Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sun King Brewery King's Reserve Afternoon Delight Review

A yes the Sun King King's Reserve Series; I kind of have a love-hate relationship with these beers. Why? Well let's start with the bad. 
Hate- In my opinion the releases are expensive ($6- $25 per 16oz can) and the beers don't always justify the price. They can also be very hard to acquire as they're brewery or event only releases that are packaged in limited quantities. Meaning that unless you're on top of the release you'll miss out.
Love- Yes, I think there have been a couple duds, but by and large the releases are high-quality, fun, and tasty beers. Maybe more importantly, some of those "hate" items are also good signs that Indy does have a growing craft beer scene. 1) A local brewer is packaging and releasing a limited one-off beer (presumably) on a semi-regular basis. 2) That release disappears within hours of its availability. 3) Those releases are highly sought after outside of Indiana. (Just yesterday I got a request from a California stranger for Pappy Van Muckle).
In general the King's Reserve concept and beers are great. I think the series will continue to improve as Sun King rolls out more offerings on a regular basis. Huh? Oh right I'm supposed to be doing a beer review here. 

The latest release in the KR series was their GABF Gold Winner, Afternoon Delight- a Bourbon Barrel Aged Dopplebock (SK's Dominator Dopplebock to be exact) clocking in at 8%.

Now I'm not the biggest fan of dopplebocks, but I ran down there and bought some before heading off to Tomlinson Tap Room, Flat 12, and La Margarita for some beer adventures with friends (The Big Guy remembers this day fondly, well, some of it). 

The pour from the 16oz can yields a dark reddish-brown liquid with a 2-finger beige head that clings to the edges in wispy threads throughout consumption. The smell is all bourbon barrels and sweetness, with notes of vanilla, oak, grain alcohol, caramel, and dark sugars. I hope you like bourbon, because up front the taste is all bourbon. Again, there are bourbon notes of vanilla, oak, toffee, and grain spirits. With the swallow things change a bit as caramel, dark fruits, spicy hops show up, but at the end the booze comes back into play. As bourbon barrel beers go this is a bit thin, but keep in mind that this is a dopplebock (a strong German lager) and not your run-of-the-mill barrel aged imperial stout. Not a lot of carbonation, but what's there is a bit fizzy. Finishes dry and warming, but after awhile leaves a sticky residue. 

This is essentially a bourbon bomb, which isn't necessarily a bad thing if you're a bourbon fan like myself. You get all those wonderful confectioner's notes you get with some bourbons, but with a nice mellow and malty finish. Again, this is one of those beers that can be hard to rate because you can't exactly go to your local liquor outpost and pick it up… but if you know someone who has a can of this… do what you have to get it from them 4.5/5

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