In 2009, The Bruery started a yearly tradition that continues to this day: the release of Black Tuesday on the final Tuesday of October. The imperial stout usually comes in between 18 percent and 19 percent ABV— the 2014 version is 19.7 percent ABV—and is packaged in 750ml bottles after being aged in bourbon barrels for over a year. In fact, Black Tuesday proved to be so popular that The Bruery has released quite a few variations, including Grey Monday, Mocha Wednesday, Chocolate Rain and Rum Barrel Black Tuesday, which as the name implies, is aged in rum barrels instead of bourbon barrels.1
Although Black Tuesday is normally available to members of the brewery’s various membership clubs, The Bruery also holds a lottery every year that anyone can enter to purchase up to three bottles of the stout, as long as they have someone who can pick them up if their name is chosen.2
Black Tuesday pours an opaque black that lets through no light whatsoever and features very little head to speak of, leaving behind a thin mocha brown lacing. Aroma from the glass is a combination of bourbon, charred oak, dark berries, caramel sweetness and coffee, along with a touch of vanilla. The bourbon and sweetness notes really work off of each other wonderfully, and I could spend an inappropriate amount of time with my nose buried in the glass if I did not actually have to drink it for a review.
As I take the first sip, a couple of things pop into my head, seemingly at the exact same time: “Man, this beer is sweet!” followed by “Man, this bourbon note is strong!” The beer is quite oily, and coats the tongue in a pleasant way. Both sweetness and alcohol are quite noticeable on the palate and on the finish, but neither is so overwhelming that I can’t taste other flavors interspersed within, including vanilla bean, oak, coconut, dark chocolate, caramel, plums, roasted espresso and figs. There is very little carbonation to speak of from the start, but it works well with the flavors and profile that is present, and might actually be a positive compared to having too much.