Style: Spice Beer
Side Project Derivation 6
What the brewers say
“This is a blend of imperial stouts that were aged in 8- and 12-year-old bourbon barrels for 16 to 28 months with cinnamon sticks, cacao nibs, and vanilla beans.”
What our panel thought
Aroma: “Spiced fudge for days. Lots of dark chocolate, cinnamon. Underlying toasty and roasty malt. There’s a deep sweetness of dark maple, and the barrel brings all the character of vanilla along for the ride.”
Flavor: “Rich chocolate malts, cinnamon, and vanilla finish. There’s some booze and barrel to balance, but there’s a lot of sweetness. Sweet chocolate, almost chocolate syrup–like, with candied almonds and cinnamon. Caramel malt sweetness comes through, with bourbon and even a hint of coconut. Very low carbonation is just a notch or two above still.”
Overall: “This is a big-beer lovers dream—fudge chocolate brownie batter that your kid accidentally spilled some cinnamon in. Incredibly sweet, almost syrupy, yet not as cloying as expected and works surprisingly well with the adjuncts and barrel character. Subtle spice character works great with the bourbon.”
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Cracking open a Hop Knife takes me right to the hops fields in Yakima,’ says our brewmaster, John Trogner. ‘When we’re out there for harvest, walking the fields and talking to the farmers, those notes of citrus, pine, and tropical fruit are everywhere. For me, Hop Knife embodies that whole experience.’
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Who is Dr. Pat? A dentist, third-generation farmer, and cofounder of High Hops Brewery. Dr. Pat cultivated our on-site hops farm in 2007, which led to the opening of High Hops Brewery in 2012. It’s his recipe that creates this malty, heavily hopped beer. We brew it with continuous hops additions using hops grown in that same field more than 10 years later.