If a liquor store buys enough bourbon from a distillery, they may get a chance to buy a barrel or make their own blend. In the craft beer world, there are occasional collaborations between breweries and stores. Harry’s Reserve Fine Wine and Spirits, in Navy Yard, has managed to combine these, working with Leesburg, VA’s Crooked Run Brewing and Brooklyn, NY’s Widow Jane Distillery.
On Saturday, December 14th, Harry’s will release Jolly, an imperial stout brewed by Crooked Run and aged for four months in barrels that held Widow Jane’s 12-year old bourbon.
According to Harry’s beer buyer Greg Seibert, only two barrels of Widow Jane 12-year bourbon, a high rye blend clocking in at 99 proof, were purchased in DC, and in this case the barrel itself came with the bottled product. Seibert’s initial plan was to send the barrel to Bluejacket, a few blocks away, but it didn’t arrive in time. When the barrel showed up unannounced, still wet with whiskey, Crooked Run’s Jake Endres was able to quickly answer the call. He filled it with an imperial stout that had spent the previous 8 months in a brandy barrel, and conditioned it on cinnamon and vanilla beans. The final product clocks in at a hefty 16 percent alcohol by volume.
From 1-4 PM on Saturday, you can taste both the beer and the bourbon. Widow Jane 12-year isn’t easy to come by, and Harry’s will have both the regular 12-year and their barrel select. Crooked Run is bringing in some goodies as well, including their Cuvee Coolship Red, a hazy IPA, and a Berliner Weiss.