Karl Strauss beer lovers, rejoice! Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011, marks Karl’s 22ndanniversary and the upcoming release of their 22nd Anniversary brew, the Vanilla Imperial Stout.
Fittingly, an event will be held at the main brewery in Pacific Beach on Wednesday to celebrate the “Changing of the Barrels,” where a limited number of guests will have a chance to sample the Anniversary beer unblended, side by side with the blended version that will be released later in the month. Guests also have the distinct honor to be the first and only to taste the 23rdAnniversary brew before it goes into barrels for 12 months, and they will surely be taking notes to refer when comparing the “green” beer to the aged version once it’s released in 2012.
Unfortunately (but not surprisingly), this event is sold out, but those of us who aren’t lucky enough to have tickets shouldn’t despair. The 22nd Anniversary beer will be on tap and in stores in mid-February for our sensory enjoyment, and if it’s anywhere near as delicious as the 21stAnniversary brew (one of my personal faves), I’ll be in heaven. Again, this year’s beer is a Vanilla Imperial Stout, with a portion aged in American oak bourbon barrels for 9 months. The barrel-aged beer was then blended with a fresh batch of stout, and some fresh split Madagascar vanilla beans were added into the mix. The bourbon flavors imparted by the barrel-aging, along with the interesting depth of the vanilla beans, perfectly complement the dark chocolate and espresso flavors of the stout. This deliciously warming brew weighs in at 8.5% ABV, so while it’s totally drinkable now, it promises to just get better with age.
For more info, check out the Karl Strauss website, or visit the Costa Mesa location later this month to try some for yourself!