That’s right, the classic imperial stout that began our exploration into aging in bourbon barrels is making a return. Rhino suit was one of the first spirits aged beer we released here at Alesong back in 2016, and it encouraged the production of multiple variants of the same style — Vanilla Rhino Suit, Mocha Rhino Suit and the latest Señor Rhino were all inspired by that initial bourbon barrel-aged stout.
This quarter, we thought it best to revisit where it all started and bring back an original. Why would we go back to the classic Rhino Suit you may ask? Because Imperial Milk Stouts aged in Bourbon barrels are delicious! We always say that we don’t typically brew the same beer twice, and even with the same name that still holds true. Every barrel we use has a unique flavor profile. Little differences in aging environment, grain bills and maturation time have some effect on everything we make. So, although we’re starting with the same classic beer, this Rhino Suit is sure to have a different tailored fit than its predecessor.
This beer started with our typical process— we brewed the imperial milk stout with the addition of lactose (a sugar non-fermentable by yeast) which results in a rich and creamy beer. We then threw it in freshly emptied Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels to mature for eight months. During maturation, the beer picked up notes of coconut and velvety vanilla from the barrel’s prior bourbon hold. These notes layered nicely over the chocolatey malt flavors of the base stout.
The 2018 rendition of this beer is oh so drinkable as the weather changes with the season, so grab a bottle for your holiday dinners, and enjoy with dessert or on its own. Let your rhino suit keep you warm this fall, and make sure to join our Blender’s Circle so you never miss out on what’s coming next!