Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Bourbon Barrel Old Fashioned – Mobcraft Beer

                Wisconsin may be a big beer state, but if Wisconsin had a state mixed drink, it would very likely be an Old Fashioned.  Sweet, sour, whiskey, bourbon, or brandy, take your pick.  The brandy variety being the typical Wisconsin staple, has stood the test of time, and has become a signature drink many bars and supper clubs.  With the importance of Old Fashioneds in Wisconsin, I suppose it was only a matter of time before Mobcraft tackled an ale tribute to the state’s favorite drink.  In case you missed my earlier Mobcraft post, the brewery chooses its next beer through an interesting process.  Rather than just planning a recipe, brewing it, and releasing it, Mobcraft accepts submissions and puts the submissions up for a vote.  The beer that gets the most votes becomes the next Mobcraft release.  Following Mobcraft rules, the recipe idea, the beer that would turn out to be the OldFashioned Berliner Weisse, was submitted by Casey Groh of Milwaukee.  It was chosen to be the best or at least the favorite recipe of the three that were available for voting at the time.  After the beer was brewed, the guys at Mobcraft split the batch in half, to be aged in either bourbon barrels or brandy barrels.  Two variations, Bourbon Barrel Aged, and Brandy Barrel Aged were released a couple months ago throughout the state.  I’ll cover the bourbon barrel release in this post, and get the brandy barrel post up later this week.

                I wasn’t really sure what to make of an Old Fashioned beer, but I love beer, and really like a good Old Fashioned so I figured it would be pretty good.  It didn’t hurt that the base style in a Berliner Weisse, my go to summer beer style.  It also doesn’t hurt, and this is one of my favorite things about Mobcraft, that the guys posted the recipe they used on the site so that I can brew up a batch of Old Fashioned, Mobcraft style, when the weather warms up again.

                Bourbon Barrel Old Fashioned does not currently have a score on either Beeradvocate or ratebeer.

They Say:

                Old Fashioned Berliner Weisse with Cherries and Spices by Casey Groh

                This beer plays off two things that are very "Wisconsin" German Heritage and Old Fashioneds, Casey suggested a traditional German recipe, Berliner Weisse (a moderately sour wheat beer) featuring some elements of the classic Wisconsin cocktail the Old Fashioned (Cherries, Oranges and a few of the spices found in bitters).


Scaled down so you can brew your own 5 gallon batch

· 1oz Star Anise
· 1oz Cardamom
· 1oz Juniper
· 2lbs Cherries
· 1lb Oranges (Zested And Juiced)

· American Ale

· 3lbs Acidulated Malt
· 3lbs Pale Malt
· 4lbs White Wheat

HOP REGIMEN - .75oz Summit @60
GRAVITY - 1.050/1.015
IBU - 30
ABV - · 5%

I Say:

                Bourbon Barrel Old Fashioned pours a very clear copper with a moderately thick creamy white head that holds moderate retention (~1 min) before fading to a collar of foam around the edges of the glass and leaving behind moderately heavy lacing.  The aroma is reminiscent of a bourbon old fashioned with fruit, spice, and a hint of bourbon.  Licorice notes from the star anise com to the forefront and are quickly mellowed by orange and sweet cherries.  The aroma takes on herbal notes, likely a blend of the cardamom, juniper, and star anise, before giving way to a solid hit of bourbon.  Orangey/herbal notes from the cardamom round out the back end and linger on the nose.  A lot of thought seems to have gone into really nailing the trademark bourbon old fashioned aroma.

                Sweet cherries and orange lead the flavor, followed by the slightly minerally flavor of club soda.  Black licorice, bourbon, the slight resinous flavor from juniper berries, and the herbal citrus of cardamom transition nicely into the subtle Berliner Weisse base with its traditional lactic acid sour kick.  The lactic acid produced during the fermentation of the base beer really seems to mimic soda water and lemon lime soda that are usually used as mixers.  Bourbon Barrel Old Fashioned has a moderate malt level, with a low level of hop bitterness, but a moderate level of herbal spiciness.  The flavor much like the aroma goes a long way towards mimicking a good Bourbon Old Fashioned Sweet.  With a moderately light body and a moderate level of carbonation, even the mouthfeel comes eerily close to the mixed drink that inspired this beer.

                I poured this beer unsure of what to expect.  My time home brewing made me believe that Mobcraft could successfully pull off an Old Fashioned in beer form, but even so, I went in a little skeptical.  I am pleasantly surprised by what they managed to recreate here, because they really did hit the proverbial nail on the head.  Cheers to Casey Groh for submitting this recipe concept, and cheers to Mobcraft for pulling this off!  Henry Schawartz, Giotto Troia, and Andrew Gierczak have a great thing going and I hope they reach their funding goals over at Craftfund so they can expand into their own place and ramp up production!  Mark my words, there are great things coming for Mobcraft, hopefully they can keep up!

                That’s all for today, be sure to check back later this week for my post on Brandy Old Fashioned

                Happy Drinking, and remember to always Drink Wisconsinbly!

1 comment:

  1. Great Post! THis was a really fun beer to make, THe brandy is pretty different than the Whiskey , looking forward to reading your post on that one!