Purchased at Fathom Bistro, Bait and Tackle in San Diego ($7/10 oz. pour) and served in tulip glasses.
This collaboration between San Diego kingpins Stone, Fark.com founder Drew Curtis, and actor/homebrewer Wil Wheaton pours ebony with an enormous but quickly dissipating light brown head. Wood, fresh roasted nuts, cola, and black licorice greet you on the nose, along with a small dose of hard alcohol courtesy of the partial barrel-aging. The first swallow is a mind-bending mouthful – nuts, coffee, and chocolate on the front end melt into vanilla, wood, and bourbon flavors on the finish. Only a quarter of this sublime brew was barrel-aged, so you get bourbon notes without any residual alcohol heat. The lasting impression on the tongue is of nuts, almost certainly due to the addition of pecans. This is a flat-out brilliant beer – complex yet compulsively drinkable, with a relatively light mouthfeel. More coffee ground flavors come in as the beer warms, and the beer’s decadent breadiness gives it an overall impression of a boozy pecan pie chased by black licorice.