Okay, I know spring is around the corner (March comes in like a lion, out like a lamb, right?), but I’m not ready to let go of my winter beers just yet. So it’s a good thing Upslope sent this beauty for us to check out—a barrel aged imperial stoutin a can. Yep, the second barrel aged imperial stout in a can that’s come our way in a week.
This stout is the latest release in Upslope’s limited Lee Hill Series, a quarterly batch of big beers named after Upslope’s original brewery. I fawned all over their Barrel Aged Brown Ale when it was released last year, so I was practically giddy with anticipation when I opened this stout.
The beer pours a deep, deep black—like I drained the oil from my mini van into a glass, kind of black. It has a thick, but silky mouthfeel to it (again with the motor oil) and comes off as a rich, bready “lunch” of a beer thanks largely to the Maris Otter malted barley that Upslope uses. The beer hits hard with chocolate up front, followed by a bit of roasted coffee that adds some bitterness to level out the chocolate. Upslope aged the imperial stout in Leopold Brothers Maryland Rye Whiskey barrels for four months. The contribution is subtle, but you do get notes of the whiskey barrel on the back end of the sip with a bit of rye spice and dark fruit sweetness—both of which linger after you put the glass down.
Could I use a bit more whiskey in this beer? Sure, but let’s get something straight: I can always use a bit more whiskey.
The end result is a beer that’s decadent as hell. And it’s exactly the way I want to say goodbye to winter.
Brewery: Upslope Brewing Co.
City: Boulder, Colo.
Style: Imperial Stout
Availability: Limited, in big boy 19.2-ounce cans