have to try and hunt some more of this beer down as it is fantastic and only having one bottle to cellar would be awful!
Commercial Description from Head Brewer Kevin Winter: We took a French Oak barrel and put Scotch Ale to sleep for 10 months. The Ale took on a complex oaky and soft silk-like spirit form. The second barrel had been drained of the previous tenant, Cabernet Sauvignon, the day before in the Okanagan and sent to us the following morning where we inoculated it immediately with our Scotch Ale for a short 2 week nap. It awoke with a massive red wine hangover and a gorgeous bouquet. We took the very best amounts of the two alongside fresh stainless steel fermented Scotch Ale to round it all together, and the result is what’s here in the bottle. A unique expression of barrel aging Ale in French Oak Red Wine Barrels.