Ever seen a room full of beer geeks fight to the ale for a limited release bottle? The Bruery will release Black Tuesday, an Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels for more than a year, on Tuesday, October 27. Trust us, you won't want to miss it. Like Black Tuesday's namesake Depression-era stock market crash on October 29, 1928, the Placentia brewery is planning for utter chaos, and not because of the beer's whopping 19.5% alcohol content. Word on the street is fans from hundreds of miles away are planning to make the drive (Placentia is just east of Fullerton). "It's sort of my Holy Grail of high-alcohol beers," says brewer-owner Patrick Rue.
Rue's growler-toting followers appear to agree. The maple syrup-spiked stout already ranks 5th on Beer Advocate's Top Beers on Planet Earth consumer rankings, and 31st on RateBeer's Top 50 list -- and that's before the beer has been crowned with a golden bottle cap (the brewery is waiting until the final hours to bottle in order to extract most flavor from the barrels). Most reviewers swigged from the limited draft releases at the brewery or at last month's Great American Beer Festival in Denver, where Rue and crew were pulling pints. "I could sniff this stuff for hours," says one reviewer on RateBeer. That alone should be enough to justify the drive.
More from Patrick Rue on Black Tuesday after the jump...
Squid Ink: This is a crazy beer. Explain.
Patrick Rue: It's one of the first 5 batches we ever made at the brewery, back in April 2008. We knew from the start a big Imperial Stout was something we wanted to make. It's just now ready to bottle.
SI: It's definitely big - 19.5% alcohol.
PR: We were actually trying to go over 20% and almost got there.
SI: How, and why, did you make a beer with that much alcohol?
PR: It's kind of like putting a beer on life support, you have to constantly feed it oxygen. We checked on it three times a day when it was fermenting. The original beer is all malt, but when it goes into the fermentor we add maple syrup and different types of sugar for more flavor. You also have to feed it nutrients daily to keep it fermenting, depending on how its health is.
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SI: Why age the beer in bourbon barrels?
PR: That's where it gets the vanilla, caramel, and coconut flavors. And it needs that year or so to help smooth out the alcohol.
The Bruery: 715 Dunn Way, Placentia, (714) 996-6258. Black Tuesday will be released on October 27. No admittance without a ticket (3 bottles max per person). Ticket distribution begins at 5:30 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. and close at 10 p.m. $30 for a 750ml bottle; tasting pints of Black Tuesday will also be served on tap that evening.