Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Oak Cliff readies first barrel-aged offering

Images courtesy of Oak Cliff Brewing Co.

Oak Cliff Brewing Co. is preparing a release which will represent a first for the Dallas-based firm in more ways than one.

"Bourbon Barrel Sombre is our very first venture into packaging and also our first barrel-aged beer, so we are very excited to get it out to D-FW craft beer drinkers," says Matthew Ayres, director of sales at Oak Cliff.

At its core, the beer is a barrel-aged version of Sombre, Oak Cliff's imperial stout brewed with house-made caramel sauce and vanilla. In this case, though, the base beer was altered slightly before aging to lower the ABV, making the finish smoother with a more balanced overall flavor.

"We took our staple imperial stout and put it into Jim Beam bourbon barrels in May of 2020, right in the thralls of the pandemic, when absolutely nothing was certain," says Ayres. "After letting it rest for a full 12 months, dark chocolate is the most forefront flavor, with other tasting notes including raisins, dried fruit, sherry and vanilla."

Bourbon Barrel Sombre will be sold primarily in 12-ounce, wax-dipped bottles.

As for how and when to get Bourbon Barrel Sombre, Oak Cliff is targeting an early July debut, with pricing and distribution taking a cue from the effects of the aforementioned pandemic.

"We are trying to price the beer as friendly as possible for people's wallets after the year we've all had," say Ayres. "Availability will almost exclusively be at independent mom-and-pop beer shops across D-FW, as well as at our brewery. Format will be 12-ounce, wax-dipped bottles, with a limited number of slim kegs going to accounts that were essential in keeping us alive and on our feet during 2020."

In other news, fans of Oak Cliff will be interested to know cans are also in the works for some of the brewery's most popular everyday beers. Not only that, Oak Cliff has six more barrel-aged releases planned for later this year, some of which will appear around the time of the brewery's third anniversary in September.

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