Hugely surprising to me that this beer's not getting much ratings love on RateBeer and Beer Advocate. Check your heads! DEVIL'S CANYON BREWING are a Belmont, CA brewer who had yet to dabble in the dark arts of the barrel before this one, at least not in bottles; preferring to turn heads with their Full Boar Scotch Ale, their IPA and their amber ale – for instance. I have tasted a fair number of their beers, and I'd certainly rank them in the upper half of the newer (post-2009) crop of brewers the last few years. And I've never had a barrel-aged scotch ale before, but that's exactly what this is – and it's a real goddamn treat.
I would have never guessed that "Bourbon Barrel-Aged Full Boar" was, in fact, the Full Boar scotch ale. Yet it is. Here's what they say about it:
We patiently aged our multi-gold medal winning Full Boar Scotch Ale for just over 9 months in barrels fire-charred by a master distiller. Full Boar’s peated smoke flavor is accentuated by the charred oak, while the caramel characteristics of the Scotch Ale and bourbon barrel form a perfect equilibrium. Experienced enthusiasts will also detect subtle hints of vanilla, brown sugar and honey. All of this with a gentle, dry, oak finish – spicy, woody and warm.
In truth, I actually found this to be much closer to a Belgian sour ale than anything else – that's quite a transformation. Definitely sugar and honey, and a real gentle and oaked taste overall. Really subtle but complex on the swallow. Forget peat moss. This is a wild one all the way, and I loved it. Absurdly limited, but I'm gonna try and grab some more. 8.5/10.