REALLY Long Lost Friend (11.9% ABV) is our Belgian strong ale (Long Lost Friend) aged for many, many months in a bourbon barrel. Long Lost Friend clocked in at 8.6% ABV, so the residual bourbon in the barrel walls added an additional 3.3% to the ABV of this barrel-aged version!
REALLY Long Lost Friend has a similar taste profile of the base beer, but many of the flavors have been amplified – specifically the notes of toffee, caramel, and fig. The barrel also added a very nice backdrop of bourbon. The bourbon flavor is not overpowering, but it’s not subtle either – it adds a really exciting dimension to this beer. Finally, it seems as if the peppery Belgian spice flavor in the base beer has been really smoothed out. It’s still present, but it plays a supporting role to the starring flavors of toffee and caramel.
Here are our tasting notes…
Color- This beer is a deep, dark brown color with red undertones and a light mocha colored head.
Aroma- Sweet Belgian candy, toffee, dark caramel, fig, with a touch of herbal spice.
Flavor and Body- This beer is incredibly smooth for being very close to 12% ABV. When you take sip, a myriad of flavors will delight your palate – notably caramel, molasses, toffee, light bourbon, some oak, and light Belgian spice – finishing with pleasant, warming notes of alcohol. The body is on the heavier side, and the beer will definitely coat your tongue as you take a sip.
Pairing – While this beer is meant to be sipped by a fire while enjoying a good book or some time with family, it also can be paired with food! It would hold up well to ribs or braised meats, duck, stinky cheeses, custardy desserts, and shortbread.