Veteran craft brewery, Avery Brewing Company, has announced the release of its Scotch barrel-aged stout named Islay. Adam and Larry Avery have Scottish roots, but it wasn’t until the brewery got its hands on some very rare Laphroaig Scotch barrels that this beer became a reality.
This peaty stout is number 44 of Avery’s Barrel-Aging Series and will be available at the Boulder-based brewery starting on Sunday, April 23rd. With only 127 cases available, once it sells out, it is gone forever. Customers will be able to purchase two cases of Islay starting at 1:00pm.
Islay is a delicious stout that delivers big on the quintessential peaty and roast flavors found in Laphroaig Scotch. Avery received its very first batch of Laphroaig barrels in November 2016 and quickly got to work experimenting with this aggressively flavorful barrel.
“This is probably the rarest beer that we have ever done,” said Travis Rupp, Avery’s Research and Development Manager and Beer Archaeologist. “We wanted to make something that no one else is making and we had to experiment quite a bit to come up with the flavor profile and recipe for Islay. It’s underlying rich sweetness compliments the aggressive, scrappy, and peaty characters of the Laphroaig barrels in such an interesting way. We were not afraid to go big with this beer and I think beer enthusiasts are going to go crazy because you cannot find anything like this in the market.”
Through experimentation, Avery determined that their Scotch barrels were so potent that the base beer only had to be aged for five weeks vs. the three to four months that are typically required when aging beer in other types of barrels. In addition, the typical roasted malt characteristics of a stout had to be mellowed and sweetened in order to compliment the strong peaty characters of the barrel. The result is still an extremely smoky stout, but one that is more precisely balanced.
The name, Islay (pronounced EYE-LA) was inspired by the birthplace of the Laphroaig barrels, which hail from an island off the coast of Scotland called Islay.
“If you’re not a fan of peaty Scotches,” said Andy Parker, Chief Barrel Herder at Avery, “you might want to look elsewhere. If you are, there’s a good chance you’ll taste it and imagine that you’re in a peat bog in Scotland. Filled with chocolate malt. And copious vanilla. And unicorns.”
Islay will be available in 12-ounce bottles and will only be available to purchase at the brewery.
Avery Brewing Company is a family-owned craft brewery in Boulder, Colorado. Since 1993, Avery has pioneered innovative beers by blending the art and science of brewing with ingenuity, creativity, and boldness. Avery bottles and cans more than 40 beers a year including White Rascal Belgian-Style White Ale, The Maharaja Imperial IPA, and Tweak.