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Beer of the Week: Mission Dark Seas Bourbon Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout

Revived San Diego brand releases first oak-aged bottled brew

Place

Mission Brewery

1441 L Street, San Diego

Since reviving a historic brand six years ago, the folks behind the current iteration of Mission Brewery (1441 L Street, East Village) have been slow to roll out new beers. This isn’t a knock on them, but their line-up falls into territory most beer geeks would label “standard.” But recently, this methodically advancing brewing company took a big step forward, releasing its first barrel-aged beer, a version of its Dark Seas Russian imperial stout that spent 20 months in Four Roses Bourbon whiskey barrels before being siphoned into 22-ounce bottles stylishly sealed with maroon wax.

Dark Seas is my favorite of Mission’s offerings, and this softer-yet-harder edition represents a wise move that diversifies the brewery’s portfolio while playing off its strengths. The beer is 11% ABV, but not so alcoholic that notes of malt-borne chocolate and wood-borne vanilla don’t come through. As expected, trademark whiskey overtones dominate, but cellaring the beer down for a year or two will likely yield a more leveled-out symphony of harmonious flavors. Bottles of this limited edition beer are currently available at Mission’s tasting room, located across the street from PETCO Park’s designated tailgate lot. Several cases have also been distributed to craft beer-focused bottle shops.

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Place

Mission Brewery

1441 L Street, San Diego

Since reviving a historic brand six years ago, the folks behind the current iteration of Mission Brewery (1441 L Street, East Village) have been slow to roll out new beers. This isn’t a knock on them, but their line-up falls into territory most beer geeks would label “standard.” But recently, this methodically advancing brewing company took a big step forward, releasing its first barrel-aged beer, a version of its Dark Seas Russian imperial stout that spent 20 months in Four Roses Bourbon whiskey barrels before being siphoned into 22-ounce bottles stylishly sealed with maroon wax.

Dark Seas is my favorite of Mission’s offerings, and this softer-yet-harder edition represents a wise move that diversifies the brewery’s portfolio while playing off its strengths. The beer is 11% ABV, but not so alcoholic that notes of malt-borne chocolate and wood-borne vanilla don’t come through. As expected, trademark whiskey overtones dominate, but cellaring the beer down for a year or two will likely yield a more leveled-out symphony of harmonious flavors. Bottles of this limited edition beer are currently available at Mission’s tasting room, located across the street from PETCO Park’s designated tailgate lot. Several cases have also been distributed to craft beer-focused bottle shops.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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