Pint nights are everywhere, all year around, but they tend to get a tad more creative during Louisville Craft Beer Week. Case in point: I made plans to arrive at Hilltop Tavern promptly at 6 p.m. on a recent evening to take part in the bar’s Bell’s Deconstruction Night, sort of a pre-Beer Week kickoff.
Basically, the way this one worked is you got four ounces of Bell’s Brewery Double Cream Stout, and four ounces of Bell’s Expedition Stout. And the third part of your flight was four ounces of Bell’s Black Note, a not-so-easy-to-find combination of the former two beers aged in bourbon barrels.
If the Double Cream was like drinking creamy, cold cocoa, the far more intense Expedition was like an especially strong coffee, with plenty of bitter, roasted character, and a noticeable bite from the alcohol content. But by blending the two of them together, what happens is the best of both beers make something altogether different, and the barrel aging takes the Black Note to new heights.
It’s worth hunting some down, especially if you like your stouts and porters during the fall and winter months. Now, at 11.5 percent alcohol, this isn’t a beer you’ll want to drink several of at a time – I sat and savored my flight for about an hour, making sure my palate soaked up as much goodness as possible. Nothing wrong with making the most out of your beer, right? Especially when it’s this damn tasty.