Sunday, February 28, 2010

One bourbon, one stout, one beer: District ChopHouse Bourbon Stout

One thing I really miss about working downtown Washington, DC is the number of great places I use to stop in for a beer or two or three before I would jump on the Metro and head home. I used to work in between Chinatown and the Capital, and one place that I would love to stop, and was a regular haunt of mine was the District Chop House and Brewery located downtown Washington, DC just a half a block from the Verizon Center on 7th Street.

This outstanding brewpub, is one in a very small, upscale brewpub chain, owned and operated by the same corporation that runs the national Rock Bottom Brewery chain. There are only three Chop House Brewery locations; Washington, Denver, Cleveland, and a Chop House Tavern(no brewery) in Boulder, CO. The Chop House specializes in aged steaks and chops, and is an outstanding restaurant, with a casual, yet at the same time, very sophisticated atmosphere. Its a classy looking place, designed after a 1940's Era Chop House, with some sensational food, and some of the most delicious craft beer you will ever taste. This was one of my regular DC haunts, and you would often find me bellied up to the bar here for a very special pint of beer.

That beer is the Chop House's Bourbon Stout. This is an incredibly rich, complex, flavorful oatmeal stout, was once aged in Old Grand Dad bourbon barrels for six weeks. They have changed up to Woodford Reserve Bourbon barrels, but the results are no less spectacular. It is then cask conditioned, and dispensed by a beer engine or "hand pump" by gravity, and served at cellar temperature, a cool 50-54 degrees. This fantastic oatmeal stout picks up tremendous, complex, aromas and flavors from the bourbon barrel, and the conditioning and serving temperature of this beer, gives the beer lover a true appreciation of how stunning this beer really is. All the aromas and flavors of this beer jump out at you, grab your attention, and just don't let go. This is a serious beer here folks, not for the timid, but for the adventurous.

Bourbon stout is pulled from the hand pump, and pours to a deep brown to black color with a bubbly tan head that fades and a very soft carbonation. The nose on this beer is amazing. Intense aromas of oak and vanilla marry with aromas of dark chocolate, roast,and light hints of smoke. The palate is soft and silky smooth (from oats) on the tongue, but packed with complex layers of flavor. Dark chocolate, coffee, oak,vanilla, toffee, smoke, and notes of bourbon coat the tongue. Bourbon stout finishes with complex malty and bourbon tones up front, then ends with a warming, soothing burn, and lingering bourbon flavors.

Without question one of the most delicious and satisfying beers you would ever taste. This beer is the perfect beer to have as you relax at the bar and would pair well with a good cigar. It also makes an exceptional desert beer, and would go well with any of the decadent deserts offered at the Chop House. But if you want this beer, you will have to come to the District, or other Chop House locations. For more information on this beer, and the District Chop House, visit their web site at:

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