Beer Review: Stiegl Ferdinand Imperial Alt Barrel Aged

Stiegl Ferdinand is a new beer from the Stiegl brewery in Salzburg, Austria that’s been brewing beer since Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Damn, and I thought Mt. Carmel had been around a long time. They are moving into the craft market and away from their classic German traditions. Stiegl-Ferdinand_Flasche075_201409Though they’re sticking with some traditions like the Reinheitsgebot, which defines what can go into a beer, but doesn’t say anything about what a beer can go into!

Stiegl brewed Ferdinand brewed in early summer 2014. It then spent 6 weeks of maturing in tanks and 4 more months in Caribbean (Martinique) Rum barrels which were originally used for Cognac.

The marketing folks reached out to me and offered a sample. Once I read the description of the beer I knew I wanted to try it. Then I noticed it was from Stiegl and my first thought was “you mean those radler cans they have in 4-packs at Kroger?” Yes, indeed it’s one in the same.  Ok, on to the beer, here’s the marketing blurb:

Copper-colored specialty with wonderful Rum flavors from the first sip well into a long lasting finish. A dense texture with a subtle mousseux and flavors of toffee, coconut, vanilla and caramel. Honey palate with an incredibly well-balanced alcohol aroma.

ABV: 10%
Style: Alt

Pours out a nice thick tan head atop a muddy reddish brown body that is totally opaque. The color reminds me of a blend of toffee and caramel.

The nose follows the color with toffee, caramel, and touches of honey. No hop notes around at all though that’s normal for an Alt style beer.

Yep, that tastes like carbonated rum. Super-duper strong toffee notes remind me more of candy than perhaps any other beer I’ve ever tasted. Ok, outside of dark chocolates. If you infused toffee with rum added a touch of carbonation and melted it into a liquid you’d have this.

The body runs on the heavy side of medium and the carbonation is pretty light. The alcohol brings a nice warmth. This is the opposite of a clean and dry finish. It leaves a thick coating of residue on your tongue and a thin coat over the rest of your mouth.

I don’t really love this beer. Toffee and straight caramel candies remind me of old people. I prefer my caramel mixed in with chocolate like a Twix. But that’s me, if you’re into these flavors then pick up this beer. Not sure the cost yet, I fear it may be up there. Also, it won’t be too widely available, only 3,000 some bottles were made.

FULL DISCLOSURE: To our readers, and any companies interested in sending me stuff, giving me free stuff impacts the review in only 2 ways. That I will do my best to review it in a timely fashion and that and I will write a blog post about that review. Giving me free stuff does not guarantee you a favorable review or that I will tell everyone to go buy it.

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