One behemoth of a beer has been packaged in 16oz cans by Oakshire Brewing. The Eugene based brewer has partnered with Farmer’s Union Coffee Roasters in creating Barrel-Aged C.R.E.A.M. Imperial Stout. This new 15% ABV beer showcases the interaction between a high-gravity beer, barrel types, aging time, and adjuncts.
Taking its name from the acronym of the saying “Coffee Rules Everything Around Me”, BA C.R.E.A.M. began two years ago in 2018. The idea was to showcase the uniqueness and versatility of different coffee varietals.
“In February of 2019 we brewed a batch of C.R.E.A.M. for aging in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels that would eventually see additions of maple syrup and coffee,” said Oakshire’s Director of Brewing Operations, Dan Russo, in a statement. “We tasted different coffee varieties with Joe Harrison of Farmer’s Union Coffee Roasters. To complement this beer’s flavor profile, we selected a Mexican-grown El Duende coffee variety, which offers notes of dark red fruit, including cherry and red berry, chocolate, and vanilla”.
BA C.R.E.A.M. started with a house Imperial Stout grain bill, Oakshire created a double mash, no sparge, 35 Plato Stout recipe. Then 10 gallons of organic maple syrup were added to the boil before heading to the fermenter. Coming out at about 13% ABV, this beer was transferred to fresh Heaven Hill bourbon barrels and rested for 17 months. Once ready, BA C.R.E.A.M. was conditioned on a second round of very dark and robust organic Vermont maple syrup and El Duende coffee.
Pouring like the oil you find on a fresh shot of dark espresso, BA C.R.E.A.M. erupts with a dense, dark, tan-brown head. As the bubbles begin to dissipate, the nose displays a deep expressive coffee character. The body is coating, with a luxuriously sweet mouthfeel, that has a tannic dryness from the oak barrels. Caramel, coconut, vanilla, maple syrup, oak, and roast from the beans add layers of complexity to each sip. The coffee, maple, and bourbon barrel characters work in harmony, acting as expressive counters to one another.
BA C.R.E.A.M. is now available on draft and in single 16oz cans at the brewery’s Eugene Public House and Portland Beer Hall. You can place an order for curbside pickup at oakbrew.com. Both of Oakshire’s taprooms are open daily and feature patio-only seating and food carts on-site.
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 25 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in the archives of Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter and Instagram at @hopapalooza.