Thursday, September 6, 2012

Black Betty (Nebraska Brewing, Papillion, NE)

"Oh my.  There's the whiskey!" my wife exclaims after her second sip of Black Betty.  The dark brown head of this Russian Imperial Stout falls quickly with a bit of lace.  The whiskey is apparent in the nose. And familiar.  According the Nebraska Brewing website, Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey barrels is the source.

We did the Stranahan's tour earlier this summer and the whiskey is smooth and strong, which leaves a robust imprint on the beer.  The 9.3% alcohol shows with light legs on the side of the swirled glass.  As it warms, the whiskey actually smooths out and compliments the oily slickness of the ale.  Very sweet and malty, it keeps from being cloying by the 83 IBUs bringing a sharp bite the flows through the end.

A slightly imbalanced RIS that's heavy on hot alcohol from the beer and the barrel aging, but I like it a lot.  If you haven't read me in the past, I readily admit that I lean toward the big, bold, and slightly over the top.

Side note: At the Stranahan's tour, they mentioned that they let breweries use their barrels, but I understood that the Stranahan's name wasn't to be used.  Obviously I misunderstood since it's listed on the website; however, the bottle says "fresh whiskey barrels," so maybe the limit is to the actual beer.

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