So this Saturday is my son’s first birthday and my wife and I are looking forward to it with a sense of relief and amazement. Relief that we got that crazy, exhausting, overwhelming first year of our lovely darling child’s existence under our collective belts, and amazement that the little bastard hasn’t killed us (or himself) yet. We obviously have no idea what we’re doing as parents, but, somehow, we’ve managed to keep this tiny human alive, and he seems pretty happy, so that’s a bonus. Seems like a good excuse for cake.
The first year is the hardest (I assume, I haven’t made it to Year 2 yet), and Ryan Parfitt, co-owner and brewer at East Vancouver’s Luppolo Brewing Company knows all about that. His baby—I’m talking about the brewery, in case that’s not clear—also turned one this month. To celebrate, he’s released Evoluta, a bourbon barrel-aged Belgian dubbel, that’s WAAAAAAY better than cake.
Parfitt says the name was chosen to reflect all the crazy ups and downs of Luppolo’s first year, and how the brewery has evolved as a result. The beer itself has also evolved over time, having spent the last nine months in bourbon barrels, then was blended with fresh, un-oaked beer.
It’s a big beer with a mouthful of bold flavours. The bourbon character is very apparent, as are the vanilla and oak notes from the barrel aging. Malt-wise, this beer is sweet and chewy, with lots of caramel and dark dried fruit.
“This is a great beer to cellar, for sure,” says Parfitt. “I think in time that bourbon character will become a lot smoother.”
Only 825 hand-numbered bottles of Evoluta are available and Parfitt expects them to be gone by the end of December. I recommend getting two: one for now, one for later.
Luppolo Brewing’s Evoluta
Appearance: Dark ruby brown, opaque with a fluffy light tan head.
Aroma: Strong bourbon notes, dark fruit, malt sweetness, burnt sugar, vanilla and alcohol.
Flavour: Vanilla, caramel, Bourbon, dark dried fruit: dates, prunes, raisin, burnt sugar, subtle alcoholic warmth, oak.
Body: Creamy, full-bodied with a coating, lingering sweet finish.
Pairs with: Bread pudding, expensive cheese you only buy once a year, turtleneck sweaters and dropping the kid at the babysitter for a much-deserved night off.