It's that time of year again. Urban Chestnut's annual Wolpertinger Festival, celebrating the anniversary of when they opened their doors in 2011, is BACK! To commemorate this occasion, a special batch of beer is brewed specifically for the soiree. While the recipe changes yearly, the sentiment (and deliciousness) of the beer remains the same: Make it big. Make it bold. Make it memorable.
We reached out to Kurt Driesner, Quality Assurance Manager for Urban Chestnut to find out more about this year's beverage:
The theme and concept for each year’s Wolpertinger is an organic, fluid, and at times, spontaneous process. We always incorporate a process, technique, or ingredient that was in some way significant to that year's production. In the beginning Wolpertinger shared a ‘chestnut’ base with one of our flagships, the next year barrel-aging was added, then barrel-aging was expanded, honey was incorporated, with last year combining those with a Belgian-focused twist. This year’s Wolpertinger (2017) continues this approach with a unique dark ale, extended (2 year) barrel-aging in Scotch whiskey barrels, and secondary fermentation with raspberries. The final product was blended to a decidedly tart finish.
This year's festival will take place Sunday, January 22nd and the beer will see its official release at that time. See below for our tasting notes of when we tried the beer.
|Brewery||Urban Chestnut Brewing Co.|
|Location||St. Louis, MO|
|Style||Barrel Aged Dark Ale|
|There's a decidedly red wine-like (or vinous) aroma due to the blend of the booziness of the scotch barrels and the fruit from the raspberries. There's some very soft chocolate with faint caramel and vanilla with just a touch of earthiness that keeps the aroma from being too sweet. When swirled in your glass, the aromas pop and even remind me a bit of a neapolitan ice cream.|
|When poured, the beer is a very deep brown and opaque with a soft, tan head with the slightest of a ruby hue. The head is made up of tight, small bubbles that cling to the glass as you sip the beer.|
|The flavor matches the aroma impeccably with the new pieces consisting of some dry oak, wet tobacco and some additional stone fruits (plum mostly but some fig as well). Vanilla, caramel and chocolate are still there in small amounts and at 8.0%, it's hard to find the booziness that could've taken this beer off course. There is some tartness that comes as you swallow the beer which nicely breaks up the sweet malts and fruit. The beer finishes quite dry and the aftertaste showcases the biggest oak, yet.|
|The carbonation is actually quite bright at medium+ and the mouthfeel equals it at medium+ as well. It's not chewy but it has a nice weight to it and it sticks to your tongue like glue.|
This is a beer that while not a flagship for the brand, it may be one UCBC takes the most pride in. We reviewed last year's version which was a Barrel Aged, Triple Fermented Strong Ale with Spices and if you are expecting that beer again, you're going to be surprised. It's sweet and it's tart but it's nothing like a sour ale. I really like how they switch this up each year because they want to offer their customers something new and exciting. With all the bright, full flavors in this batch, this is definitely a beer that will please the masses.