Not so long ago, celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or big promotion meant gathering all your favorite people at a beloved bar or restaurant. You’d crowd around a table, almost cheek to cheek, and order a bottle of something special from the fancy part of the menu.
Across much of the country, that’s not possible right now. But, skipping the restaurant and limiting the number of friends doesn’t mean you have to forego the fancy bottle, too.
To make finding that perfect pour for your celebration a little easier, the team at Firestone Walker has released some of the most sought after barrel-aged Dark Beers and effervescent oak-fermented Wild Ales from their legendary barrel program!
This release — happening from coast to coast through online retailer Tavour — marks the last time many of these rare bottles will be available outside of California!
Whether you’re a serious rare-beer collector, or a casual fan looking for a bottle to elevate an already special night, you’ll find what you’re looking for in this limited collection.
For the hardcore connoisseur looking to add a special bottle to their own cellar, there’s Firestone Walker’s 2016 Velvet Merkin. This 100% Bourbon Barrel-aged Oatmeal Stout is replete with flavors of rich dark chocolate and roasty coffee. And, after four years in the brewery’s carefully controlled cellar, it’s even smoother, richer, and fudgier than it was on release, with flavors of date and toffee rising to the forefront.
Other Dark Beer offerings from Firestone Walker available through Tavour include: Velvet Merkin (2018), the Mexican Chocolate-spiced Molé Merkin (2019), Helldorado Barrel-aged Barleywine (2016), Sucaba Barrel-aged Barleywine (2018), and Stickee Monkee Belgian Quadrupel Style Strong Ale (2016). Plus, a small supply of the brewery’s 23rd Anniversary Strong Ale — a highly sought after blend of several other Barrel-aged beers from the brewery’s catalog.
What’s more, Firestone Walker’s Barrel-Aged Stouts are carefully crafted so they can age up to 10 years, becoming more complex with each passing day. Open one now to toast a milestone, or stash one away for a celebration down the line. Either way, any of these beers will make a memorable day that much more special.
Assuming they’re cellared correctly, of course. The brewery keeps their cellar at a consistent 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and recommends a MAXIMUM of 55 degrees for long term storage.
For something lighter, the brewery has also released several of their Barrel-aged Wild Ales through Tavour’s app-based platform. These light, effervescent brews can be stored for up to 20 years, with younger beers displaying bright, fruity, flavors, and more mature Ales exhibiting more influence from the wild yeasts used to ferment them.
Krieky Bones Batch 5 (2018) is an excellent example of what these beers offer. The wild yeast culture used to ferment the brew creates a puckeringly tart base, which spends over a year in French Oak before the brewers ferment the beer for a second time on a heap of Montmorency Cherries. The tart and fruit bright red brew is an ideal accompaniment to a gourmet meal, and a unique substitute for the usual champagne on any festive occasion.
Other oak-aged Wild Ales available through Tavour in this Firestone release include Bretta Tangerine Berliner Weisse-style Ale (2018) and Bretta Blanc American Wild Ale (2019).
With quarantine restrictions in place, it can be hard to celebrate life’s big events — burgers around a picnic table just doesn’t feel as festive as white linen and popping corks. But, any of these rare bottles will help make the next big occasion feel a little more special.
For a chance at snagging one, download the free Tavour app from your app store of choice, or visit Tavour.com for more information.
This article originally appeared on craftbeer.com