BREWERY: Community Brewing Co.
LOCATION: Dallas, Texas
STYLE: Belgian-style Dark Specialty Ale
ABV: 10.2 percent
RELEASE DATE: April 2015
AVAILABLE IN: 12-ounce bottles
BEERS POURED: Three
coA fairly recent newcomer to the DFW brewery scene, Community Beer Co. opened its doors in 2013. One of the special beers it did occasional releases of was Inspiration Belgian Strong Ale, which was named after the street the brewery is located – Inspiration Drive.1 This year they decided to do an interesting mix of barrel aging past your average bourbon barrel fare. The second release in their Barrel Aged Series takes the Inspiration brew, ages two thirds in bourbon barrels that were used to age its Barrel-Aged Legion, and then the other third in Colorado “craft” whiskey barrels.
Excited to try this uniquely aged brew, I go ahead and crack open the bottle. It pours a semi-opaque dark brown with a reddish hue and develops a quarter inch of head as I pour that disappears really quickly. Burying my nose in the glass, the aroma is mostly dominated by a strong alcohol note, along with some vanilla, maple, a touch of whiskey and dark fruits. It sounds good, but besides the alcohol note everything was pretty muted right out of the refrigerator.
Still fairly cold, it has a slightly funky whiskey barrel aging note that comes out strong, with a lot of alcohol up front. There’s a medium mouthfeel to it, with a good amount of carbonation, but a little lighter weight to it than I’d prefer. The aftertaste is a touch bitter, with some more light whiskey notes and heat from the alcohol.
Warming up, the nose becomes a little more aromatic, allowing more than just the alcohol to shine through. The taste has become much smoother, with a sweet maple and vanilla note along with hints of whiskey. There’s a little heat from the alcohol, but not too much—not nearly as dominating as when it was cold. The finish is made up of dark fruits and some more whiskey, though the whiskey is still a pretty minor note. Not surprisingly, the mouthfeel isn’t much different, which is to say it’s still a little too light for what I’d like to match the profile.