Silver City Brewery of Bremerton, Washington began operations in 1996 and is one of the most award-winning breweries in the State. Old Scrooge Christmas Ale is an English Barleywine. In the past, I’ve aged Old Scrooge and love how it transforms over time. Silver City also makes a Bourbon Barrel-Aged Old Scrooge Christmas Ale. I’m reviewing a 2014 bottle of Old Scrooge and a 2013 of the barrel-aged.
The elves and I warmed bottles to 55 degree fahrenheit for our tasting. Old Scrooge Christmas Ale pours clear reddish amber with a cream head of foam that goes away completely after a few seconds. The aroma is caramel malts, cherries, toffee, apricots, semi-sweet chocolate, and earthy, grassiness from the hops. The flavor is rich caramel malts, bing cherries, cinnamon, dried apricots, and spicy bitterness from Columbus and Willamette hops. It’s 60 IBU and balanced by Northwest Pale, British Pale, Caramel, and Munich malts. The mouthfeel is really smooth and silky with medium carbonation. 8.5% ABV.
Bourbon Barrel-Aged Old Scrooge Christmas Ale pours lightly clearer, darker, and brighter red than the regular Old Scrooge. The aroma is huge bourbon notes with toffee, sweet chocolate, dried figs, slightly musty, and a little bit of alcohol. It tastes is delicious and well-balanced. It’s filled with caramel, toffee, mellow nuttiness, sweet rich cherries, with a bourbon and vanilla finish. It’s a smooth 9% ABV, a half point higher than it’s non-barrel aged brother.
Going back to the regular Old Scrooge, the earthy, grassy hops stand out. The spice and slightly tart cherry notes are stronger. The Bourbon Barrel-Aged Old Scrooge is sweeter, less tart, the caramel tends toward toffee with richer, smokier flavor. Both are beautiful, bold, well-balance, delicious beers. Can you tell that I liked these two? You will too!
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