Beer Profile: Barrel Aged Hoppin Frog Christmas Ale #2

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Profiled by Ken Carman for professorgoodales.net

Beer-Profile1-258x300Nose: oak, a little sweet. Mouthfeel sweet with some oak clinging to the roof of the mouth. Bourbon in still in the mix, but lighter. A little bourbon cling, but not as dominant. In #1 barrel aged the spices were obvious, though background. In number two I think the oak, with the bourbon almost perfectly counter balanced, made the spices kind of disappear.

Once again brown with great highlights, clarity good and head lingers: pillow. SRM high 20s.

I did find spices in the nose, but slight and hard to perceive. Oak is stronger, bourbon behind that. Mouthfeel is just a little more bourbon focused: sweet coats the back of the mouth. Medium body, hint of caramelization, good clarity with brown/ruby highlights. Soured orange sense, which I’m sure is the bourbon, on the palate.

What happened here is balance is actually working against us. With the bourbon just a hint on top, but the rest firmly beneath, it was superb. With the bourbon and the oak mostly in balance the spices seem less important, the oak and bourbon arguing so loudly on the palate the spices almost might as well not be there.

A very pleasing quaff, but, honestly, I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first, though it’s still is very, very good.

I wasn’t tempted at all to give this a 5 out of 5, but it still deserves 4. Maybe even 4.5, though I do feel the balance is so even the flavors are battling for attention a bit too much.

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Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “prefecto.”