Canada is a nation of seasonal beer drinkers, and with the cooler temps in the air, this means a return to the darker, more substantial, body warming darker ales and lagers. Burlington’s Nickel Brook Brewing Co. have an extensive list of barrel-aged brews, and this year they’ve introduced three new products for those long, dark, stay-at-home nights ahead. Each comes in a snazzy, artfully designed box of their own.

The basic premise behind barrel-aged beers is that brewmasters use a variety of wood barrels that have previously being used for spirits, most commonly, whiskey and bourbon. This in itself gives the beer a more robust taste, which is enhanced even further by adding such flavourful ingredients as coffee, chocolate, and spices. It’s a holiday meal in a bottle!

Cafe Del Bastardo

Imperial Stout Aged in Kentucky Bourbon Barrels & Matured on Coffee

Voted Canada’s Number 1 beer of 2018 and 2019 by Rate Beer, this luxurious brew boasts a complex and delicious flavour profile. Like previous years, we hand selected our favourite batch of Coffee beans, and added six pounds to every bourbon barrel. The result is a beautiful marriage of rich chocolate, oak, vanilla, and bright fruity coffee flavours in every drop. The finish leaves your palate with a welcomed warming bourbon kiss. Jet black and viscous, with a hearty head, this brew is sure to please bourbon lovers, coffee lovers, and stout lovers alike.

500mL Bottle | ABV: 11.9%  | IBU: 70 $12.95

Recommended Glassware: Brandy GlassSommelier Glass

Glory and Gold


2 Year Bourbon Barrel-Aged Cuvee

This complex reserve ale is the embodiment of triumph, and a fearless approach to blended beer. Our base blended ale is then combined with an intricate mixture of sweet malts, fruits, spices and herbs before it’s aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels for two years. The result of this gradual and elaborate process is Glory & Gold, a magnificently decadent beer that tastes just like victory should. Punchy notes of citrus, tobacco, orange peel, vanilla, and fruit, finish with a tart and funky kick to marry the oak and bourbon introduced from the barrels.

Drink it today, or cellar it to enjoy later as it matures.

500mL Bottle | ABV: 9.5%  | IBU: 37 $9.95

Recommended Glassware: Brandy GlassSommelier Glass

Kentucky Bastard

Imperial Stout Aged in Kentucky Bourbon Barrels

Kentucky Bastard is a serious beer for serious beer lovers. We brew our Imperial Stout full of rich chocolate, coffee, and dark fruit notes, and place it into Kentucky Bourbon Barrels to mature for an entire year. During this lengthy process the depth and complexity of the beer develops. The rich and intoxicating flavours are married together with the vanilla, oak and warming alcohol from the bourbon barrels. The outcome (or reward rather) is Kentucky Bastard – an incredible blend of aroma and taste. Drink it today, or cellar it to enjoy later as it matures.

500mL Bottle | ABV: 11.9%  | IBU: 70 $11.95

Recommended Glassware: Brandy GlassSommelier Glass

These are all brewed at higher ABV than your typical regular or light beers on the market, and for this reason they are meant to be sipped and enjoyed for their full array of flavours.

Available for your local LCBO, or order directly from the brewery. The barrel-aged beers are also available in BC (via West Craft) and Alberta (via Untapped) and Quebec (via SAQ).

Nickel Brook has been one of the leading players in the Ontario Craft Beer movement since 2005. Their motto is “Beer, Down to a Science”, which they follow to create their award-winning core brands, Cause & Effect Blonde, Naughty Neighbour APA and Head Stock IPA.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.