We don’t get to do this nearly as much as we would like to anymore. Saying that, it is tremendously exciting when we do get to. We are, of course, talking about introducing a new brewery to the Barley&Hops Friday Beer feature. This week, and for the first time, we have the Red Rock Barrel-Aged Dark Lager. This particular style of beer was a new one for us so when one of them was delivered, somewhat unexpectedly, we were stoked to give it a go.
Before getting into the beer it’s probably best we introduce the brewery. Based in Midrand Red Rock produces a line up of five staple brews. We won’t get into the details of each of them but we can say that, as with other breweries, they have improved over time. So much so that at least one of their beers has won a few awards. We’re afraid beyond this our knowledge is a little slim which only means we will need to feature them again in the future.
To the beer. The Red Rock Barrel-Aged Dark Lager, dubbed “Dark Side” was not what we were expecting if we are entirely honest. Over the last few years we’ve seen a few heavy, barrel aged beers, and they are all great. Two differences however with The Dark Side. Firstly, it’s a Lager, and we’re used to seeing this done with Ales. Secondly, when it comes to barrel ageing the barrels used are usually (generalisation), rum or brandy or whisky or some other spirit. And you can usually taste the sort of barrel that has been used.
The Red Rock Barrel-Aged Dark Lager takes a “bugger society” approach and goes against the grain. They barrel aged a Lager in Shiraz barrels. The outcome, pretty good. Before we realised it was Shiraz barrelled we were baffled at the flavour as it is nothing like other barrel aged beers we’ve tried. You can definitely taste it in the mix and it’s worth trying
With the Festive season incoming it’s a really good opportunity to get ahead of the gift shopping. And, we’re not entirely sure, but if you leave this in the back of the cupboard for a year it may actually taste even better.