Barrel-Aged Beers from Yards Brewery

It's beer week here in Philadelphia - a ten-day-long week during which almost 1,000 beer related events take place all over the Greater Philadelphia region. It's a great time to experiment by trying unique and delicious beers, so last night I visited the Yard's Brewery and was treated to tastes of a couple of special brews with a hint of whiskey in them. Both of these beers started off as traditional Yards products, but were then aged for a few months in used bourbon barrels acquired from Brown-Forman Corporation of Louisville, KY - the owner of such whiskey brands as Early Times, Old Forester, and Jack Daniels.

The first beer I tasted was a barrel-aged barleywine that was so wonderfully smooth I had a hard time believing that it packed an 11% ABV punch. The bourbon flavors imparted by the barrels give the beer a nice warmth and add a touch of oaky sweetness. Next I tried a porter that had received the same bourbon-barrel treatment, and the result was equally good. The wood helped to mellow out some of the boldness of the straight porter, and gave it a unique mix of flavors that you don't find in run-of-the-mill beers. Both were perfect beers for the gray, rainy day outside - like little liquid fireplaces to make the dreary day seem cozy.

For now Yard's has no plans to mass-produce these two awesome beers, but they are currently available on tap at the Yard's Brewery's in-house bar, so I recommend making your way up Delaware Avenue to have a taste for yourself before it's all gone.