Darkhorse Brewing's 2015 Maple Bourbon Barrel Black Bier gets better with time. I drank it five years ago and it was good then, but now I feel like it's even smoother. A little toned down, with great barrel effects that allow the adjuncts to shine. It ages well. Like the Dixieland below. Hit play and read on.
The maple and bourbon are both present upfront, but cold, it starts off a tad smokey. There's a booziness that lingers throughout each sip, but it still feels balanced by all recent comparisons (of the 2015 BA beers that I've pulled from my cellar). The warming process reveals a fried, bacon-esque smoke. Lightly roasted cocoa beans accompany the exceptional lager finish. I love that that Dark Horse aged a black bier, and that it finishes like a black bier, light and crisp. It's a thinner swallow than a barrel-aged stout or barleywine, lighter and cleaner, not so rich.
So essentially, the color of a stout but the finish of a lager. What a concept. But wait, Darkhorse barrel-aged it! So, you get the bourbon,the booze and the maple upfront, and a nice lager finish on the back end. A pretty novel idea, eh? That's Darkhorse Brewing.