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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Troegs Splinter Tasting - 1/23/11

It was time.  Yes, it was time to break open the Troegs Splinter beers that have been aging in the cellar for quite a while.  In case you've been living in a cave and don't know what I'm talking about, in late 2009, Troegs Brewing Company announced the release of two barrel-aged beers, Splinter Red and Splinter Gold.  The former is a barrel-aged version of their cult classic holiday ale, The Mad Elf, while the latter is a barrel-aged, Brettamomyces-infused version of their Tripel, originally released as Scratch #3 in their Scratch series of experimental beers.  Troegs followed up the simultaneous release of Red and Gold with Splinter Blue, a version of their year-round DreamWeaver Wheat aged on sour cherries, and, most recently, Splinter Black, a barrel-aged Imperial Stout. 

 The impetus for cracking these bottles open began with an email from a beer friend, Craig (BA corby112), who was getting back in touch after a six-month hiatus from Beer Advocate.com, during which time he had missed the release of Blue, and hadn't been able to get any Red or Gold.  Sounds like a good reason for a tasting, right?  So, a group of us gathered at my house on Sunday 1/23 (coinciding with the Steelers victory over the Jets... BOOYEAH!) to enjoy a vertical tasting of the Splinter beers, as well as a few other choice nuggets from Craig, Dan and Deuane's collections.

Here are some of the other beers we enjoyed at the tasting!

The big surprise for me was how good Red got with a bit of age under its belt.  So good, that is was my favorite of the four.  It really had time to mellow out after about 14 months in the cellar, and the bourbon and vanilla really came to the forefront.  I was definitely pleasantly surprised, especially since I'd enjoyed Gold and Blue more than Red when I originally tasted it.  Go figure! 

Word on the street is that the next Spliner beer slated for release is Splinter Tan, which is apparently going to be another version of Mad Elf, but this time with wild yeast added.  However, there has been no release date announced as of yet.

2 comments:

  1. They have two others in the wings that I know of as well. One is Scratch 34, their dubbel that wouldn't carbonate, sitting in barrels at the moment. No idea what's going to happen to that one. The other is another Splinter Gold where I believe they sprayed the barrels with a mad elf / brett mixture to start and so it's now darker than the previous version but apparently still tasty.

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  2. Oh also Craig was sending me texts during this tasting. Sounded pretty awesome and I believe his favorite was also the Red.

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