Monday, May 11, 2015

Schell's Stag Series: Cave Aged Barrel Aged Lager Review

Name: Schell's Stag Series: Cave Aged Barrel Aged Lager
Style: Black Lager
ABV: 7.7%

Let's go back in time all the way to......2013, when I first started this blog. One of my earlier reviews I did was Schell's Stag Series: Barleywine. It was a good beer but it was a little underwhelming for what it was.  Two years later, I have the newest in the Stag Series, which is a Cave-Aged, Barrel-Aged Lager.

For those of you wondering, back before we had refrigeration, beer would have to be fermented in cool places like cellars & even caves to protect it from warm temperatures. Schell's has taken this a step further and aged it in barrels as well. Hence why the name of this beer is so incredibly long.

Appearance - Initially it has a very dark, almost black, color. However when held up to a light, it takes on a clear dark crimson color, with no visible carbonation to speak of. The head is about one finger in width, khaki color, and has some pretty good retention. The lacing, however, is quite soapy and really has no retention to speak of.

Aroma - Roasted barley and vanilla notes in the front and some oakiness and chocolate malts in the back. Encompassing this is a distinct smoky and marshmallow aroma that compliments the nose wonderfully.

Taste - Vanilla, Chocolate Malts, Oak, Marshmallows, Roasted Barley, Caramel Sweetness, and Bitter Hops; All in that particular order. I'll be honest, there is a lot going on here in the flavor all at once and I'm finding it a bit hard to keep up.

Wow, I'm impressed with the sheer complexity of the overall flavor and it's from a lager of all styles! I know this is a limited release beer but I would love it if Schell's made this a seasonal release because I know I would be buying this every year. Until then, one can only savor while it lasts and hope it isn't just a one-off deal.

Schell's Stag Series: Cave Aged Barrel Aged Lager - 9.5/10

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