No Corporate Beer Reviews: Bourbon Barrel-Aged Troegenator

Beer: Bourbon Barrel-Aged Troegenator
Brewery: Tröegs Independent Brewing (Hershey, PA)
Style: Bock – Doppelbock
10.8% ABV / 25 IBU

Everyone’s got a beer they return to for comfort and inebriation, an old familiar friend. The Tröegs Troegenator is a doppelbock that I will happily quaff when available. I’m not even all that gaga about doppelbocks, but when Troegenator lands in my belly, I just know: I’ll be back. It’s basically a perfect beer—it pairs exceptionally well with food and it’s on the higher end of the mid-range ABV spectrum, so it offers a little kick. It’s fantastic to cook with, too—try subbing for a Belgian in steamed mussels or swapping out the porter or stout in denser cakes.

As a general rule of thumb, I would caution breweries to recognize when they’ve got an amazing thing and just ride that lightning bolt. So, I was skeptical to say the least when I caught wind of the Tröegs “Splinter Series,” the brewery’s attempts to barrel age, blend, and ferment some of its most beloved beers, like the Christmas seasonal Mad Elf, some high octane stouts, and, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, Troegenator. But it is possible to take something perfect and improve upon it.

Bourbon Barrel-Aged Troegenator—as its name implies—represents six months of aging in oak bourbon barrels. I drank this on back-to-back evenings with the widely-acclaimed (and Chris Dodge-endorsed) Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout. I liked that one fine but actually found it to be overwhelmingly boozy. The Bourbon Barrel-Aged Troegenator has a relatively long aging process but doesn’t emerge pickled in that bourbon flavor. The effect is actually fairly subtle, and the barrels impart a much more muted bourbon flavor that meshes well with the typical caramel notes of the doppelbock. This one won’t burn your tongue like a lot of barrel-aged beers, but the alcohol really sneaks up on you, so just drink responsibly and chill out, dickwads.

More more info, check out Tröegs here.