Saint Arnold Brewing Co. (www.saintarnold.com), the oldest craft brewery in Texas, is celebrating its 21st anniversary this week with the release of Saint Arnold Bishop’s Barrel No. 10. The Saint Arnold Bishop’s Barrel series involves aging small batch beers in barrels chosen to enhance and complement the characteristics of the underlying beers. The base beer for Bishop’s Barrel No. 10 is a barleywine released in 2014 as Saint Arnold 20th Anniversary Ale. It was aged in Woodford Reserve Bourbon Barrels for nearly a year in the brewery’s climate controlled Barrel Room.
Each beer within the series is produced in small quantities and is only available in pubs and restaurants throughout Texas and Louisiana in 12 ounce bottles and on draft.
Saint Arnold Bishop’s Barrel No. 10 pours a deep ruby color with a lingering khaki colored head. The aroma is caramel, bourbon and vanilla with slight wood and dark cherry notes. The taste is dark fruit with bourbon notes and lots of toffee sweetness that lingers without being cloying. Bishop’s Barrel No. 10 has a full body with soft carbonation. Saint Arnold brewed the base beer with Maris Otter, pale two row, Munich and Chocolate malted barley. It features Centennial and Cascade hops, with a dry hopping of Simcoe.
Currently, Saint Arnold’s 2,000 square foot barrel room is aging old ales and imperial IPAs in its barrel room for future Bishop’s Barrel releases. Located on the northern edge of downtown Houston, Saint Arnold’s barrel room accommodates more than 200 barrels from California and Kentucky. Saint Arnold uses each barrel once before it is retired.
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.
Date Brewed: May 6, 2014
Date Racked: May 29, 2014
Date Bottled: May 28, 2015
Type of Barrel: Woodford Reserve Bourbon Barrels
Original Gravity: 1.114
Final Gravity: 1.020
Alcohol: 11.2 percent ABV prior to barreling
12.7 percent ABV after barreling
Bitterness: 32 IBU
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