Hinterland Brewery started in 1995 making it one of the very first craft breweries in Green Bay. Since then, Bill and Michelle Tressler have grown Hinterland to almost 6,000 barrels per year and have pushed their current building’s capacity to the limit. Luckily, they have struck a deal with the Green Bay Packers to open a new brewery directly across the street from the team’s stadium in an area being called the Titletown District. It is set to open sometime during the spring of 2017.
White Out is today’s beer up for assessment and it is being sold as an Imperial India pale ale aged in bourbon barrels. The specs are as follows: ABV is 9.4 percent and IBUs are stated to be 90 with Columbus hops for bittering and Cascade hops for aroma. I’m also told that the beer spends a total of nine months in the barrels before packaging.
Poured into a snifter, White Out shows a murky deep burnt amber color with a reddish tint capped by a healthy inch or so of creamy-looking dark tan head. I’ve come to accept the foamy, muddy puddle water look from the majority of these barrel aged strong ales. The aroma is chock full of vanilla and bourbon with just a bit of bread crust. It reminds me a lot of those little vanilla wafer cookies except with a heavy dose of alcohol heat.
Tasting follows the nose closely but with a huge lingering bitterness that follows after a strong charcoal note upfront. Some malt sweetness is there but is largely obfuscated by the alcohol heat and huge barrel character. The mouthfeel is where White Out shines. Full bodied and smooth it leaves a slick coating on the teeth and the big bourbon hit leaves a burning sensation in the throat.