Belgian Imperial Stout Armagnac Barrel Aged
“Lets suppose that you were able every night to dream any dream you wanted to dream,
And you would naturally as you began on this adventure of dreams, you would fulfill all your wishes.
You would have every kind of pleasure, you see
And after several nights you would say, “well that was pretty great.”
But now lets have a surprise, lets have a dream which isn’t under control.
Well something is going to happen to me that i don’t know what it’s gonna be.
Then you would get more and more adventurous,
And you would make further and further out gambles as to what you would dream,
And finally you would dream where you are now.
If you awaken from this illusion,
And you understand that black implies white,
Self implies other,
Life implies death.
You can feel yourself, not as a stranger in the world,
Not as something here on probation, not as something that has arrived here by fluke,
But you can begin to feel your own existence as absolutely fundamental.
What you are basically, deep, deep down, far, far in, is simply the fabric and structure of existence itself.”
Many years ago, I came across a song with these lyrics, later I found out, they were the lyrics of Alan Watts. At that moment I was always thinking about black and white, as two opposite things, but it’s not like that at all, yes, black implies white…
The same thing is with beer, you cannot have just a particular type of beer. Nowadays the beer has developed so much, that became one of the most complex beverages in the industry. Of course, is my personal opinion, but to be honest, I have never found another drink as complex as beer and that moment when I drink a certain craft beer, that moment is mind blowing for me because all of my senses are turned upside down. To state my argument why craft beer is the most complex drink in the world is because its versatility, name me just one beverage (don’t include cocktails) in which you can find so many flavors. Are you pausing?
Well, that’s where I wanted to get you. To make you wonder about beer and to make you wonder about our new release. See the light? Is not only ours (Oriel Beer), but is Ours as an entity (Oriel Beer x Wicked Barrel Brewing), a collaboration brew that was made between passionate brewers that want to get the best out of a beer. And together we did it! You may know our first batch of See the Light?, a reinterpretation of a Russian Imperial Stout, but with a Belgian touch. The second one is an improved version that can achieve perfection. But since perfection is such a relative term, you just need to try it.
See the Light? Armagnac Barrel Aged is not just a beer aged in barrels. Yes, we kept it for 12 months in freshly emptied Armagnac oak barrels from France, but more than that, it reminds us the times before the pandemic. A beer brewed in November 2019, in great times when we were together brewing, drinking and socializing. Now, all of that is gone. But what can we do? We can be grateful for what we have now and cherish it because sometimes, things don’t come out as we desire. But hey, life is still beautiful and we have lots of beer for you.
Now let’s get back to black and white. See the Light? is an adventurous collaboration between Oriel Beer and Wicked Barrel in which we gather our forces to create the perfect Imperial Stout. Brewed with patience from many types of base and specialty malts, flakes, hops and liquid yeast, this beer was barrel aged for one year in Armagnac oak barrels and then, refermented in the bottle.
The blackest black color alongside a dark head comes as a first impression. The aromas fuse into dark malts, light pepper, plums, sweet chocolate and coffee notes. Creamy, smooth and balanced taste with tones of molasses, dried fruits, roasted notes, walnuts, pralines and subtle honey aftertaste. A full, harmonious beer with scents of toasted oak, nutmeg mixed with fruits and a smooth long finish round up everything.
Bottle conditioned for many months; we strongly recommend to get one extra to age it in your cellar.
PS: A few mentions about Armagnac. Armagnac is a distinctive kind of brandy produced in the Armagnac region in Gascony, southwest France. It is distilled from wine usually made from a blend of grapes including Baco 22A, Colombard, Folle blanche and Ugni blanc, traditionally using column stills rather than the pot stills used in the production of Cognac, which is made only from Ugni blanc grapes. The resulting spirit is then aged in oak barrels before release. Production is overseen by the Institut national de l’origine et de la qualité (INAO) and the Bureau National Interprofessionel de l’Armagnac (BNIA). Armagnac was one of the first areas in France to begin distilling spirits, but the overall volume of production is far smaller than Cognac production and therefore is less known outside Europe.
Last but not least, many thanks to Wicked Barrel, Stefan Andries for the amazing label and don’t forget to keep it craft. The pandemic is not over, things are still difficult, but together, from a distance, we can make it through.
Keep it craft,