Guinness Releases Bulleit Bourbon Barrel-Aged Stout - The Whiskey Wash

Guinness Releases Bulleit Bourbon Barrel-Aged Stout

By Katelyn Best / December 17, 2018

Guinness has announced a limited-edition stout aged in Bulleit bourbon barrels, available in the US through the end of the year. The Dublin-brewed stout spent eight months in ex-Bulleit barrels at the Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House in Baltimore, which Guinness opened earlier this year with the aim of tapping into the booming craft beer scene here in the States.

“For the better part of 200 years, all Guinness – no matter which beer or where in the world – was stored, and shipped in barrels,” the company said in a prepared statement. “The new brewery intends to recapture the tradition of Guinness brewers maturing beer in wood barrels through its ongoing release of barrel-aged beers.”

Guinness Stout Aged in Bulleit Bourbon Barrels

Guinness Stout Aged in Bulleit Bourbon Barrels (image via Diageo)

Barrel-aging a beer, much like aging a whiskey in a used barrel, imparts some of the character of whatever the barrel previously held. When it comes to these bourbon barrels, the company notes that “the toffee and caramel notes from the barrels were sought out to help balance the bittersweet profile of the Antwerpen Stout” and highlights “full-bodied notes of bittersweet chocolate and aged fruits” in the final product.

“We’ve already started to think about what we’ll be experimenting with next, but we couldn’t be more pleased with our first go at using barrels from our friends at Bulleit,” said Sean Brennan, Senior Brewer at the Baltimore brewery. “This beer is something special, and one to be sipped slow and savored.”

The Bulleit connection is a natural one for the iconic Irish brewery, as both are Diageo brands; this release is the first barrel-aged beer out of the Baltimore brewery.

The beer is available on shelves in the US and on tap at the Open Gate Brewery through the end of the year. It has an ABV of 10% with 52 IBUs, and comes at a suggested retail price of $19.99 for a four-pack of 11.2-ounce bottles.