New Belgium Brewing and Knob Creek have announced the launch of Oakspire Bourbon Barrel Ale, a 9 percent ABV special collaboration featuring breakthrough technology to create an entirely new style of bourbon barrel ale, a news release says.
“Bringing together Knob Creek and New Belgium’s shared passion for innovation and dedication to hard-earned flavor, Oakspire Bourbon Barrel Ale is a highly drinkable bourbon-inspired ale which uses Knob Creek Bourbon-soaked oak spirals and barrel char to impart big, full flavor into New Belgium’s high-rye base ale, the release says.
“‘We could have simply barrel-aged some ale, or rested beer on barrel staves, but that wouldn’t have given us the amazing freshness and flavor of Oakspire Bourbon Barrel Ale,’ said Ross Koenigs, Research and Development Brewer at New Belgium. ‘Our Brewhouse team likes to say that we didn’t just develop a custom extraction technology, but rather, a beer-flavoring ‘missile,’ and we’re thrilled to present our newest, innovative venture with the launch of Oakspire Bourbon Barrel Ale.’
“To bring this new offering to life, New Belgium’s engineers created a steel, missile-shaped vessel to provide a delivery system where Knob Creek Bourbon-soaked oak spirals and char from used Knob Creek Bourbon barrels mingled with — and added robust flavors to — New Belgium’s high-rye ale. This three-part flavor extraction process first included the harvesting of barrel char — the caramelized wood sugars that contribute sweet brown sugar and caramel notes to the beer — from used Knob Creek barrels. “Rounding out the bourbon character in the beer are Knob Creek Bourbon-soaked oak spirals, which were toasted and added to infuse secondary flavors of oak and spice into the liquid. Finally, the bourbon-soaked spirals and barrel char were added to the custom steel, missile-shaped vessel itself to influence the beer as it matured. The result is a beautiful, full-flavored amber bourbon ale with notes of caramel, vanilla and toasted oak.
“Both founded just over 25 years ago, Knob Creek Bourbon and New Belgium are largely credited with pioneering the small batch movements in their respective industries, introducing the world to full-flavored liquids born of premium ingredients and traditions. Both have remained true to those founding principles since their introduction. ‘My dad, Booker Noe, created Knob Creek Bourbon more than 25 years ago to restore the standards of what great bourbon ought to be — full of big flavor and crafted with patience and hard work,’ said Fred Noe, Beam family seventh-generation master distiller. ‘I’m thrilled to introduce this special collaboration with our friends at New Belgium and to bring together the best of our shared love of innovation with the introduction of Oakspire Bourbon Barrel Ale. I hope bourbon and beer drinkers alike will have the opportunity to enjoy our latest offering.'”