Since it was founded in 2015, Casey Brewing & Blending has become known for some of the most approachable and well-balanced sour ales on the market.
However, while the Glenwood Springs, Colo.-based brewery is famous for it sour ales, before this year it had never released a packaged stout of any sort. That changed in January when Casey Brewing began selling a joint effort with Mikerphone Brewing Co. named Stout Tribe, an 10.6 percent ABV imperial stout conditioned on Madagascar vanilla beans that was actually brewed in late 2019. The brewery’s first bottled stout was packaged in 500ml bottles ($17) and was released at Casey’s downtown Glenwood Springs taproom on Jan. 24.
Soon after, Casey Brewing announced not only its second stout release but also its second collaboration, this time with Horus Aged Ales in Oceanside, California. That beer is named Gold Eagle, a 12 percent ABV imperial stout conditioned on whole Madagascar vanilla beans and toasted hazelnuts that was brewed in late 2019 at Casey’s brewhouse.
“We used half the batch to fill our first bourbon barrels for a barrel aged stout,” said Casey in an email sent to Tenemu. “We let the other half sit much longer in a fermenter and added whole Madagascar vanilla beans and toasted hazelnuts. We didn’t fill any draft since we’re closed, and instead bottled every drop we could on our brand new 500 ml bottle filler.”
While members of Casey’s membership club, called Extended Family, were able to purchase bottles of Gold Eagle a bit early—albeit with a one bottle per person purchase limit—the stout was released to the public on March 28 packaged in 500ml bottles ($17) at Casey’s downtown Glenwood Springs, Colo. taproom.
Gold Eagle pours both thick and black with almost no head visible whatsoever, and what little there is dissipating quickly into an almost nonexistent ring around the edge of the glass. The aroma from the glass is a combination of malts, creamy nuts, oak, slight coffee and vanilla sweetness.
Starting out, the Casey and Horus collaboration features a strong dark chocolate note, almost like drinking straight baker’s chocolate out of a glass. In addition, the profile includes a roasted hazelnut note that is distinct without being overly aggressive and a booziness that is noticeable but never overwhelming at any point. Mouthfeel is thick enough to coat my tongue with every sip, and while the profile is not overly sweet on the palate or finish at this point, I taste more of a molasses sweetness instead of anything resembling vanilla.
As it warms, the baker’s chocolate that was so dominant fades quickly, which in turn allows both the hazelnut and a sweetness that now tastes like vanilla instead of molasses to become more aggressive in the overall profile on the palate and finish respectively. The mouthfeel is still quite thick, but what little carbonation was present has died down quite a bit, and while there is still some present, it is not a big factor.