A Tasting of Pipeworks

December 23 2014 - 1:00 PM
If Jesus “The Jesus” Quintana (John Turturro) saw the name of this beer he would make me pour it down the drain, point at me with his left index finger, and look me in the eyes while he tells me, “Nobody f**ks with The Jesus”.  All of that would be a shame because this is a well-balanced beer.

A barrel-aged beer from Pipeworks aptly named, “Tales from the Oak” series, “Over the Line’s” base is Pipeworks’ “Hey, Careful Man, There’s a Beverage Here!”, an Imperial Stout brewed with lactose sugar, cacao, cold-press coffee, and vanilla beans. From there they aged it in Heaven Hills Bourbon barrels. Heaven Hills bourbon has a sugar-caramel flavor with a little spice which complements the earthy and sweet characteristics of this beer.

From one Big Lebowski reference to the next, it is then time to pour it in the glass and sip. The color is mahogany to deep brown with a thin, tan head that dissipates quickly. Vanilla is the biggest aroma mostly to due with the vanilla beans and partly because of the vanilla characteristics of a bourbon barrel. It finishes with a mixture of bourbon, coffee, and baking spices. The palate mirrors the aroma almost exactly with dark chocolate, maybe mocha, notes coming into the fold and then being rounded out by a warming alcohol sensation.

This medium-bodied beer is a well-executed product that nicely marries a whole host of ingredients together, which is a feat by itself. Though the beer is on the sweeter side, with no roasted notes or creamy texture, the choice of barrels was a perfect fit and the bourbon flavor was not overpowering. “Over the Line” is an enjoyable beer that you can drink right now, which is something one doesn’t see too often from imperial stouts aged in barrels.