Fathoms Below by Calusa Brewing

As you know, I’m a big fan of Calusa. They do a lot with their brown ale program, including barrel aging Dissonance, an Imperial Breakfast Brown Ale treated with whole-bean coffee and cinnamon aged in oak bourbon barrels. So, when I heard they had released a new barrel aged brown, I was intrigued to check it out.

img_2778Fathoms Below (one of the coolest beers names ever!), is an Imperial Brown Ale aged 18 months in Bourbon Barrels with coffee and hazelnuts. It checks in at a heavy 11.5% ABV and pours black with a thin tan head that gradually fades to a slight tan ring around the outside of the glass. Aroma is savory with tons of hazelnut and a hint of barrel sweetness. Swirling the beer in the Teku reinvigorates the tan head momentarily.

This beer is a medium to full-bodied (I want to say stout) brown ale. As expected, there’s a lot of hazelnut on the tongue as well. However, for a beer that rested 18 months in bourbon barrels, the sweetness of the barrel perfectly compliments this beer. The barrel isn’t overly done, which is nice. There’s a bit of coffee on the back end and a touch of coconut and vanilla. I’d like to see the coconut be more prevalent but this beer hits the spot. It’s sweet and savory all at once, which is a nice touch.

As it warms, the hazelnut is even more prevalent. The coffee bitterness lingers a bit longer on the tongue as well, which is nice. The thing is, this beer drinks like a stout. But let’s be honest, all of the Imperial Brown Ales that I’ve had from Calusa are very stout-like. Don’t get me wrong, their stouts are fantastic as well, but it’s just uncommon to see an 11.5% Brown Ale. Or a 13% Brown Ale, for that matter.

Once again, this shows just how Calusa is able to think outside the box. A lot of other breweries in the area get way more recognition for their dark beers, but in my opinion (which doesn’t mean a thing!), Calusa is just as good, if not better. And did I mention that artwork on this beautiful bottle? So good! Cheers!

Beer Stats

  • ABV:  11.5%
  • IBU:  n/a
  • Untappd Rating:  4.41
  • # of Ratings:  107

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