Community Barrel-Aged Inspiration
BREWERY: Community Brewing Co.
LOCATION: Dallas, Texas
STYLE: Belgian-style Dark Specialty Ale
ABV: 10.2 percent
IBU: 45
PRICE: $3.75
RELEASE DATE: April 2015
AVAILABLE IN: 12-ounce bottles
BEERS POURED: Three
If you were judging the beer right out of the refrigerator, it might fall a little short of your hopes and expectations. The nose is okay, the mouthfeel leaves a little to be desired and the taste is just kind of mediocre. Once you let it warm up however, there are some nice notes that start to develop in both the nose and the taste. The first time I drank this months ago, I distinctly remember being underwhelmed by this beer, but I didn’t remember specifically what it was I didn’t like. I must have just drank it cold before, because it turns into a different beer with the temperature. If the mouthfeel was just a little heavier I would love this beer, but having said that I still enjoyed it enough, and I would definitely try this again if we see another release.
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coA fairly recent newcomer to the DFW brewery scene, Community Beer Co. opened its doors in 2013. One of the special beers it did occasional releases of was Inspiration Belgian Strong Ale, which was named after the street the brewery is located – Inspiration Drive.1 This year they decided to do an interesting mix of barrel aging past your average bourbon barrel fare. The second release in their Barrel Aged Series takes the Inspiration brew, ages two thirds in bourbon barrels that were used to age its Barrel-Aged Legion, and then the other third in Colorado “craft” whiskey barrels.

Excited to try this uniquely aged brew, I go ahead and crack open the bottle. It pours a semi-opaque dark brown with a reddish hue and develops a quarter inch of head as I pour that disappears really quickly. Burying my nose in the glass, the aroma is mostly dominated by a strong alcohol note, along with some vanilla, maple, a touch of whiskey and dark fruits. It sounds good, but besides the alcohol note everything was pretty muted right out of the refrigerator.

Community Beer Company Barrel-Aged Inspiration bottle

Still fairly cold, it has a slightly funky whiskey barrel aging note that comes out strong, with a lot of alcohol up front. There’s a medium mouthfeel to it, with a good amount of carbonation, but a little lighter weight to it than I’d prefer. The aftertaste is a touch bitter, with some more light whiskey notes and heat from the alcohol.

Community Beer Company Barrel-Aged Inspiration

Warming up, the nose becomes a little more aromatic, allowing more than just the alcohol to shine through. The taste has become much smoother, with a sweet maple and vanilla note along with hints of whiskey. There’s a little heat from the alcohol, but not too much—not nearly as dominating as when it was cold. The finish is made up of dark fruits and some more whiskey, though the whiskey is still a pretty minor note. Not surprisingly, the mouthfeel isn’t much different, which is to say it’s still a little too light for what I’d like to match the profile.

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