Wizard Burial Ground
Brewery Vivant, Grand Rapids
Bourbon barrel-aged quadrupel
Craft beer aficionados certainly have plenty of reasons to shake the couch cushions and work overtime come late November and early December, when some of the cult favorites — many of them of the bourbon barrel-aged variety — hit the shelves.
One of them is Brewery Vivant’s 2016 Wizard Burial Ground, a 10.4-percent ABV bourbon barrel-aged quadrupel. After a vigorous pour from a 16-ounce can, the beer shows little signs of carbonation and almost no head. The pleasing burnt umber-colored ale presents fine mahogany hues when held to the light. At cellar temperature, the nose comes across heavy on the bourbon, with some charred wood and vanilla, as well as some hints of this ale’s sweetness. The initial taste is bourbon sweetness followed by some malty notes and dark fruit flavors like prunes and raisins. It’s also slightly sweet. The alcohol is well-masked with little-to-no heat showing in this smooth quad, which also features a thick, velvety mouthfeel. Overall, Wizard Burial Ground offers a truly American take on the classic Belgian style that will certainly delight bourbon fans.
Be sure to pick up some WBG at Brewery Vivant’s pub (925 Cherry Street in Grand Rapids) when it gets released at noon on Sunday, Dec. 6.
— Reported by Joe Boomgaard, Revue Beer Czar