Review: COOP Territorial Reserve Bourbon Barrel Aged Barleywine (and some COOP updates)

Barrels and Mash recently hung out with Eric and Jeff from COOP and got to hear about all the great updates from the brewery, including the release of their newest Territorial Reserve Barleywine, unavailable now for several years. The base recipe is the same as the 2012 batch, and per Eric the recipe includes “probably a ton of Maris Otter, Blake’s favorite British grain.” The aroma should prove to be very hop forward, owing to the late hopping with Amarillo, then dry hopping with Citra after the brew was aged for 9 months in bourbon barrels.

The Territorial Reserve Series will be getting a new look soon. This barleywine may be one of the last Territorial Reserve releases with the original branding style, the last being the 2016 release of the Territorial Reserve Imperial Stout, which should hit in February. Future releases will be in corked and caged screen printed bottles. As of right now, the Rye Wine should be released again in the spring with the new packaging.

DNR is also moving up in the world as COOP has plans of launching it as its own series. There are three barrel aged versions aging right now: Bourbon, Rye and Tequila. Those should be “ready soon” with possible cherry and chocolate versions in the future. The DNR series will be released in corked and caged 375ml and 750ml bottles. The working title for these barrel aged and flavored versions is the “Casket Series.” Can’t wait to see the label art on those.

In addition to the Casket Series, there should be another series of one-off brews coming soon, including a persimmon sour and a dry hopped imperial version of F5 (which will probably be called EF5). Look for them in the spring.

Also, look for a fresh batch of Alpha Hive in February. It might last a little longer this time around as they have upped the production threefold.

Any Missouri readers we may have should be able to try these brews soon enough, COOP has inked a deal to distribute in Kansas City starting in March or April.

As you can tell, we had a really great conversation with COOP, and we can’t wait to see all these beers hitting the shelves and making their way to our stomachs.

Disclaimer: This product was provided at no cost to Barrels and Mash with no strings attached.

Disclaimer #2: I apologize for the use of shaker pints, but Kris and I split this beer while I was at work and those were the only glasses available.

Company: COOP Ale Works

Location: Oklahoma City, OK

ABV: 11.1%

Style/Description: Barrel Aged American Style Barleywine

Price: $11

Appearance: Clear deep ruby copper pour, slowly rising bubbles. Foamy tan head, tight bubbles and clinging lace. Pretty pour, despite using shaker pint glasses in a pinch.

Nose: Very hoppy right out of the bottle, resinous and woody. The hop aroma mellows quite a bit as the beer warms and opens up. Big malts and caramel aroma, with some booze.

Taste: Big time toasted malts dominate as expected from a barleywine, with booze and barrel flavors following later. The hops telegraphed in the aroma get a little lost in the avalanche of caramel, vanilla, biscuit and toffee. Very sweet, not quite balanced and the mouth is on the sticky side. I would like a bit more barrel character in there. As it warms the sweetness and booze mellow some, with interesting dark fruit and raisin characters coming out. I would definitely recommend serving this at 55-60 degrees.

Finish: Lingering sticky finish, with warming booze on the back of the palette. The barrel character comes through a bit more on the finish as the sweet malts wash through.

Overall: I was excited to get to try this a couple of days before its wide release, especially since it has been so long since it was available. An aggressive and powerful brew, this is definitely one to split with a friend! Snap up a few bottles to keep you warm this winter, and age a couple to have for next winter.

Rating: 3.5/5


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