BOULDER, Colorado – May the barrels serve as a transformative vessel, may the coffee bring you warmth and renewed life, may our malt imbue rich chocolatey comfort and may your glass always remain more than half full.
Boulder Beer is thrilled to announce the return of Irish Blessing, a 6.9% ABV Irish Coffee Stout aged on Jameson Irish Whiskey-soaked oak chips just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Originally debuting in 2017, Irish Blessing remains one of the brewery’s most requested brands to date, and after a short hiatus, makes its grand return in March 2022.
Inspired by traditional Irish coffee but with a modern boozy twist, Irish Blessing is brewed with an abundance of black and chocolate malts for a bittersweet chocolate finish as well as flaked oats and a touch of lactose to lend a creamy mouthfeel. For this release, Boulder Beer was able to reunite with Colorado’s own Huckleberry Coffee to source the perfect roast for their cold brew coffee infusion.
Another mainstay of traditional Irish coffee involves a spirited infusion of whiskey flavors. To accomplish this, Boulder Beer aged the base stout on oak chips that were previously soaked in Jameson Irish Whiskey to impart rich oak-forward flavors with that familiar caramel whiskey afternote.
“Our goal was to replicate the Irish coffee profile to the best of our abilities,” explains VP of Operations, Joe Schiraldi. “We decided to use oak chips because it’s a more efficient way to impart that whiskey profile since you’re getting greater surface area between the wood and the beer. We are legally prohibited from incorporating any residual distilled spirits into the beer, so we had to ensure that the oak chips were completely dried after soaking. But it still accomplished the goal of infusing those bold, caramel, oak-forward, whiskey notes.”
The result is a beautifully complex yet surprisingly easy-drinking stout to warm your spirit and fill your soul.
While Irish Blessing remains more balanced and approachable for an oak-aged beer, Boulder Beer is also excited to showcase a boozier, more daring, barrel-aged entry as well. Killer Penguin, a 10.1% ABV Barrel-Aged Barleywine is not for the faint of heart.
Originally debuting in 2003, this refreshed version features a classic English-style Barleywine aged for three months in Denver’s Laws Whiskey House bourbon barrels. Featuring a subdued hop profile with Chinook and Willamette hops, Killer Penguin is bolstered by its malt-forward base lending notes of toffee and caramel from the barrel-aging process.
“English-style Barleywines perfectly lend themselves to barrel-aging as a complement to its rich malty base,” said Schiraldi. “This one is a slow sipper with bold toffee and sherry notes and I’m really excited to re-introduce it as a specialty release.”
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