By Richard Thomas
One of the earliest entries in Lexington, Kentucky’s recent “craft beer 2.0” movement, West Sixth has made a pretty substantial commitment to barrel aging. You can see it for yourself if you stop by during a special event in their back room, since it’s right there among their ricks.
Coming from those stores and available now in 750 ml bottles is their Stock Ale 2017, taking their American Strong Ale and aging it in bourbon barrels.
It is indeed strong at 10.8% ABV, and has a dark brown, leaning into black appearance with a minimal head. This is an upfront bourbon barrel ale: sweet and a bit sticky, with the expected notes of vanilla and caramel, plus a little toffee.
The main thing that stands out about the West Sixth Stock Ale is that it’s not as thick and heavy as some other bourbon barrel ales, so it’s not as filling. As a dessert beer, you can down a full pint of this stuff and not feel as if you’ve overindulged, so it makes a fantastic capstone to a good meal.