Get ready Athens — Jackie O’s released a new bourbon barrel-aged, coffee stout beer
Originally published in The Post.
Jackie O’s unveils its latest brew, Bourbon Barrel Champion Ground, a new stout with sweet flavorings and hints of coffee, vanilla and almond.
When a conversation about college begins, two things often can come up: Coffee and beer.
Jackie O’s Pub and Brewery, 24 W. Union St., has developed a way to combine the two with its Bourbon Barrel Champion Ground, a new bourbon barrel-aged stout conditioned on coffee beans.
The new beer doesn’t stray from the classic Jackie O’s brews — the only difference is the added coffee element.
“As far as complexity and depth of flavor and quality, it's right up there with our Imperial-aged products,” Brad Clark, brewmaster at Jackie O’s, said. “It’s got a nice bourbon character to it along with some really nice oak tones such as vanilla and almond. The stout blend is a really complex dark chocolate character, and the coffee has a lighter roast giving it a toffee and caramel-type character without much harshness.”
The stout was conditioned with Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee beans, Clark said, after having been aged in bourbon barrels for 12 months.
“It's been in the works for over a year,” he said.
The label on the beer is in line with the detailed illustrations that often accompany Jackie O’s bottled brews. Bourbon Barrel Champion Ground has reggae all over it, as it depicts a version of Charlie Ace’s Swing-a-Ling mobile record shack, which the label states was known for “broadcasting the ‘champion sound’ ” — hence the new brew’s name.
The drink was released Aug. 28 unannounced — except for a tweet — but even so, the stout became an instant hit. The first to taste the new brew were those who were in town for the bottle release at the BrewPub.
“It was a big hit last weekend,” Clark said. “It was one of the top beers of the weekend. We sold way more than we thought we would.”
Jackie O's sold more than 1,200 bottles — or about 100 cases — of the stout last weekend. Bourbon Barrel Champion Ground can be purchased by the bottle for $11.99, up to six bottles per person per day.
James Hinze, an OU alumnus, tried the new brew, though it was a beer out of his comfort zone, and compared it to the Brick Kiln beer Jackie O's featured last spring.
“I thought (the Bourbon Barrel Champion Ground) was great. It was a whole flavor," Hinze said. "I’m a fan of dark beers, so a deep, full, dark beer — it was great. It’s probably not something I would order on every occasion, but if I was looking for a good flavor — that’s what I was going for.”
— Sean Wolfe contributed to this report.