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Saturday, 05 October 2013 18:39

Carton Brewing Shipwreck porter pours Oct. 14

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The porter's been in the hold for a year, ye hearties, time to bring it up.

Carton Brewing will be doing just that Oct. 14th (Columbus Day): tapping Shipwreck, a 10% ABV rum barrel-aged honey porter.

A collaborative effort with Brinley & Company, St. Kitts rum importers with Atlantic Highlands ties, the limited-run, draft-only beer was aged in wooden barrels used to condition Brinley's Shipwreck Gold Spiced Rum.

Carton BarrelsCommemorative quart growlers have been made for the occasion. They, like the beer, are in limited quantity. The Oct. 14th tasting room hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The barrel-aged porter was the result of the folks at Brinley striking up a conversation with their counterparts at Carton, the icebreaker being Atlantic Highlands. (See the brewery's video.)

From there, things progressed to wondering if there were ways the two companies could collaborate. Parking a rich, big beer on the rummed-up wood of some barrels was what the Carton folks were thinking. Brinley folks answered with the barrels.

So down in the hold, a brick-walled cellar in the brewery reached via a narrow spiral staircase, the 10 barrels sat for a 12-month stretch, sampled and evaluated along the way.

"When we tasted it about six months in, there was stark variation," says owner Augie Carton. "There's clearly a terroir to the cellar that I haven't quite figured out yet. It's got to have something to do with either airflow or temperature."

The beer took on distinct flavor qualities, interestingly enough, in pairs of barrels.

"Two by two, they had these flavors," Augie says. "There were the ones that were just the beer; the next two definitely some brett going on and a little funk to it. The next two were kind of super-vanilla-ish; the next two actually tasted like the rum, and the last two tasted like wood, but like wood in scotch or cabernet.

 "At the year mark, those things had found the groove. Although there's variation from barrel to barrel, it's not up and down 10 points. … the rum definitely shows, and the vanilla from the wood definitely shows."

The brewery blended the beer back together for kegging into sixtels, with a portion earmarked for growler fills in the taproom. The rest will be held in reserve for special events or as "that secret keg you bring to a fest," Augie says.

The Shipwreck porter release comes on the heels of a second round of canning of Boat, Carton's hoppy 4.2% ABV session brew. (Click the image above for the gallery from that day.) 

Mobile canning company Iron Heart did its first run of Boat for Carton at the end of August and returned Oct. 1, putting up 340 cases of the beer.

Boat canning at Carton Brewing

Read 9205 times Last modified on Monday, 02 December 2013 23:59

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