West Slope Connection, Vol. 2 is a collaboration between Casey Brewing and Blending and Mr. B’s, a beer store located in Denver.

The base beer is Casey’s Oak Theory and it is then aged in freshly dumped pinot noir barrels selected by Mr. B’s from Sean Minor Wines and then aged on Primitivo grapes. The amount of time in the barrels is not disclosed, but is said to be “extended aging.”

Casey’s website give some details on Oak Theory:

This beer is our take on classic Belgian sour beers from the Senne Valley. We combine Colorado pilsner malt and raw wheat with a hefty charge of aged European whole hops and boil for almost 3 hours. We ferment in a variety of different sized oak barrels with a proprietary blend of saccharomyces, brettanomyces and various lactic acid bacteria cultures. After aging in these barrels for anywhere from 9-12 months, barrels are selected for their unique flavors and that individual blend is born.

There have been three different West Slope Connection releases to date:

  • Casey West Slope Connection Vol. 1 — Oak Theory aged in freshly dumped bourbon barrels procured by Mr. B himself from Peach St. Distillers in Palisade, Colo.
  • Casey West Slope Connection Vol. 2 — Oak Theory aged in freshly dumped pinot noir barrels selected by Mr. B’s from Sean Minor Wines and then conditioned on Primitivo grapes.
  • Casey West Slope Connection Vol. 3 — Oak Theory aged in freshly dumped rum barrels.

West Slope pours a dark red, very much like a red wine, a cabernet or merlot, slightly lighter. There is very little carbonation, but it is really a beautiful beer.

I get a ton of barrel on the nose, very strong earthiness and oak, as well as wine tannins, aged cheese, sour apple, lots of funk. The aroma is really strong, but very clean.

There is an unbelievable amount of barrel on West Slope Connection Vol. 2 with very strong wine tannins and oak on the first. It’s not necessarily unpleasant, but it’s bordering on too much barrel character. The beer has a good amount of sour with both a lactic bite and also a nice funkiness. This is really a hybrid beverage, almost like a sour carbonated wine with both the pinot barrel character and the grapes, there are a lot of strong wine characteristics.

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Casey West Slope Connection Vol. 2
BREWERY: Casey Brewing and Blending
LOCATION: Glenwood Springs, Colo.
ABV: 6 percent
IBU: n/a
PRICE: $42.99
RELEASE DATE: April 9, 2017
AVAILABLE IN: 750ml bottles
Overall, Casey West Slope Connection Vol. 2 is really good, great even. It could tone down a bit on the barrel presence and the earthiness that it brings, but it really is a fantastic beer. If you’re a sour fan, you’ll love it, if you like wine, you’ll love it. Casey knocked this one out of the park and hopefully I can get my hands on another bottle or another blend when it comes out.
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