Thursday, December 17, 2009

Barrel Bomber Stout at Glacier Brewing Co.

Montana is indeed a great place to be a craft beer fan, especially with breweries popping up in many small towns like Lakeside, Stevensville, Wibaux and places in between. Glacier Brewing sits up the hill from downtown Polson at the southern end of Flathead Lake.  I've always wondered why Polson doesn't have a Dairy Queen, but that's a different story for a different blog.

I've only stopped in to Glacier Brewing Co. twice, partly owing to the fact that Polson isn't as much a destination as a pass-through when you live in Missoula and partly because it isn't open on Sundays when I'm often headed back through Polson from some activity to the north.  I'm not entirely sure what the tap room is trying to be. It is a bit of a mix of Kettlehouse's Myrtle street location with the yard sale couches and cluttered appearance and Blacksmith Brewing with its barnwood and western theme. There's a large outdoor area that looks like a great place for summer refreshments. 

I got the timing right recently and stopped in for a pint of Barrel Bomber Stout, a whiskey barrel aged stout that is part of their One Barrel Batch series of specialty brews. There have been a number of whiskey barrel aged beers popping up in Montana's tap rooms lately, probably owing to - and I'm totally guessing here - the Montana Brewers Association's efforts to obtain and distribute the barrels to its members. I've had Tamarack's Vanilla Bourbon Stout and Blacksmith's Pulaski Porter aged in bourbon barrels and enjoyed both of them. Judging by the name, it appears Glacier started with their Slurry Bomber Stout, a dry, sweet stout, and aged it for four months in whiskey barrels.

Though Glacier describes it as lightly carbonated to showcase the deep flavors, I think this one could benefit from a little more carbonation.  It is also possible I got a bad pour because there was zero head on it which I thought was odd.  The bourbon flavor is distinct with a dry stout base. The hop bitterness, aroma and flavor is minimal as intended. It is opaque black, medium-light bodied and interesting, though not overly complex. To be fair, I had recently stumbled upon The Abyss, the most complex and highly treasured whiskey barrel stout made and the timing probably wasn't good for a comparison. They aren't intended to be the same style of beer, but the mind often gets in the way of a fair consideration.  If you've had Glaciers' Bomber Barrel Stout, I'm curious to know your impressions.  Remember, its all relevant.

1 comment:

  1. Fun stuff. A great stop in Polson. I've not been blown away by the brews, but a great stop and we must support our local breweries. Cheers.