After a whole year of flavour maturation, The Exchange’s Belgian Stout is finally being released as the brewery’s first 2016 Vintage Reserve bottle. This vintage release is the first of many more to come for the brewery, which always pushes boundaries and is eager to showcase beer as a premium beverage – to be aged and savoured, just like wines.
‘’Our Belgian Stout has been carefully selected to be our first Vintage Reserve bottle because it is a higher-alcohol (7.2% ABV.) and full-bodied beer, hence well suited to aging’’, explains Sam Maxbauer, Head Brewer at The Exchange Brewery.
The 2016 Vintage Reserve will surely please stout-lovers’ palates, in search of more complex and delicate flavours. ‘’The robust roasted malt flavours have mellowed over the last year, bringing forward more fruit notes. With age, we see a complex balance of malts, a slight tartness and some great funky notes starting to come through’’.
In comparison, the more recently brewed 2017 version of the Belgian Stout lets the chocolate and roasty flavours dominate the palate, with roast malt giving almost a black cherry note, and French oak barrels imparting a very mild note of vanilla as well.
The ExB’s Belgian-style beers are bottle conditioned, and if properly cellared have a shelf life of 3 years. (Bottle stored upright, in a cool – around 55F/12C – and dark space; any deviation from this, such as rapid temperature change, will decrease the lifespan of the bottle.)
The next Vintage Releases from The Exchange Brewery to look forward to include the 2016 Dubbel (in May) and the 2016 Belgian Pumpkin Ale (in October).
The Belgian Stout Vintage Reserve 2016 is available for sale at The Exchange Brewery’s Bottle Shop for $13 (750mL bottle) – and $12 for the 2017 Belgian Stout, at 7 Queen St., NOTL.