The early end to the 2019-’20 ski season left me wanting more. More turns, more moguls, more powder, more chairlift rides, and, it goes without saying, more tasty beer after a full day of proper skiing. To do my part in the same of safety, I’ve held off on everything except the beer part since March. While any beer tastes great after skiing, the new lineup of limited-edition barrel-aged beers for 2020—or BA20, for short—from Colorado’s Oskar Blues Brewing fills my desire for more flavor, buzz, and all the other great things that beer can provide, almost—almost!—making up for the lack of spring skiing.
The first volume of the BA20 lineup was one big bourbon-barrel-aged Imperial Stout that hits all the right notes with authority. Called “All Monde,” the base Imperial Stout spent nine months aging in bourbon barrels. Then, using a machine called the “Spinbot 5000,” which sounds more like a Mikael Kingsbury trick than a beer machine, the barrel-aged stout is conditioned on both toasted almonds and vanilla beans from Madagascar.
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These elements mean the already flavorful beer that went into the barrels came out with more complexity on the nose and tongue, and with a 12.5% ABV, the finished product is also a lot heavier.
The nose on the All Monde has notes of toasted almonds and coffee. On the tongue, the strong stout flavor is complemented by the vanilla and features more effervescence than one might expect from a barrel-aged Imperial Stout. The finish is bitter, alcoholic, and warming.
If you’re a strict fan of PBR after skiing and you’ve made it this far, you might reward yourself by trying something with a significantly more robust, complex flavor, like the BA20. After all, like the ski season that just passed, All Monde won’t be around as long as you might expect.
At press time, Oskar Blues reported that the All Monde BA20 Vol. 1 beer was selling very quickly, and they are hyped for the second volume to be released towards the end of the summer. BA20 Vol. 2 will also be aged in a barrel and conditioned with vanilla beans, but the brewmasters at Oskar Blues are planning to incorporate ginger, which is sure to increase the flavor.
Read about Oskar Blues BA20 Vol. 2, 3, and 4
Oskar Blues BA20 Vol. 1: All Monde Notes
- Beer Type: Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
- Flavor Notes: Bourbon, oak, toasted almond, vanilla
- Pairs Well With: Chocolate cake, homemade sourdough, reminiscing about the ski season
- ABV: 12.5% IBUs: N/A
- More Info: Untappd Profile
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