Balcones Edition 2024


Need something to warm your bones? The second BA beer may be exactly what you need. This 11.7% imperial stout on Balcones bourbon barrels promises to be a light treat, not that I am recommending in any way that you may need an afternoon pick-me-up filled with coffee and other delightful flavours…oh wait!


Initially I found the beer to be mild with a coffee kick and a significantly lighter body than I had anticipated. It has an almost earthy and biscuity flavour and the whiskey whispers as opposed to kicking the door down- this is one to savour and allow to develop in your mouth instead of knocking it back. When it does develop, it becomes something creamier with significantly dark chocolate and vanilla notes and the body becomes fuller, though it still remains quite light in terms of the stouts De Molen normally do, so it’s nice to see some variety (not that we ever doubted they could do it!): with the strong whiskey and coffee flavours, something richer and sweeter would have been too much. The slight bitterness also allows some red berry notes to emerge, along with a twist of swee orange, and somehow the aftertaste reads a little liquorice-like to me, which is interesting!


I can recommended this for someone who is new to barrel-aged beers and who may become overwhelmed by something like Kers & Taart, but also for us old-hands who want some depth without the bulk that comes from drinking too many in one afternoon. As for that afternoon treat- this is the beer for it. I like to think of it as an Irish Coffee in a bottle, and can attest that it definitely gave me that kick to get through a hard afternoon of…err…reading in an armchair. A word of warning though: in spite of its resemblance to everyone’s favourite alcoholic coffee, please don’t try to heat this up!