I think we can all agree at this point – there’s no such thing as “too soon” when it comes to quality craft beer. Christmas beer in July? Sounds good to me. Oktoberfest in Winter? Why should something so awesome only come once a year? Pumpkin beer in April? Sold. Saint Arnold Bishop’s Barrel No. 9 has arrived in pubs and restaurants, offering a taste reminiscent of fall. Saint Arnold Brewing Co. released the latest edition of its small batch series of barrel-aged beers. Saint Arnold Bishop’s Barrel No. 9 is an imperial pumpkin stout aged for seven months in Woodford Reserve and Willett Bourbon Barrels in the brewery’s climate controlled Barrel Room.
“We specifically chose these barrels for BB9 to complement the characteristics of the beer and to add another layer of flavor from the wood,” said Saint Arnold Founder/Brewer Brock Wagner. “It has been two and a half years since we bottled our first Bishop’s Barrel beer and we are enjoying the creative freedom that this series gives us. We love that the beer community gets as excited about these releases as we do.”
The base beer of Saint Arnold Bishop’s Barrel No. 9 is Saint Arnold Pumpkinator. Last year, Pumpkinator, a former Divine Reserve that is now brewed seasonally, was aged in rum barrels to create Saint Arnold Bishop’s Barrel No. 6. That beer earned a “World Class” rating from Beer Advocate.
As a medium-full body beer with a soft mouthfeel, Saint Arnold Bishop’s Barrel No. 9 pours a dark brown to black color with a tan head. The nose is pumpkin spice up front with oak, bourbon, vanilla and dark fruit in the background. The taste starts with sweet chocolate and pumpkin spice up front and finishes with a bit of alcohol heat and spices. More info can be found on the Saint Arnold website.