Based off a “stronger, more intense version” of their core Pecan Porter recipe, Austin’s (512) Brewing Company first bottled its Whiskey Barrel Double Pecan Porter in 2010.1 The initial run was limited to a single 200-liter barrel, an amount that increased to five times that number a year later. For the 2013 vintage, a total of ten 200-liter barrels were bottled, providing Texans an even greater supply of what has become one of the state’s more highly sought-after brews.

Brewed with locally-grown pecans supplied by austiNuts, the bumped-up base beer—the reason for the word “double” appearing in the name—was stowed away in oak whiskey barrels for two months. While that may not seem like a lot of time compared to some barrel treatments, keep in mind that the underlying brew is a porter and not a stout. Porters are generally lighter-bodied and not as intense, and this one is no exception, meaning a less-is-more approach is prudent when considering how much barrel character you want to impart to the beer.

512 Whiskey Barrel Double Pecan Porter 2013 Bottle

The goal here is likely to mirror the profile of the original Pecan Porter,2 which (512) describes on their website as “balanced with a subtle pecan aroma.” Judging by the results, this is something that holds true in the Whiskey Barrel brew as well. While it is arguably slightly whiskey-forward, it isn’t so much so that it detracts from other elements. There’s a mix of chocolate, coffee and liquor which extends to a warm, woody finish, with the pecans, some vanilla and light roast filling the aftertaste. Considering the date on the label, it should be noted that each of these flavor components maintains a discernible presence, even though it’s been over a year since the beer’s original release.

512 Whiskey Barrel Double Pecan Porter 2013

Although it’s referred to as a robust porter, in a strict technical sense that’s the one thing about this beer that doesn’t really fit. Understand that this is a good thing, since the presence of that style’s typical burnt, black malt character would do nothing but upset the apple cart in this case. As it stands, outside of a wish for slightly softer carbonation, the beer is as smooth and drinkable as you’ll find in a barrel-aged variety.

(512) Whiskey Barrel Double Pecan Porter (2013)
BREWERY: (512) Brewing Company
LOCATION: Austin, Texas
STYLE: Robust porter
ABV: 9.5 percent
IBU: 30
PRICE: n/a
RELEASE DATE: March 2013
AVAILABLE IN: 750ml bottles
Ultimately, a recommendation depends on what you're looking for in a barrel-aged beer. Some prefer them to taste more like whiskey and less like beer, which is the opposite of my personal preference and not something you'll find here. Subtlety rules, with the barrel treatment serving to simply enhance what was already a very good beer. It's a mingling rather than a marination, you might say, meaning you'll likely have to wet your whiskey whistle elsewhere.
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