The Cougar football year keeps on rolling along, and so does Baxter’s beer of the game. After today, there are only three regular-season Baxter beers left. Time, it sure does fly by.
Baxter is especially happy this week because after 10 straight weeks that involved at least three days of work travel (with three weekend trips to Pullman interspersed), I am finally home for (most likely) the rest of the year. That means there will be more time for Baxter and I to sit and ponder what beers we should drink, and more time to craft the finest dog and beer videos on the internet.
To mark this special occasion of me being home for more than a couple nights at a time, Baxter wanted to bring out a world-class beer from the Pacific Northwest. That beer is the 2017 edition of Fremont Bourbon Barrel-Aged Dark Star. That’s BBADS for short or KDS for you hardcore beer nerds—an ode to the beer’s original “Kentucky Dark Star” name.
Fremont’s spirit barrel program is truly among the best in the country. In my travels, I have brought Fremont barrel-aged beers—including Bourbon Abominable, Rusty Nail and BBADs variants to unsuspecting beer nerds who are blown away by the quality of the beers. Seemingly every brewery ages beer in whiskey barrels these days, but Fremont stands above the rest.
What differentiates the top barrel-aged stouts from the others seems to be the blending methods. While some breweries might take a beer and age it in barrels for 12 months, then blend those barrels together to find the right fit, Fremont takes it a bit further. Fremont barrel-aged beers incorporate three different aged beers—one that has sat for 18 months in barrels, one that has sat for 12 months and one that has sat for six months.
This blending process gives another layer of complexity, and also often takes away some of the “heat” that you get from a fresh barrel-aged beer. Fremont’s stuff is usually good to go right away, especially in recent years iterations.
Like many special barrel-aged beers, BBADS does come and go fast. However, Fremont makes more of it than you’d think—and even though it was released last month you can still find it on shelves at beer stores and finer grocery stores. You may also find one of the variants—either coffee or “spice wars”—floating around, but don’t wait and expect to find it easily later. If you miss these, watch out for Fremont’s next big release, Bourbon Abominable (or B-Bomb), which typically comes out on Black Friday.
All-in-all, BBADS is one of the best barrel-aged stouts I have ever tasted, and we are fortunate to have Fremont’s barrel program right in our backyard.
That’s what Baxter and I will be having while the Cougs take on the Wildcats. What will you be drinking?