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January 11th, 2012 MARTIN CIZMAR | Drank
 

Drank: Precursor (10 Barrel Brewing)

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The folks at 10 Barrel Brewing are eager young Turks. The Bend brewery, founded in 2006, already has a “Product Development Team” and plans to expand across state lines with a Boise brewpub captained by the much-decorated former brewmaster from Barley Brown’s in Baker City. He’ll be teamed with fellow newcomer Tonya Cornett, the only woman named best brewmaster at the World Beer Cup. Precursor, a barrel-aged Imperial red ale, is the lead offering in the 1,000-barrel-a-year brewery’s sanguinely named “Small Batch Series.” (In contrast, Deschutes did 200,000 barrels last year.) Each of the 2,600 bottles is hand-numbered, but ours was marked “10” along with the others at Belmont Station. Popping a very stubborn cork reveals a skyscraper-high head with a surprisingly bitter nose. The beer itself is milder, though there’s an intense but stale hoppiness and a whiskey burn. Precursor was aged in bourbon barrels but its sour fruit and Scotch-like peatiness are far louder. 

 
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