Last year, our friends at Cutwater Spirits in Miramar were kind enough to supply us with a couple freshly dumped barrels that previously housed their popular rum. We hadn’t aged a beer in rum barrels before, so we filled the barrels with a freshly brewed Imperial Stout, curious how the flavor would differ from the bourbon barrels we more commonly utilize.
When we sampled the barrels, we discovered a deeply layered, hefty stout with a silky, substantial texture. Flavors of fig, molasses, and lightly tannic oak exuded from the glass, with only a feint presence of warming alcohol.
To accentuate the flavors contributed by the barrel, we treated the beer with house-toasted coconut and Madagascar vanilla beans. The result is a deeply decadent dessert of a stout with flavors of toasted marshmallow and coconut complementing those contributed by the barrels.