Karl Strauss Brewing Company is introducing a new line-up of 22 oz. bombers dubbed internally as the Cask Series. The first beer to debut in this series is a bourbon barrel-aged version of Wreck Alley Imperial Stout. The company has been at the forefront of cask-conditioned ales in San Diego and hosts weekly cask tappings at each of its brewery restaurants. The cask program, Karl Strauss says, has allowed the brewers to flex their creativity and create truly unique, one-time-only offerings. The new cask-inspired series was born out of demand from customers to bottle favorite versions of beers that first debuted on cask.
“The cask program offers us the ability to experiment with flavor profiles and ingredients on a weekly basis,” says Paul Segura, brewmaster, Karl Strauss Brewing Company. “We’ve come up with some really innovative recipes like Big Barrel with fresh green chilies, Red Trolley with Grand Marnier orange peels, and several versions of oaked Wreck Alley. It’s fun to push the envelope and see fans come out for their favorites each week.” The bottled Cask Series will capture the pioneering spirit of the weekly cask program and offer fans across the state the chance to try these small-batch offerings.
Batch #1 in the cask-inspired series is an unblended barrel-aged Wreck Alley Imperial Stout. Wreck Alley was introduced to Karl’s Imperial Collection last year and instantly became a fan favorite. This rich imperial stout is brewed with cold-steeped, locally roasted Ethiopian coffee from Bird Rock Roasters and Peruvian cocoa nibs from TCHO Chocolate Company in San Francisco. Wreck Alley’s creamy mouthfeel and bold coffee flavors make it an excellent choice for cask conditioning with bourbon-soaked oak chips. The popularity of the oaked Wreck Alley casks compelled the brewers to purchase more than 50 Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels to recreate the flavor profiles of this beer on a larger scale.
This limited-edition recipe matured in American oak barrels for three months. The final result is a complex imperial stout with pronounced vanilla, espresso, and toasted oak with hints of bourbon and dark chocolate. Only 400 cases of Batch #1 will be available across California in March.