Coop Ale Works Cask-It Series: Brandy Barrel Aged DNR With Cherries

I’ve been hearing rumors about interesting COOP experiments with barrel aged DNR for years, and was intrigued to see this pop up on the shelf. It is attractively packaged in a thick 375 ml corked and caged bottle and handsomely printed directly on the glass, a great new look for COOP. I like to see a big time 13% alcohol beer packaged in a smaller format, so that my wife doesn’t have to put up with me after doming a 750 on a Wednesday. I love a brandy barrel aged beer, and am fond of DNR, so I’m looking forward to this one.

Company: COOP Ale Works

Location: Oklahoma City, OK

ABV:  12.8%

Style/Description: Belgian Dark Ale Aged in Brandy Barrels with Cherries

Price: $11.99 for a 375 ml

Appearance: Cloudy opaque ruby pour, light head and slight lace. Rising carbonation bubbles.

Nose: Boozy aggressive alcohol in the nose. As the beer warms and mellows, notes of vanilla, chocolate and perfume.

Taste: The brandy barrel comes through, accentuating the sweet alcohol of the DNR base beer, offering a hint of toffee and oak. I’m not getting much of the cherries, save perhaps a hint of sugary tartness. Some vanilla sneaks in, with nutmeg and clove spiciness adding to the complexity. Dark fruits, plums and raisins. Mouthfeel is moderate but sticky, with a mild carb.

Finish: Booze warms one the way down. Plum and cherries linger on the palette.

Overall: I’m happy to see COOP doing some more experimenting, and trying some more interesting barrel aging on their base beers. I’ve been a fan of DNR since it was released at the 51st St. Speakeasy many years ago, and go back to it on a regular basis. The brandy barrel and cherries add some flavor, but throw off the texture of the beer for me. I love the boozy dryness of the original, and I feel that the cherries make it a tad sticky in this version. That being said, I enjoyed this beer quite a bit and plan on buying a few extras to cellar and see if they dry out. Buy ‘em up before they’re gone!

Rating: 3.5/5

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