Since it was first brewed in 2006, Oskar Blues Ten Fidy has gone on to become one of the highest-rated imperial stouts in the world. The beer boasts an overall score of 100 on Ratebeer, and it’s been ranked among the top 250 beers to be found anywhere by users of Beer Advocate.
So, how does one make such a highly-acclaimed beer even better? In this day and age, I’m guessing more than a few people would reply by suggesting to Oskar Blues that they put Ten Fidy in a barrel. As it turns out, that’s something the brewery has been doing since the early days of the beer’s existence, with kegs showing up at beer festivals going as far back as 2007. Among those, numerous variations have existed over the years, with my own experiences involving Ten Fidy aged in barrels from distilleries like Breckenridge, Four Roses and Spring 44.
This year, though, Oskar Blues decided to put a barrel-aged version of Ten Fidy in a can. Released in October, the now portable potent potable was packaged in a 19.2-ounce variety of aluminum for sale at the company’s taprooms in Colorado and North Carolina. As for what barrels were used in the creation of this current rendition, mum’s the word it seems beyond just being told “bourbon,” so we’ll just assume it’s a proprietary blend from different distilleries and go on about our day.
Before we do that, though, I suppose we ought to talk about how the beer tastes. Well, simply put, Barrel-Aged Ten Fidy is just about everything you could want or need, regardless of whether you had to beg, borrow or steal it, when it comes to a bourbon barrel beer.
Okay, maybe that’s not exactly simply put, but it pretty much all covers the bases. Barrel-Aged Ten Fidy is woody, with a bounteous bourbon nose that does what you’d expect in taking standard Ten Fidy to a whole other level. The beer is bourbon-forward, but not boozy with an abundance of bitter chocolate and a rich, roasty finish. It’s strong, it’s warm, and it’s full-bodied, and it’s probably good enough that you might consider driving hours or more to the nearest Oskar Blues brewery to bag some for the return trip home. That, or I suppose you could phone a friend and have it shipped, but either way, I’d say this is surely a Fidy worth finagling.