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  • Peter D. Bouloukos

"Barrels of Bond" Oak Aged Russian Imperial Stout

A bar is a place people should be able to go, get a little buzzed, enjoy a good conversation, perhaps slightly derange the senses with a delicious craft beer, nice wine and small plates. People go out to a bar or restaurant for the social experience, not the great food or great service so many establishments claim to provide.

Over the past thirty years a revolution has occurred in this country, and home brewing is a thriving subculture in American society. It blows me away when I enter an upstart bar on Main Street U.S.A. or in one of a billion strip malls and the drink menu includes seven different mass produced light beers! If you have to have them for some reason, carry the bottle, don’t waste a tap handle! With this, the menu perhaps has thirteen more selections failing to honor the craft beer culture men and women enjoy exploring. It kills me to see Guinness Stout or Heineken for that matter swallowing up taps.

Where Craft Beer is concerned, clearly you can enjoy something and not elevate it to a hobby or even professional-level obsession. For me, it is important to simply relax and enjoy a beer, any beer, and what you might prefer is the last thing anyone wants to or should be criticized for. But exploring the spectrum of craft beers today is certainly fun and of course can be life changing!

Craft Beer "Barrels of Bond" Imperial Stout Joe Logan Home Brewing

A few years back, Joe Logan moved his family away from hustle and bustle of coastal California to create experiences, breath cleaner air, raise goats, chickens and to work on his guitar and songwriting. Logan is smart, and very happy go lucky. He has a dark side, almost like a Jedi Knight. It’s not evil like the Sith, however, it is certainly intense.

Brewing world class beer isn’t easy. Now imagine the beer you are brewing is an untested recipe that will be resting in a second use bourbon barrel worth a few thousand dollars for the next few months. Joe Logan’s “Barrel of Bonds” Oak Aged Russian Imperial Stout is worth every dime, with a smooth rich sweetness highlighted by a perfect touch of chocolate. Logan has created a world class Stout in his home!

Now, you probably don’t munch on a handful of Roasted Barley the way you might a caramel or chocolate candy. But those dry roasted bitter, coffee-like flavors characteristic of Roasted Barley are what makes a Stout a good looking and delicious Stout!

Some thrillists often get into using descriptors like “complex” when sharing a wine or craft beer experience. The word "complex" can be a bit self-righteous in my opinion, and I don’t like that. To me, the word “complex” denotes hard work, or tough. I prefer to use the word “incredible,” and Logan’s “Barrel of Bonds” is just that! This clever Stout has slight mocha, roast malt, mild esters and a smooth warming touch of alcohol you hardly notice unless you are smiling whilst truly enjoying this sessionable Imperial Stout. Simply stated, you can’t have just one. This is not a Stout you need to taste or sip, and it could hold down any tap handle in any bar across the country. Plan on having two pints of Barrels of Bond because every taste is a rich mouthful of pure excellence.

Now, this Imperial Stout has a very delicate, clean and signature flavor that could quite honestly become addicting. The Blackprinz® malt is debittered, the husk is mostly removed, and in my opinion this helps to blossom the Stout during the barrel aging process creating a signature finish. After all, the intimate process, patience and trials of altering spirits through spontaneous and planned chemical reactions between air, liquid, wood, chars, is nothing short of alchemy. Now think, Jedi Joe Logan must use the force to guide and consider the humidity, temperature or perhaps time of season when deciding the time length of aging. The Centennial and Willamette Hops used essentially creates what I suggested was the versatility of “Barrels of Bond.” It’s an Imperial Stout that could change the life of a Hefeweizen or Lager drinker, remember, it’s incredible and not complex, even though it is complex and well thought out!

The combination of ingredients would make this a Stout I would dip a chocolate chip cookie in, or an Oreo Double Stuff! The aroma of this Russian styled Imperial would make the entire house feel like chocolate factory a beer you could take a bath in making you truly irresistible to your significant other. Notice Joe has two children and a beautiful wife! Barrels of Bond works its magic! In a restaurant, bar or cafe, this would easily become a top selling selection within a few short weeks.

Written by Peter D. Bouloukos / Brewery Consultant / Restaurant Expert

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