Southern Charred is back, and it is once again a bastard of an ale.
Debuting last year, Stone Brewing Co. will be releasing a 2014 version of the American strong ale in November to coincide with the release of this year’s Double Bastard Ale. The beer, which is composed of 2014 Double Bastard Ale aged for five months in bourbon barrels, comes in at 13.2 percent ABV and is packaged in 500-ml bottles.
“A special batch of Double Bastard Ale was brewed early and aged in bourbon barrels to ensure that Southern Charred’s 2014 debut would coincide with the release of 2014 Double Bastard Ale,” says the beer label.
“Distinctly and deliciously different than last year’s edition, this is a caramel-and-oak bomb with bourbon aromas amplifying its maltiness. Suffused with layers of caramel, hops, and oak flavors accented with hints of brown sugar, it is incredibly smooth for such a high-gravity beer. It culminates with interwoven notes of caramel, molasses, and raw-oak bitterness for an intense, lingering finish.”
The differences between the two Southern Charred releases are significant. While the 2013 version used a one-year-old Double Bastard Ale as the base and was aged in three different types of bourbon barrels for different periods of time — 51 percent of the beer was aged for 10 months in Kentucky bourbon barrels, another 41 percent aged in second use barrels from Kentucky and the final 8 percent was aged in American oak barrels for 10 months
All of the barrels used for the 2014 version are first-use. As expected, other parts of the beer changed. This year’s version comes in at 13.2 percent ABV compared to 12.6 percent last year.
Southern Charred 2014 will be released only in souther California in November.