Salted Caramel Mudslide is our latest beer forged from the bourbon barrels of our Proprietor’s Vintage program.
A perfectly rich, bold, and flavorful beer for winter sipping, this beer takes its inspiration from its namesake cocktail.
Traditionally made with vodka, coffee & Irish cream liqueur, we made our version of this drink by blending some of our favorite bourbon and vanilla extract barrel-aged beers and adding premium selected coffee, cocoa nibs and sea salt.
Barrel Program Manager Eric Ponce shares how this drink is part of his holiday celebrations:
“I always have quite a few of these during the season. It’s known to be basically a boozy milkshake – a little sweet, a little creamy, a little rich. It’s usually with vodka, but I’m not a vodka drinker, I’ve always used bourbon instead. I’m not huge on rich, sweet, decadent desserts or drinks. So, after mixing this drink, I always add a little bit of carbonated water to add a few bubbles and lighten the richness. I was thinking, let’s try to make a beer based loosely off the mudslide cocktail. “
Layers of Caramel, Vanilla and Cream
Our blonde barley wine Helldorado had been maturing in bourbon barrels for over 12 months. “It always exudes a lot of caramel flavor, so that gave me the inspiration of using it as our base beer. I’m getting caramel notes from the actual beer without having to add any flavoring to the beer itself,” Eric says.
A few years ago he found a producer that made Vanilla extract in used bourbon barrels. They stuffed Madagascar vanilla beans into barrels and once the process was complete, the freshly emptied barrels absolutely radiate with big Vanilla energy. “It’s the most beautiful aroma you’ll ever experience,” raved Eric.
Naturally, he filled these vanilla extract barrels with Parabola, our imperial stout. About 10% of this finished beer is vanilla-infused Parabola. Another 10% of the beer is Velvet Merkin, our milk stout in bourbon barrels, which provides just enough creamy richness. In combination with the Helldorado and vanilla barrel Parabola, the blend was harmonized.
Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice
Next up was to fold in our additions of coffee, cocoa nibs, and sea salt.
“We worked with our local Paso Robles coffee roaster Spearhead Coffee; we went to their roasting facility, brewed and and tasted a bunch of different beans to identify what would work best. We chose the Mexican Chiapas Tereas (El Jaguar). With the specific bean in mind, we wanted to create a darker roast than normal. They ran a custom extra dark French roast for us, full of really rich espresso, toasted almond, and really incredible dark chocolate notes.”
Eric also jokingly mentioned that it wasn’t just because of the cool burlap sack, although it did catch his eye.
The cocoa nibs that were incorporated into the beer came from a California chocolate maker called TCHO, who sources fair-trade beans from around the globe. We chose nibs sourced from Ghana after falling head over heels for the rich bittersweet chocolate, nuttiness, and coconut flavors they impart.
Lastly, salt. Just how a touch of salt in a dish melds all the flavors, Eric felt that the fine ground pink Himalayan sea salt “just acts like a backbone in the beer, harmonizing all the components together and rounding the sensory experience.”
Smooth, decadent and warming, it is a perfect beer for winter sipping.
A cocktail-inspired beer for the holidays
Salted Caramel Mudslide is a beer to behold. Complex layers of caramel, espresso, bittersweet chocolate, brown sugar, and vanilla all jump out of the glass.
We hope that this beer finds you in a place of joy this year as the winter holiday season approaches. We raise a glass, from our family to yours. Cheers!
Only 300 cases were made of this release. Available at our campus locations and online for a limited time.