27 Apr No Label Perpetual Peace by Nick B
Bourbon Barrel Aged Wee Heavy
Packaging: Draft, 12oz. Bottles in 4 packs
I am a serious procrastinator when it comes to picking the beer I want to write about each week. Even Tony gave me crap about it the other day and had to rib me a little bit about it. However, THIS week, I am not procrastinating on buying the beer or writing this review.
Okay okay okay, it happened by circumstance this time. I was very excited to try No Label Brewing’s Perpetual Peace for the first time in two years, BUT I didn’t plan to write about it! Hopefully, this review will convince you as to why I decided to do so.
Perpetual Peace is part of the Off Label series. At certain times of the year, No Label puts out limited release beers under this label and perhaps you’ve seen some of them (here’s another one). Perpetual Peace is the only one (that I have seen in the past few years) that is barrel aged. It’s a wee heavy ale that, according to the brewery, sat in bourbon barrels for over 200 days!
For the first time, you can find Perpetual Peace in 4 packs of 12 oz bottles instead of 22 oz bombers. They can be pricey ($20/pack), but when you think about it, it’s not as bad when you think about HOW MUCH you’re getting and WHAT you’re getting. So what ARE you getting?
Well, first of all, Perpetual Peace has a lovely white label with their Off Label circle logo in the middle of the bottle surrounded by light blue leafy vines. The beer’s name resides below the logo in a darker, bolder font. It’s really a nice label to look at when you shine it in the light. This label must have recently had a makeover because it is much more interesting than the previous iteration. But you’re wanting to know if the beer is as good as the label…
Perpetual Peace poured heavily into my snifter and did not have any head on it, but plenty of carbonation could be seen rising up the side of the glass. It was a deep, dark amber color when held to the light. The smell of raisins and dark fruits, bourbon heat, and caramel danced together in my nostrils and were very inviting. Personally, I am not a fan of barrel aged beers that have a lot of alcohol heat in the smell or flavor. I was glad that this beer didn’t smell “hot.”
That glad feeling turned into pure joy when I took my first sip. Perpetual Peace had flavors of raisin and plum that gave it a sweetness that is not overbearing. The flavor of caramel came through and took away some of the sweetness of the dark fruits. At the end, I was very surprised to find the bourbon become more present without having any heat.
It was so well balanced for a barrel aged beer, it was hard to believe it was even barrel aged at all until the very end. I don’t even know if I remember it being this good two years ago! Hats off to No Label!
I’m giving Perpetual Peace 4.5 stars because I could give it to my friends that have never had barrel aged beers and I don’t think it would have them saying, “What the hell is that?!”
If you are the kind of person that browses craft beer shelves and picks out those rare or limited releases, tries them, then just ends up drain pouring them… This is for you! Or if you just want to see what a barrel aged beer is like, but you are new to the craft scene… You can probably impress your friends by enjoying this one!
I thought Perpetual Peace was perpetual bliss. How about you? Let us know below if you indulged. Beers to you, Houston.