San Jose’s Hermitage Brewing Company will release two special seasonal beers – Bourbon Barrel Aged Ryetopia and Ale of the Hermit – on Wed., Nov. 11 from 4pm-9pm at their Tap Room on 1627 South First Street.
Ryetopia is a rye barley wine brewed with malted and crystal rye and aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels. Ale of the Hermit is a pre-Prohibition style IPA dry hopped with oak chips.
Hermitage will also have on hand the 2013 version of Bourbon Barrel Aged Ryetopia – the first ever release from their barrel-aging program. Food truck Hoshi On the Go will provide Japanese food favorites, while Sweetdragon Baking Company offers up brittle and other treats made from these two beers.
Below is the up-to-date brewer’s notes on the Bourbon Barrel Aged Ryetopia from head brewer Greg Filippi, followed by previous notes on the Ale of the Hermit.
Bourbon Barrel Aged Ryetopia
Ryetopia is a big, bold, American-style barley wine. The base beer is brewed using about 20% rye malt, imparting a characteristic rye spiciness to the malt profile. After primary fermentation in our steel fermenter, the beer was racked into freshly emptied bourbon barrels and tucked away in our barrel cellar for about one year. The beer mellows quite a bit in that time, smoothing out the “heat” from the 11.6% ABV but picking up huge amounts of American oak and bourbon deliciousness. The barrel is actually the star of the show with this release, adding such flavors as vanilla, caramel, tannic oak, and of course bourbon. Lots of yummy bourbon. The beer is a heater, and the warming quality is immediately apparent. A perfect sipper for a brutal San Jose winter day.
Ale of the Hermit
Ale of the Hermit is a curious brew shrouded in mystery. Based on an ancient recipe, and using brewing methods long forgotten by most modern brewers, the Hermit defies simple style classification. The beer greets your palate with a solid malt body of sweet caramel, balanced by an assertive hop bitterness. We then round out the flavor using traditional American hop varieties that contribute a beautiful quality of wild flowers and delicate fruit. Those delicious hop flavors mingle on the tongue with the vanilla and tannic nuances of American oak. The beer finishes dry, but the deliciousness of the hops and oak linger a bit leaving you longing for another sip.
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