Welcome back again to another sip on the Tap Trail Reviews. We’ve just conquered yet another epic Bellingham Beer Week. Replete with numerous stellar beers, familiar faces, new friends, and many memories to add to the logbook.
To decompress and celebrate a bit I wanted to go for a beer with its own little celebration. Whether it be an anniversary beer, a new release in a vintage series, or a one off, I just wanted something slightly special. Combined with the rain this morning, and the steady stream of Moose Blood playing in the background it seemed a bit of a natural fit to reach for this one.
“The Divine” is the beer brewed by our friends at Double Mountain to commemorate their ninth anniversary. This Barrel Aged Brown Ale has been on quite a little journey to get to this point and to be worthy of such an anniversary. Starting its life as “Leroy” a draft only Imperial Brown Ale offered only at the brewery, bringing notes of bakers chocolate, nutty toffee, and dark fruit. A nice combo on its own. The Divine 9 gets its divinity from a multi month (perhaps even 9 months) mellowing process in Kentucky Straight Bourbon Barrels. These Barrels in question happen to be from one of my favorite Brown-Forman portfolio Bourbons — Woodford Reserve. While Woodford brings with it a solid vanilla and nutty sweetness of most Bourbons, it also carries an intriguing licorice like character that I haven’t found in any other Bourbon. It is also the official supplier to the Kentucky Derby, and the official Bourbon for that event, for whatever that’s worth.
Enough talk about Bourbon now, let’s get into the Divine 9 and toast to Double Mountain’s Anniversary!
Beer — The Divine | Barrel Aged Brown Ale
Brewery — Double Mountain | Hood River, OR
ABV | IBU — 9.0% | 43
Price (oz) | Availability — $12.99 (16.9oz) | Limited
Appearance (3/3) — Pours out much darker than expected by the advertised Brown Ale billing. A nice dark mahogany hue, almost molasses like in color, though not in texture. A coffee colored brew with a nice sticky coating of lacing down the inside of the glass.
Aroma (9/12) — Cocoa powder, unsweetened chocolate, dark roasted coffee, some toffee sweetness, vanilla cream caramel, some slight oak.
Flavor (17/20) — Licorice, there it is, the inconceivably delicious note of anise found in the Woodford barrels makes its presence here. Also strong notes of chocolate mousse, chewy soft caramel, white oak, vanilla, toffee, burnt brown sugar, and some sweet warming Bourbon.
Mouthfeel (4/5) — Medium full bodied, but not too heavy or too sweet.
Overall (8/10) — A really nice combination of flavors and a great toast to nine years. I must admit I didn’t realize that Double Mountain was nine years old. They just opened their second pub, this time in Portland! This one is a nice showcase of a style with very little competition. I am not a great fan of the standard brown ale, but the barrel character here and depth of flavors really does this one a treat and takes it to the next level. I could see one of these being fantastic with some grilled meats or paired with a sweet dessert. Cheers!
OVERALL — 41 / 50 — EXCELLENT