Beer Reviews

Double Oaked Mastodon

Reviews are done by Jim Matt, our Chief Science Officer, who is also a veteran FoBAB judge, GABF judge, and BJCP Master judge.

A mighty, toothsome behemoth, this Belgian-style Dark Strong Ale honed its tusks for twelve months in Bourbon barrels and another four in red wine barrels. Double Oaked Mastodon (12.5%) bellows with complexities of dark fruit, milk chocolate, vanilla and wood.

Malts: Pilsner, Belgian Abbey, Belgian Candi Syrup, Belgian Aromatic

Hops: Bravo, Styrian Goldings

DO Mastodon comes out of our barrel aged beer program. Talk about the genesis and evolution of that program.

When we first got started, we were focused on getting beer out the door. As the seasons changed and we made more beer, strong beers started to emerge from the portfolio. Once this happened, we started to brainstorm about acquiring barrels in which to age those strong(er) beers.

DO Mastodon spends time in bourbon and wine barrels. Talk about the fabulous action that occurs while that beer is hibernating.

The beer (a Belgian Dark Strong Ale) initially goes into a bourbon barrel, where it resides for ten months. In that barrel, the beer picks up some wood and bourbon notes, and some light pleasant oxidation character takes place. The beer is then transferred to a red wine barrel, where it resides for twelve weeks. This puts the final finishing touches on the beer, mellowing out the alcohol character and allowing all of the flavors to blend harmoniously.

What are the notable characteristics of this beer?

Fruity, lots of dark fruit, esters, candi character.

What makes you want to drink this beer?

The fact that this is a phenomenal beer from the get-go as a Belgian Dark Strong, it only made sense to barrel age it to pull out some of that extra special character. Plus, it is a Silver medal winner at FoBAB (Festival of Barrel Aged Beer) in 2017!

What are some non-Rhinegeist barrel aged beers that you dig?

Bourbon County Stout, Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout, New Holland Dragon’s Milk.

Appearance: Dark copper in color with ruby highlights. Light haze. Medium low carbonation, moderate off white head with good retention.

Aroma: High complex malt aroma. Medium-high esters. Notes of plums, raisins, vanilla, oak, bourbon. No hop aroma.

Taste: High malt flavor, plums, prunes, raisins, burnt sugar. Medium esters (pear, banana, apple). Some secondary toffee notes emerge as the beer warms. Moderate notes of wood, vanilla and bourbon. Medium low bitterness, no hop flavor. Finish is slightly sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium full body, medium low carbonation, creamy, light alcohol warmth, very low astringency.

Overall: An enjoyable barrel aged Belgian Dark Strong that is exemplified by its balance and richness.

What foods would pair well with Double Oaked Mastodon?

Flourless Chocolate Cake or Beef Burgundy.

Ideal glassware for Double Oaked Mastodon

Small (10 oz) snifter glass.