Saint Arnold Bishop’s Barrel is a series of releases of beers that have been barrel aged. The barrels have been chosen to enhance and complement the characteristics of the underlying beers. The beers may be something we brew regularly or may have been brewed solely for the purpose of putting into a barrel. Aging times can range from a few months to well over a year. The batches are identified by the number on the neck label. While these beers can be aged, they have done a fair amount of aging in the barrels and are designed to be enjoyed soon after bottling. If you are going to age these beers, it is best done in a refrigerator, not at room temperature.

Bishop's Barrel Series:

Bishop's Barrel No. 7


Style: Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout
Date Brewed: May 23, 2013
Date Racked: June 21, 2013
Date Bottled: July 21, 2014
Beer style in bbl: Russian Imperial Stout
Type of Barrel: Woodford Reserve Bourbon Barrels
Original Gravity:     1.084
Final Gravity: 1.021
Alcohol: 8.5% ABV prior to barreling
11.3% ABV after barreling
Bitterness: 49 IBU


Description:

Pours a black color with a very light head that dissipates quickly. The nose is all bourbon and chocolate. The taste starts with a mix of spice with the bourbon and chocolate emerging and lingering through the finish. Saint Arnold house yeast adds a slight creaminess. Slightly sweeter and rounder than BB1 & 3. The light carbonation keeps the beer from becoming cloying, almost giving it a perception of lightness. A pleasant sipping beer with the bourbon both present but not overpowering as you work your way through the glass. Oddly easy to drink for a beer this strong.

The warmer this beer gets the better it tastes. We recommend enjoying between 55°F and 60°F.

Bishop's Barrel No. 6


Style: Imperial Pumpkin Stout Aged in Rum Barrels
Date Brewed: April 26, 2013
Date Racked: May 16, 2013
Date Bottled: February 6, 2014
Beer style in bbl: Pumpkinator
Type of Barrel: Appleton Estate 21-30 Year Rum Barrels
Original Gravity:     1.100
Final Gravity: 1.024
Alcohol: 10.4% ABV prior to barreling
13.0% ABV after barreling
Bitterness: 30 IBU


Description:

The base beer is Pumpkinator, our imperial pumpkin stout:

Let this beer warm to at least 50°. Pours a dark brown black with a small tan head. Smells like a pumpkin pie that somebody snuck some rum into. Taste begins with sweet malt, chocolate and spices then comes a warming rum finish. Pumpkin creates a pleasant body to this beer which holds up to the onslaught of flavors. Oddly balanced with the hops creating a crisp finish leaving the mouth wanting more. As it warms, all of the flavors become rounder and fuller.

The warmer this beer gets the better it tastes. We recommend enjoying between 55°F and 65°F.

Bishop's Barrel No. 5


Style: Bourbon Barrel Wee Heavy Scotch Ale
Date Brewed: December 12, 2012
Date Racked: January 16, 2013
Date Bottled: October 25, 2013
Beer style in bbl: Wee Heavy Scotch Ale
Type of Barrel: Old Forester bourbon barrels
Original Gravity:     1.083
Final Gravity: 1.020
Alcohol: 9.0% ABV prior to barreling
12.0% ABV after barreling
Bitterness: 19 IBU


Description:

The base beer is Divine Reserve No. 4, brewer Vince Mandeville’s Wee Heavy recipe that won the gold medal at the 2008 World Beer Cup in Strong Scotch Ale category. Here are his tasting notes:

The flavors and aromas of the base beer are true to the Divine Reserve No. 4. It is filled with caramel, toffee, dried figs, cocoa and a slight peatiness. Where it deviates is with the roundness of flavors the bourbon barrel contributes. Vanilla, cinnamon and touch of rich earthy pipe tobacco mix with an alcohol warmth that adds to the rich creaminess. The great thing about this beer is that the barrel aging adds to the whole without taking away the character of the original.

The warmer this beer gets the better it tastes. We recommend enjoying between 55°F and 60°F.

