August 2019 Archives

Cycle Roadtrip - Fresh Blacktop

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Today we tackle another of Cycle's trademark barrel-aged stouts, a "Vanilla Barrel Aged Imperial Stout on Vanilla Beans" that's part of their annual Roadtrip Series. Not sure what constitutes the roadtrip, but the five beers in the series depict what appears to be a twisting and winding road on their labels and would you look at that?

Cycle Roadtrip Set, it spells Cycle!

I see what they did there. I am, of course, only covering the first one and it's pretty straightforward, but others in the series add in other ingredients like cacao nibs, cinnamon, peppers, maple barrels, coffee, almonds, and coconut. I suspect my inner curmudgeon would prefer the simplest of these (plus, that guy loves vanilla), but I've had enough of Cycle's beers to know that they're probably all great. Let's burn some rubber on this Fresh Blacktop though:

Cycle Roadtrip 2018 Fresh Blacktop

Cycle Roadtrip 2018 Fresh Blacktop - Pours black as night with just a bare cap of light brown head that quickly dissipates. Smells great, tons of vanilla, caramel, a little bourbon and oak, but the vanilla is the true star. Taste starts with rich caramel, that vanilla kicks in, and a light bourbon and oak character hits towards the finish, which isn't as boozy as you'd expect. Mouthfeel is full bodied, rich, and chewy, moderate but appropriate carbonation, a little booze. Overall, it's fantastic. A-

Beer Nerd Details: 11% ABV bottled (22 ounce bomber). Drank out of a snifter on 5/31/19. Vintage: 2018.

I also shared the most recent iteration of Cycle's Monday (part of their Weekday series), which seems very similar to this beer, but also incorporating honey and aged in maple bourbon barrels (it was pretty great stuff, perhaps a little less focused on the vanilla). I expect we'll see more from Cycle on these pages soon enough (though nothing in the direct pipeline)...

Alright, no dumb, intentionally misleading references for this beer (unlike some other Fremont offerings I've written up), but it's worth noting that the Abominable Snowman on the label is wearing a coconut bra, which is pretty fabulous.

As per usual, Fremont blends vintages of aged beer, this time 9, 12, and 24-months old bourbon barrel aged B-Bomb, then they added toasted coconut. Coconut can be a tricky ingredient. At its worst, it can make a beer taste/smell like sun tan lotion. But at its best, it can transform the beer into something akin to liquid Samoa cookies (or Liquid Caramel deLights, depending on which Girl Scout bakery region you live in). I'm happy to report that this is the latter:

Fremont Barrel Aged B-Bomb Coconut Edition

Fremont Barrel Aged B-Bomb Coconut Edition - Pours a dark brown color with a finger of light tan head. Smells great, tons of toasted coconut, some boozy bourbon, oak, and vanilla aromas, but the coconut is most prominent. Taste is very sweet, tons of toasted coconut, some caramel, and plenty of boozy bourbon, oak, and vanilla. It's kinda like a liquid Samoa cookie. Mouthfeel is rich and full bodied, well carbonated, plenty of booze. Overall, a fantastic variant and nice change of pace, but my dumb-dumb instincts always prefer the base. A-

Beer Nerd Details: 14% ABV bottled (22 ounce bomber). Drank out of a snifter glass on 5/24/19. Vintage 2018.

That basically covers my spin through the Fremont KDS and B-Bomb variants. I didn't post about Coffee KDS or Coffee Cinnamon B-Bomb because of my general ambivalence towards coffee, but I did share both with friends and they were both pretty damn good (especially Coffee Dark Star, which was fantastic) and received well. In general, though, my feeling is that the plain ol' KDS and B-Bomb are the best. I've got one more Fremont beer in the pipeline, and a couple others that I would love to get ahold of, so you haven't seen the last of these folks on these pages. Stay tuned...

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Hi, my name is Mark, and I like beer.

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This page is an archive of entries from August 2019 listed from newest to oldest.

July 2019 is the previous archive.

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