Collective Arts Brewing releases Origin of Darkness festive barrel-aged brews
Collective Arts Brewing continues with their annual fall tradition of partnering with other international brewing partners to present their collection of barrel-aged brews, with each brewery bringing some of their unique terroir-inspired local flavour.
This year they experimented with some new kinds of barrels, namely Rye Whiskey and Cognac, and worked with Mikkeller from Denmark, Põhjala from Estonia, Mikerphone from Chicago, and Civil Society from Florida, to create a lineup that includes maple syrup, marshmallows, plums, and a vegan-latte inspired brew.
A quick note for anyone venturing out to try these brews. In terms of composition and taste, I’d say they could more be classified as a cocktail than a beer. There’s no bitterness, sourness, or over the top hops here, but more a mishmash mouthful of flavours not typically associated with beer. Another point to consider is the ABV averages around the 11% mark, meaning one beer = two. Unlike those cheaper high ABV brews found on the lower shelves at the LCBO though, these are full of substance.
These dark dreams are best enjoyed poured into your favourite drinking container, and savoured for each unique sip. My personal favourite is the Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout. Easy drinking and not over-powered by ingredients. Definitely worth giving these a go this holiday season if you’re looking for something different than your average brew.
The art on this year’s series was created by Cassidy Rae Marietta, an illustrator and designer from Columbus, OH, USA. See below for a description of each product.
IMPERIAL STOUT AGED IN BOURBON BARRELS W/ COFFEE AND ALMOND MILK
In an homage to Danish brewer Mikkeller’s iconic Beer Geek Breakfast series, comes a vegan-latte inspired imperial stout. Aged in freshly emptied Kentucky Bourbon Barrels, this brew gets a jolt of caffeine from roasted coffee beans from Detour Coffee, and some smoothness with Almond Milk from Earth’s Own plant based beverage company.
BALTIC PORTER AGED IN COGNAC BARRELS, W/ PLUMS
Creating by adding a Baltic Porter base into freshly emptied XO Cognac barrels from France to age for 9 months. After that plums are added to elevate the sweet stone fruit character. This beer exemplifies the beautifully deep, sweet, and rich cognac flavours.
IMPERIAL STOUT AGED IN MAPLE SYRUP BOURBON BARRELS W/ WALNUT
These barrels have been through the ringer! They started with bourbon, moved on to maple syrup, and finally they’re finishing off with a delicious Imperial Stout base, brewed in collaboration with the Chicago-based brewery Mikerphone. All those layers are the perfect blend of Americana and Canadiana, finished with an additional dose of that sweet syrup we all love, and toasted walnuts for a classic pairing.
IMPERIAL STOUT AGED IN CANADIAN RYE WHISKEY BARRELS W/ CINNAMON, MARSHMALLOWS, COCOA POWDER, LACTOSE
Collaborating with Civil Society out of Florida, this brew is inspired by the perfect cold-weather cocktail: Fireball and hot chocolate. This imperial stout is brewed with lots of cinnamon, marshmallows, cacao powder and lactose sugar. After getting aged in Canadian Rye Whiskey barrels for 9 months, this Florida/Canada lovechild is ready to drink!
This is the third year for this Origin of Darkness series, which began in 2018, continued in 2019, and is here again in 2020. Get em before they’re gone!
These are available at the LCBO for a limited time only, as well as directly from their Hamilton Brewery, and newly opened Toronto Taproom location. Delivery is also available. Hitting Alberta, BC and all of our US markets soon.
Click here for a list of all their great beers currently available.
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.