Mac & Jack’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Cascadian Dark Ale Review

Mac & Jack’s Brewing Company has bottled their first beer. Since 1994, Mac & Jack’s has been a favorite tap-only beer in the Pacific Northwest. Their African Amber is the quintessential unfiltered Amber, and sales prove it. Their first beer to be released in bottles, however, is Bourbon Barrel Aged Cascadian Dark Ale. Here’s my review of the 2015 vintage.

Bourbon Barrel Aged Cascadian Dark Ale pours dark brown with red tinges at the top of the glass. The half-finger of foam settles to a lace. The aroma is bourbon, oak, sweet toasted malts, and some citrus from the hops. On tasting, bourbon, vanilla, oak, and cooked cocoa come through. It’s not as sweet as I expected from the nose. The generous portions of Yakima Valley hops show up on the finish with some bitterness on the throat but mostly add floral notes. It’s not as bitter as other Cascadian Dark Ales I’ve tasted.

The mouthfeel is thin but not weak, with medium carbonation and body. I can’t find the ABV or IBU on the bottle or at Mac & Jack’s website. My guess would be mid-7% ABV.

This unique new style of beer was born in the Northwest. The Cascade Mountains run North to South from British Columbia, Canada through Washington and Oregon. The style called Cascadian Dark Ale is a dark, malty ale hopped up like a West Coast IPA.

This is a very limited release. I’m glad to have found a bottle.

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    While it's difficult to picture Santa as a young man, he was once. He met the future Mrs. Claus one snowy night when she offered him a winter ale that she brewed herself. It was love at first sight - for both the Mrs. and her winter ales. With Santa's growing fame, his favorite brews became named after his favorite day - Christmas. Santa now travels the world each year to spread the joy that began in a stable in Bethlehem two millennia ago.

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