Among the taster tray samples I tried at Flat Tail Brewing when we visited last month, the Bourbon Big Fin Baltic Porter wasn’t one of my initial picks, but the server was kind enough to bring a taster of it when I was deciding on a growler fill and I decided to go with it.
This is a big beer to fill a growler with, at 10% abv! This is Flat Tail’s regular Big Fin Baltic Porter aged for two months in Eagle Rare bourbon barrels; of the Big Fin they describe it as:
Rich German Vienna malt is layered with an array of specialty grains for a silky smooth malt bomb with hints of licorice, dark fruit, and brown sugar. Fermented cold at 58 degrees with our house Kolsch yeast.
Interestingly, it starts out at 7% abv—the two months in the bourbon barrels kicks it right up there.
Appearance: Dark brown, almost black, mahogany colored at the edges when held to the light. What head there is, is tan in color and thin (it burned off quickly from the alcohol).
Smell: Bourbon and wood on the nose, sweet notes of vanilla and caramelized (burnt) sugar. Mellow, nicely not overpowering.
Taste: Smooth and sweet from the bourbon aging, with charred wood and burnt sugars; a bit of boozy heat from the alcohol (and likely the bourbon). Very rich with a touch of iced coffee, Kahlua-like. Kind of bourbon cocktail-y.
Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium-bodied, with a sweet stickiness and a bit of alcohol heat.
Overall: Sweet and tasty, a nicely handled bourbon aging and nicely drinkable.