When you’ve been in business for over 150 years, you’re going to have a few tricks up your sleeve. Or under your brewery. Like the caverns beneath the August Schell Brewing Co. in New Ulm. The Civil War-era caves made lagering possible in the pre-refrigeration world. A century and a half later, the caves have given birth to the ninth entry in Schell’s Stag Series: the Cave-Aged Barrel-Aged Lager.
This isn’t like the sticky-sweet bourbon barrel-aged stuff you see around Christmas. It’s a svelte brew despite the caramel flavors and hints of oak. The lager casts a deep mahogany color. A milk chocolate-colored head quickly fades, but a beady carbonation remains throughout. A lightly roasted aroma leads to up-front vanilla notes from the bourbon barrels. Clean and rich, full-flavored but not terribly heavy, it’s a pure dark lager. We’re glad it finally gets to see the light of day.
Schell’s Stag Series #9:
Cave-aged Barrel-aged Lager
7.7% ABV, 40 IBU
Hops: Nugget (bittering and aroma)
Malt: Optic, Bonlander, 2-row, Red X, Victory, Pale Chocolate, Special Roast
Sugars: Turbinado and Dark Candi Syrup
Yeast: Czech Lager