Relatively new to the craft brewing scene, No Label Brewing established themselves in Katy, Texas in 2010. Founded by a beer enthusiastic family, Brian Royo, his wife Jennifer, and his parents Gilberto and Melanie all left their respective careers that didn’t have anything to do with beer to pursue the dream of having their own brewery.1 One of the brewery’s projects is called the Off Label Brew Series, which includes experimental beers that didn’t quite fit in the rest of their lineup.
Perpetual Peace is part of the Off Label Brew Series, which is what I’ll be taking a look at today. It is a wee-heavy ale that was aged in select Wild Turkey bourbon barrels for six months. First released in 2013, it’s become an annual release that saw the second round in stores in November 2014. On the tail end of what seems to be bourbon barrel-aged beer season, I’ve had quite a few – some good, some bad – so I was interested in trying this wee-heavy from a brewery that I was previously unfamiliar with.
Pouring a dark opaque brown, the No Label2 doesn’t have much head to speak of even on a vigorous pour. It does build up some if swirled around, but it quickly dissipates again. The aroma is a sweet, malty bourbon that you usually expect from a beer that’s aged in bourbon barrels, although I’ve been missing that on a lot of my bourbon barrel-aged beers lately. Beyond that there’s a little bit of molasses, a touch of vanilla, caramel and some warm alcohol on the nose.
The taste is quite heavy3 with more of the molasses, vanilla and caramel accentuating the strong malts and alcohol-heavy bourbon. The mouthfeel isn’t as heavy as I would expect from such a rich, strong flavor profile, though it’s far from what I would call light. It’s just above a medium mouthfeel with some light, but good carbonation to it. The finish is a long alcohol note with a warming bourbon flavor that spreads through your mouth. The beer almost coats your mouth with flavor, lingering just enough to make you want to go back for another sip without overstaying its welcome. As it warms up not much changes past the bourbon notes increasing slightly and the alcohol’s warmth becoming a little more pronounced.