In March, Bottle Logic Brewing in Anaheim, Calif. celebrated its second anniversary with a week of bottle and draft releases, some of which were new beers and others that were returning favorites.

One of the new beers was Ground State, a 12.5 percent ABV imperial breakfast stout brewed with chocolate powder and cocoa nibs before being aged in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels with vanilla and coffee beans sourced from Guatemala and El Salvador. Like the rest of beers in the brewery’s Stasis Project Series, Ground State is packaged in 500ml bottles ($20.95) and about 4,800 bottles were available when they went on sale on March 22, 2016.

Bottle Logic Ground State bottle

Ground State joins eight other beers in Bottle Logic’s Stasis Project Series, which “celebrates the barrel as a fifth ingredient.”

  • Fundamental Observation (13.7 percent ABV) — barrel-aged imperial vanilla stout
  • Darkstar November (14.3 percent ABV) — imperial stout aged in bourbon and rye barrels
  • Leche Borracho (11 percent ABV) — tequila and bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout brewed with chili peppers, cinnamon, cocoa nibs and lactose sugar
  • Some Assembly Required (8.9 percent ABV) — brett saison aged in white wine barrel
  • Picture If You Will (11.8 percent ABV) — ale brewed with pumpkins, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger aged in bourbon barrels
  • Strangematter (10.5 percent ABV) — saison brewed with orange blossoms, basil, honey and pink peppercorns and aged in wine barrels
  • Passionate Dragon (8.8 percent ABV) — saison brewed with passionfruit, dragonfruit and kumquats aged in red and white wine barrels
  • Ideation (14.3 percent ABV) — wheat wine aged in bourbon barrels
  • Ground State (12.5 percent ABV) — imperial breakfast stout brewed with chocolate powder and cocoa nibs aged in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels with vanilla and coffee beans sourced from Guatemala and El Salvador.

The Bottle Logic Ground State pours a midnight black with half finger of mocha brown head that dissipates almost immediately, leaving a thin lacing behind. Aroma from the glass is a combination of strong coffee grounds, maple sweetness, dark chocolate, oak, nuts and vanilla.

Bottle Logic Ground State

There is a combination of dark chocolate, freshly roasted coffee beans and creamy oak on the palate right off the bat, while the finish has both maple syrup and a slight vanilla sweetness. None of the flavors are overtly dominant, and everything works together in almost perfect harmony. I do notice a bit of bitterness on the finish, but it is not strong enough to negatively affect the profile. The mouthfeel is decadent and creamy, coating my tongue every time I take a sip, but far from cloying. Carbonation is low, but not annoyingly so, and sticks around for quite a while.

Bottle Logic Ground State
BREWERY: Bottle Logic Brewing
LOCATION: Anaheim, Calif.
STYLE: Imperial Breakfast Stout
ABV: 12.5 percent ABV
IBU: n/a
PRICE: $20.95
RELEASE DATE: March 22, 2016
AVAILABLE IN: 500ml bottle
I was looking forward to seeing what Ground State brought to the table, and I have to say, it did not disappoint. The profile is both complex and extremely well balanced, with each flavor a distinct part of the overall whole. In addition, the mouthfeel is thick and creamy, making this a joy to drink in that regard. While there is no doubt Fundamental Observation is the better all around beer, it is a close battle, and Ground State manages to hold its own.
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