American Whiskey Barrel, Oak Aged Series – Cameron’s Brewing Company

If you hadn’t heard yet, oak-ageing beers is kind of a big deal.  If you don’t believe me, you should see the wall of barrels Amsterdam Brewing now has in the brewery.  So it’s always awesome to see a brewer give oaked beers a try.  It’s a risky proposition; a full barrel is 117 litres, which is a lot of beer to lose if something goes awry.  Which can happen fairly easily.  Barrels, being made of wood, impart character (both from the wood, and whatever was in it beforehand) but also can harbour bacteria and other icky stuff.  Which can spoil the whole batch.  Also, some beers age better in oak than others, and the only way to find out is to try.  All this is to reinforce how awesome it is when breweries do it.  All the more when it works well enough they are willing to sell the product. In the case of this beer, Cameron’s has aged a strong dark brown ale in American Whiskey barrels. Time to see how it went!

American Whiskey Barrel, Oak Aged Series - Cameron's Brewing Company

American Whiskey Barrel, Oak Aged Series - Cameron's Brewing Company

From an attractive 750ml bottle, that I suspect is a champagne bottle, American Whiskey Barrel pours a dark brown with striking copper tones at the edges.  about 2″ of dense foamy head drops to a thick layer of foam that lingers through the whole glass. Aroma is sweet malts, hinting at dark caramel and molasses.  A nice oak barrel aroma, with a touch of bourbon and vanilla complements the sweetness well, and is accompanied by a touch of boozy heat.  There is more oak in the taste, upfront it has a bit of a spirit twang to it, on the finish, it dries out somewhat is is woody and aromatic.  The malts are still warm and rich, but are a bit more subdued in the taste, and now you can pick up a nice tea-like hop tannin taste. There is a nice bite of a sour vinous note from the barrel ageing too, with gives another layer of depth with the sweet malts, aromatic wood, and hops. Finish is actually a bit tart, with wood and vanilla and a touch of sweet malts that linger. I have no idea if the sour element was intentional or not, but it certainly adds a lovely nuance to the beer. A wonderful beer that would go splendidly well with a charcuterie board.

Cheers to the crew at Cameron’s!

About The Brewery

Cameron’s Brewing Company is a true craft brewery, passionately brewing all natural ales and lagers since 1997 in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. Cameron’s is currently available at The Beer Store, select LCBO locations and on tap at numerous bars and restaurants such as Earl’s, C’est What, Stout Irish Pub, Langdon Hall, the Royal Canadian Yacht Club and more. For more information about Cameron’s and its availability, please visit

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