Inside, while traipsing the aisles, I happened upon an ale that I hadn’t heard of. It had a name that I didn’t bother to mentally pronounce but the sixpack carton was what caught my eye. Within the main design was the image of a sea monster about to devour some fishermen in their boat. The one thing that snagged me was the little inset badge which read “Bourbon Barrel Aged.” The beer in question was Rocky’s Revenge, brewed by the Tyranena Brewing Company out of Lake Mills, Wisconsin. At $8.99 for the sixer, I couldn’t pass it by.
I visited Tyranena Brewing’s website and learned that the name is pronounced like Tyra (think Banks) and Nina (neena,) two babe names. Together. Simul… you know the rest. The label on the bottle had the story of the legend of Rocky and the naming of the beer.
Deep in the darkest depths of Rock Lake prowls a great saurian known today as Rocky. The legend of Rocky is old. The ancient inhabitants of Aztalan warned of the beast by building a giant serpent mound at the lake’s edge. The early residents of Lake Mills were forewarned of a guardian placed in the lake to protect its sacred stone tepees. And history tells of numerous encounters with Rocky, who became a source of great worry and fear. Although not seen for over a century, divers still experience a feeling of dread and being watched. Enjoy Rocky’s Revenge, our offering to this legendary protector of Tyranena.
Sea monster protector and bourbon barrels. I was convinced. I wondered if this beer would be as good as that other monster beer I had a while back, Dragon’s Milk Ale, which is also aged in oak barrels. We’ll see.
Friday night and the time was right for some monster beer. I grabbed the first bottle and dumped out its goodness. Hmm. Twist-off cap.
The liquid poured a nice shade of brown but had only about a quarter-inch of foam. The bubbles were of a medium size and rose slowly upward. The aroma had a sweetness to it and did remind me of the Dragon’s Milk Ale I raved about in the past.
The first sip was full of body. Dark, and rich malts coated my mouth and the caramel taste lingered after the swallow. There was a subtle sweetness at the beginning, a big bag of flavor in the middle and nice crispness at the end. I’m sure it’s the aging in the bourbon barrel that gives this beer the distinct flavor that it had. It almost tasted of bourbon but it was not breathtaking in the mouth nor was it hot in the stomach.
The entire first glassful was one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had tasting beer. Each new sip was like a new mouth event. The beer was not too heavy and not too light. It was a perfect blend of sweet and dark with that special barrel essence only bourbon can give. This beer was a real treat to the taste buds and so smooth going down.
By the third beer, the tastes all settled out into a nice sweet and caramelly drink that played nice with all things sensory. The flavor continued and renewed the mouth interior with each sip. How nice. This beer is highly recommended. Seek, scour, hunt and search out this beer. You will not be disappointed.
Taste: A > A candy apple without the apple and nuts but with bubbles and beer.
Smoothness: A- > Beer with a buff job.
Drinkability: B+ > Six deep, openmouthed tongue kisses.
Bang for the buck: B+ > Get more than you think you’ll need.