Anthem just released Batch 2 of their Uroburos Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels (Elijah Craig barrels, to be exact), and to be honest we are very excited. This is Anthem’s largest bottle release to date, by a large margin, with almost 5,000 bottles rolling out of the Downtown OKC brewery. We were hanging out in their taproom last weekend and got to see the palates of bottles getting ready to be labeled, and we got to try a taste of the release on draft. I have to say, I remember not being blown away by last years release when it first came out, and heavily favored the Brandy BA version instead, so let’s see how that year has treated the bottle from our cellar, and how this new one stacks up!
Company: Anthem Brewing Company
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Style/Description: Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels
Price: $12 (750 ml bottle)
Appearance: Both pour an opaque black with Batch 1 having velvety tan head and Batch 2’s being a bit more fluffy.
Nose: Batch 1 is pretty damn hot with booze. There is a nice roasty-ness to it as well as some sweet vanilla, caramel, and a hint of fruity oak funk. Batch 2 has a more subtle aroma with some light fruitiness (think green apples like you may get from a whiskey), sweet vanilla, and light toasty oak.
Taste: Batch 1 is almost exactly like I remembered it. The aroma is not at all indicative of the taste as the beer has a thin, somewhat astringent vibe to it along with some bitter roasty notes and a hint of sweetness. Batch 2 is treating me much better here with a more velvety mouthfeel, dark chocolate, some Bourbon-y booze, and brown sugar.
Finish: Batch 1 leaves an unpleasant bitterness and dry heat that lingers and makes me pucker a bit. Batch 2 fades away with some of the sweeter notes coming out and joining up with that dark chocolate bitterness and a touch of barrel heat.
Overall: There’s just something about Batch 1 that rubs me the wrong way. Kate drank these beers with me (I’m not going to dome 2 750’s by myself…right now anyways), and she wasn’t put off of it the way I was. You know how it goes, sometimes there is just some specific reaction that happens for certain people that doesn’t sit well. Anyways, Batch 2 is the clear champion here, and I’m very glad to say that. We’ve done a couple of Anthem verticals lately and B1’s have reigned supreme, so it was about time that B2 took home the gold on one of these. Good job, Anthem! I can’t wait to see how B2 tastes in a year!
Ratings: Batch 1 – 2.5/5, Batch 2 – 3.5/5