Ethereal Gin Barrel Aged Realization DIPA
Bomber, $13, 9% ABV
Purchased at the brewery, Stonington (mid 2014)
This is an interesting one… I happen to have loved this beer, but I completely and totally understand if others didn’t. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear from people who couldn’t get through a glass of this stuff.
Those people are idiotic boors who probably drink appletinis, but that’s okay.
I kid, I kid. I married a woman who used to love appletinis… then again, this kid in this picture here was a fruit of her loins, so maybe there’s something amiss with appletini drinkers who don’t like gin barrel aged beers after all.
Mildly interesting anecdote about this beer: I was in Boston in May 2014 for work and spent an evening at the (then) new Night Shift Brewery. Night Shift is probably a top 5 or 10 brewery for barrel aging creativity. Their barreling room is HUGE. Like 100+ barrels huge. They dump all sorts of beers into all sorts of barrels. I’d guess that 20% of the end products are pretty terrible, but Night Shift isn’t afraid of that.
I saw that they had some stuff in gin barrels and thought to myself – an avowed gin aficionado – “that’s exciting and somewhat scary.” I went on my merry way and was at Beer’d a few weeks later.
While there, Aaren pointed out a barrel and said, “I put the Realization DIPA in a gin barrel from Ethereal in the Berkshires. Crazy, right?”
“Yeah, totally. But I love gin and I love your DIPAs, so I’m excited. By the way, I’d never heard of a gin barrel beer until a few weeks ago I was up at Night Shift and they had some aging and – ”
“Yeah! That’s where I sort of got the idea! In fact, and don’t tell anyone this, but I’m going to do a collaboration beer with them.”
“Whoa, dude, that’s crazy. That’s pretty huge. You’re totally going to explode in 2015.”
“No really, that’s awesome. But I was thinking that a piney IPA or DIPA would work well with the juniper and botanicals in gin.”
“Yeah man, I agree. Steve, you are very handsome.”
“Thank you Aaren. I think you are very handsome too.”
Aged for at least six months in a Berkshire Mountain Distllers Ethereal gin barrel. Realization, our pine and grapefruit forward DIPA marries with the floral & botanical gin characteristics creating a concoction sure to please beer and spirit drinkers alike.
Or I could have just told you that up front.
This pretty little drink right here was a cucumber gimlet I made for myself and my wife. Dare I say that it looks “ethereal?”
I took that picture to show y’all that I really do drink gin. In fact, it’s the only hard liquor I ever drink – and I must admit, it’s quite rare that I do.
And my point in doing that it to make it very clear that the gin in this beer was present. To his credit, Aaren, would politely “warn” purchasers of this limited release that if they didn’t like gin, they wouldn’t necessarily love this beer. Rather cool of him, eh?
Also cool? Instead of some lame Kickstarter, Beer’d made mention of the fact that these $13 bottles would help out with the planned 2015 expansion of the brewery. Like, sure, he could have priced them at $10 and made a buck or two, but there’s not one person who wasn’t happy to pay $13 and perhaps have a dollar or two of that go to the expansion budget. So simple, so easy, so smart.
I loved this beer. It’s not for everyone, and it took a minute to get the palate accustomed to juniper gin hops and citrus, but it worked. Wonderfully. You put citrus (lime) in your gin and tonics, right? You effuse about the piney hops of certain IPAs, right.
This beer was gin forward, but had enough citrus – pineapple and grapefruit – to beat down the gin burn a bit. The characteristics of (yet another perfect) Beer’d DIPA were all present and accounted for, just sort of hanging out with the gin. Perhaps a tad more beer:gin would have put this one over the moon for me – but really, blind experimental slightly risky barrel aging a beer that gets an A from me?
I want more.
Overall Rating: A
Rating vs. Similar style: A