Hinterland Brewing Co. White Out
By: Thomas Muhs
For the most part, when I drink a beer to review, I usually end up buying a six pack of said beer. The only issue at times with that approach is if I end up buying a beer that’s even just ok, I’m stuck with extra beers that I’m really not too psyched to drink. There are worse problems to have and I end up drinking them anyway, but more and more lately I’ve started buying pint and 24oz bottles of single beer at my local liquor stop. And what I’ve found is that when it comes to these individual bottles, you get a lot in the way of small batch and one off beers from different breweries which I think helps keep craft beer exciting.
Hinterland Brewing Company is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin and they’ve been in the beer making business since 1995. They have their main brewing facility in Green Bay, but also a gastro pub in Milwaukee and a restaurant in Fish Creek, Wisconsin. They brew five beers year round, four seasonals and five limited release offerings. White Out, which is the beer I chose, is one from the limited release list and is classified as an Imperial India Ale. What makes this beer unique is that the beer is aged in bourbon barrels. I tried finding how long the beer was aged, but couldn’t find it, so I suppose that’ll have to remain a mystery. But enough logistics and background, onto the important stuff.
First Impression: The white label contrasts pretty starkly with the dark brown bottle. Looking at the label leaves you feeling a little bit bleak and sad and reminds me slightly of the book Into the Wild. It presents itself minimally and without flair.
Pour: When poured into a snifter glass it comes out a deep reddish brown, very similar to a porter. It has virtually no head and only a little bit of lacing that clings to the sides of the glass. You get a prominent smell of bourbon right away followed by a rich smell of hops and a lingering sweetness throughout.
Taste: I am really impressed with the way this beer tastes. You get the bourbon flavor right way but you can also detect great notes of caramel and burnt sugar and a hearty hop backbone that finishes bitter but clean. It’s rich and buttery in texture with plenty of flavor, a very enjoyable beer.