Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Petri Chor – Mobcraft Beer

                With the increasing prevalence of barrel aged beer releases from MobCraft Beer Co, it was only a matter of time until the guys released a Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout.  Released in collaboration with Riley’s Wines of the World, Petri Chor is a small batch beer aged in one of three barrels, two of which were selected by Riley’s and one of which was selected by MobCraft.  Rileys selected an Elijah Craig Small Batch 12 Year barrel and an Evan Williams Single Barrel 2003; while MobCraft brought an Elijah Craig Small Batch 12 Year Barrel as well.  The three barrels were kept unblended for three separate barrel aged releases and each was rather limited with the MobCraft barrel receiving a 400 bottle run.

I lucked out on this beer receiving a bottle from a buddy after I was unable to find any in my local market.  I kept seeing notices that Petri Chor was in stock at Liquor stores in the Milwaukee market, but the last bottle was always gone by the time I made it in.  It was a long, frustrating hunt but I ended up getting a bottle from the portion aged in the MobCraft Beer selected Elijah Craig Small Batch 12 Year.

Fun fact before moving on with the review, I was curious what Petri Chor meant so I googled it, and found this courtesy of Wordsmith.Org.

petrichor (PET-ri-kuhr) noun - The pleasant smell that accompanies the first rain after a dry spell.

[From petro- (rock), from Greek petros (stone) + ichor (the fluid that is supposed to flow in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology). Coined by researchers I.J. Bear and R.G. Thomas.]

"Petrichor, the name for the smell of rain on dry ground, is from oils given off by vegetation, absorbed onto neighboring surfaces, and released into the air after a first rain."
Matthew Bettelheim; Nature's Laboratory; Shasta Parent (Mt Shasta, California); Jan 2002.

"But, even in the other pieces, her prose breaks into passages of lyrical beauty that come as a sorely needed revivifying petrichor amid the pitiless glare of callousness and cruelty."
Pradip Bhattacharya; Forest Interludes;; Jul 29, 2001.

                A pleasant smell, or the blood of the gods, should be a great experience, right?  On to the review!

They Say:

                Where one Journey Ends, Another Begins!  This beer began its journey a long time ago.  Buried deep in the belly of a rickhouse in Kentucky laid just one barrel of bourbon whiskey that would find its way to Madison after being hand selected for its quality.  A plan was hatched to age in this barrel a beer of epic proportions, and one that could showcase the individual character of the whiskey formerly held within this barrel. Petrichor was born as a result of the collaboration between MobCraft and Riley’s and is a beer like no other.

                ABV – 9.5%

I Say:

                Petri Chor pours an opaque dark brownish/black.  It’s capped by a moderately thick creamy dark tan head that holds moderately low retention (less than 2 min) before fading to a thick collar that lingers around the edges of the glass, although the beer leaves minimal lacing behind.  Strong, slightly sweet notes of whole grain bread lead in the aroma.  Charred oak, smooth, slightly sweet bourbon, caramel, vanilla and a hint of coconut each play their part, as the bourbon and barrel add their signature contributions.  The finish brings with it a subtle smokiness with lingering notes of whole great bread, and the caramelized sugars of a nice, hearty bread crust.

                The flavor carries forward many of the excellent sour, bourbon, and barrel characteristics that were present in the aroma, only they are magnified three fold. Light fudgey chocolate, caramel and vanilla lead in the flavor and are intermixed, reminiscent of a caramel turtle, or vanilla bean truffle.  Semi-sweet bourbon and a slight oakiness round out the flavor.  The bourbon brings with it notes of toffee, vanilla custard, and a hint of rye with lingering barrel char.  Notes of caramel and vanilla lingering with the bourbon and oak in the finish, and remain well into the aftertaste providing a firm reminder that this beer was aged in bourbon barrels.

                Petri Chor is pretty restrained in the stout characteristics for an Imperial Stout, although by its own admission, it is a beer built to showcase the bourbon character of the barrel.  Drinking Petri Chor, I definitely taste the toffee, custard, rye, and char that are characteristic of a dram of Elijah Craig 12 year.  In that, this beer is a tremendous success.  I would love to see a wider variety of bourbon barrel stouts, and really just more barrel aged beers from Mobcraft and hope there are many more to come.  Chances are if you don’t already have a bottle of Petri Chor, you missed out because I haven’t seen it around in months.  If you find a bottle however, it is well worth the price!

                That’s all for tonight, check back again soon for another review!

                Happy Drinking, and remember to always Drink Wiscosinbly!

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