Bishop's Barrel No. 4


Style: Bourbon Barrel Weizenbock with Cocoa Nibs
Date Brewed: August 14, 2012
Date Racked: September 16, 2012
Date Bottled: July 26, 2013
Beer style in bbl: Weizenbock
Type of Barrel: Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels
Original Gravity:     1.073
Final Gravity: 1.013
Alcohol: 7.9% ABV prior to barreling
9.9% ABV after barreling


Description:

Pours a dark brown color with a very light head. The nose is bourbon, chocolate and banana. The taste starts with bourbon and a rich maltiness. Chocolate and a light banana flavor emerges, reminiscent of a banana split made with chocolate ice cream. We brewed the base weizenbock again and blended 10% fresh beer in with the barrel aged beer as much of the weizen yeast character had greatly diminished in the barrels.

The warmer this beer gets the better it tastes. We recommend enjoying between 55°F and 60°F.

Bishop's Barrel No. 3


Style: Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout
Date Brewed: April 5, 2012
Date Racked: April 24, 2012
Date Bottled: April 25, 2013
Beer style in bbl: Russian Imperial Stout
Type of Barrel: Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels
No. of Barrels 44
Cases Made: 894 (cases of 12 oz bottles)
Kegs Made: 0
Original Gravity:     1.084
Final Gravity: 1.019
Alcohol: 8.7% ABV prior to barreling
11.5% ABV after barreling
Bitterness: 49 IBU


Description:

Pours a black color with a very light head that dissipates quickly. The nose is all bourbon and chocolate. The taste starts with a mix of spice with the bourbon and chocolate emerging and lingering through the finish. Saint Arnold house yeast adds a slight creaminess. The light carbonation keeps the beer from becoming cloying, almost giving it a perception of lightness. A pleasant sipping beer with the bourbon both present but not overpowering as you work your way through the glass. Oddly easy to drink for a beer this strong.

The warmer this beer gets the better it tastes. We recommend enjoying between 55°F and 60°F.

Bishop's Barrel No. 2


Style: Old Ale in Chardonnay Barrels with Cherries
Date Brewed: November 2, 2011
Date Racked: December 3, 2011
Date Bottled: February 8, 2013
Beer style in bbl: Old Ale
Type of Barrel: Saintsbury Chardonnay barrels
No. of Barrels 54
Cases Made: 1,146 (cases of 12 oz bottles)
Kegs Made: 0
Original Gravity:     1.066
Final Gravity: 1.012
Alcohol: 7.8% ABV (after barrel aging)
Bitterness: 13 IBU (it lost 8 IBU during aging)


Description:

This is a beer for people who like their beers a little funkier, while not being a completely wild beer. The Chardonnay barrels came from Saintsbury, our founder Brock's cousin's winery in Napa, California where they ferment the Chardonnay in the barrels. On December 3, 2011, we filled the barrels with our Christmas Ale. We then added sour cherries to the barrels and put them up in our barrel room where they rested, fermented, aged and developed for the next 14 months.

Once it was time to move the 54 barrels of beer downstairs for packaging, we noticed that two barrels had a distinct Brettanomyces (wild yeast) character and two barrels had a sour lactic bacteria character. While on their own, these barrels didn't have the flavors we were after, before dumping them we did a test blend with the rest of the barrels and discovered that the resulting blend was better than any of the barrels on their own. So they were blended in!

Here is our description of the beer: The nose is a combination of sour cherry, oaked chardonnay and a wild yeast character. The taste has cherry and light malt up front, chardonnay in the middle and finishes dry with a distinct tartness. The cherry throughout is a light note, never dominating.

The warmer this beer gets the better it tastes. We recommend enjoying between 45°F and 55°F.

Bishop's Barrel No. 1


Style: Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout
Date Brewed: December 29, 2011
Date Racked: January 8, 2012
Date Bottled: October 26, 2012
Beer style in bbl: Russian Imperial Stout
Type of Barrel: Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels
No. of Barrels 48
Cases Made: 948 (cases of 12 oz bottles)
Kegs Made: 0
Original Gravity:     1.084
Final Gravity: 1.015
Alcohol: 9.1% ABV prior to barreling
12% ABV after barreling
Bitterness: 49 IBU


Description:

Pours a black color with a very light head that dissipates quickly. The nose is all bourbon and chocolate. The taste starts with a mix of spice with the bourbon and chocolate emerging and lingering through the finish. The light carbonation keeps the beer from becoming cloying, almost giving it a perception of lightness. A pleasant sipping beer with the bourbon both present but not overpowering as you work your way through the glass. Oddly easy to drink for a beer this strong.

The warmer this beer gets the better it tastes. We recommend enjoying between 55°F and 60°F.