Tuesday, August 11, 2015


BARRELHOUSE BREWING are doing their damndest to make sure folks like you & me sit up and take notice that there's another brewer making first-class beer in the sleepy Central California inferno of Paso Robles. They're well-distributed across the area, people in the streets are wearing their t-shirts, and they're even opening a taproom up in nearby San Luis Obispo (it's not quite done yet, folks - I checked). I had my pick of the litter from the Barrelhouse lineup the other day, and naturally - having had none of their lineup before in my life - I picked the weird, limited-edition barrel-aged thing. It's called CURLY WOLF. We're going to talk about it a little bit, right about now.

So "CURLY WOLF" is a barrel-aged imperial Russian stout. I'd be lying if I said I was sucking these down with regularity anymore, so it was actually quite welcome to wrap my tonsils around this thing. The bottle says it's the first in their "Reservado del Robles" series - so there! It's creamy, and not overly hoppy - two big winning features right off the bat for Beer Samizdat, and hopefully for like-minded big-ass stout lovin' Beer Samizdat readers as well. It's comprised of 9.4% alcohol - isn't that a little low for a RIS in these days of one-upmanship? Fine, I'll take a "session" RIS, no problem. Of course I'm getting a lot of maple and vanilla in this one, and a big dose of sweetness without a lot of malt framing to temper it to my desire. In fact, the whole thing's a little more thin than you'd probably like, but then again, I was drinking this sessionable imperial stout with a possessed fury not unlike a pack of marathoners at the 20-mile marker Gatorade stand. So that's why I'm giving it a 7/10 overall, which means I might not drop two dimes on it next time but I'd certainly drink some if you had any.

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