Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Killarney Bourbon Barrel Aged Export Stout. A Very Highly Recommended Special and Beer of the Week.

Killarney Bourbon Barrel Aged Export Stout 

8.1% ABV, 750 ml bottle at the brewery

A Very Highly Recommended Special From Killarney

I was staying close to the Killarney Distillery and Brewery in Fossa recently and called in to get myself a few bottles of their superb Casey Brothers stout only to find out they don’t bottle it all. Disappointed at that (because it is one of my favourite stouts) but there was major consolation at hand in their large bottled special, this Barrel Ahed Export Stout, my latest Beer of the Week.

Deep black is the colour under a creamy coffee-coloured head. Aromas are mostly coffee and chocolate. But the big attention grabber is on the palate where the rather gentle punch is delivered, very smoothly indeed. Here the enhancement of the stout from its time in the bourbon barrel is pleasantly apparent. The roast of the malts and the contribution of the East Kent Goldings and Ariana hops plus the characters infused by the barrel, all come together in delicious harmony in a stout that is well worth buying.

I’m not too sure how many bottles of this Very Highly Recommended beer are still available; it was of course a limited edition but there didn’t seem to be a shortage when I purchased mine at the Brewery in mid-April (2024).

Produced in “Ireland’s largest independently owned and co-located distillery, brewery and visitor experience”, the process saw them first brew a small batch of imperial stout to have its flavours enhanced by spending 6 months maturing in Bourbon barrels under the care of Master Brewer Michael Bank and Master Distiller Kerr Petrie. Afterwards, the whiskey was transferred back into these casks to take on the flavours of the stout. That means a delightful bonus for both beer and whiskey drinkers.

Corkman Kerr’s journey began as an engineer, before he eventually moved into distilling, gaining experience initially in Scotland and more recently in Irish Distillers in Midleton before his thirst for new challenges drove him westward to Killarney.

Master Brewer Mike hails from the United States, where he has gained extensive experience working at Long Trail Brewing in Vermont, Ithaca Beer Company in New York, and Oyster Bay Brewing in Long Island.

As a respected member of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and the Master Brewers Association of the Americas, Mike has received numerous accolades. And already in Killarney, his beers have gained recognition such as gold for their Rutting Red Ale at the Brussels Beer Challenge and grand gold for the Spailpín Saison at the Frankfurt International Trophy.

This Export Stout is part of their 1092 Series, the series title is a link to the year when the local Annals of Innisfallen are believed to have been compiled. They, chapter by chapter, captured the story of progress through time and history. Killarney Brewery and Distillery hope to make their own bit of history year by year. Watch out for more of these specials.

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