Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Bars & Spirits

Craft beer of the week: Barrel-Aged Hazelnut Imperial Stout with Cacao Nibs, Cycle Brewing

St. Petersburg’s Cycle Brewing has built its name on a series of rich, robust and decadent barrel-aged imperial stouts, earning it an international — yes, international — reputation as one of the top stout breweries out there.

In years past, getting ahold of these limited release bottles has meant anything from camping out in front of the brewery the night before the release, to hiring folks to stand in line on one’s behalf (pesky bottle limits).

Cycle has since increased its barrel-aged output dramatically, making it significantly easier for the average Tampa Bay citizen to try these acclaimed brews, even going as far as to partner with local bottle shipping service, Kolo Shipping, to allow out-of-towners to enjoy Cycle bottle releases — no additional shenanigans needed.

Cycle’s latest release in this line is the Barrel-Aged Hazelnut Imperial Stout with Cacao Nibs, a beer that has helpfully described itself in the name. Like many Cycle releases, this is a thick, glorious stout, full of cocoa, coffee and fig notes. Hazelnut flavoring and cacao nibs from Largo’s Pinellas Chocolate Company bring up the balance, resulting in what Cycle is calling its "richest batch to date."

This beer has spent some time in used bourbon barrels, so expect a hint of whiskey in the finish. Rather than a hot, spirit-like character, you’ll get more from the barrel itself: notes of creamy vanilla and spice, with a mellow smoothness that a big beer like this can achieve only after spending some quality time on wood.

Bottles of Barrel-Aged Hazelnut Imperial Stout with Cacao Nibs went on sale in the tasting room Aug. 29, with online sales opening up last Saturday. (If you intend on ordering bottles online, note that Kolo Shipping’s cutoff for this release is Tuesday, Sept. 11.) The brewery has whipped up a bunch of this brew, so you should have no trouble snagging a $30 bomber in the tasting room, no camping chairs or "mules" required. — Justin Grant, tbt* correspondent; Have a suggestion for the Local Craft Beer of the Week? Brewers, have a limited release coming that we should know about? Email [email protected]

Comments
Artists, punks mourn closing of Fubar in downtown St. Petersburg

Artists, punks mourn closing of Fubar in downtown St. Petersburg

Fubar will be shuttering its doors after the New Year. For more than nine years the bar has opened its doors for punks and artists alike allowing local and touring bands a place to get weird.
Updated: 3 hours ago
New column Winning Recipes will feature sweet treats like these Pecan Pie Bites

New column Winning Recipes will feature sweet treats like these Pecan Pie Bites

For the past 15 years, Lorraine Stevenski has been part of the recipe contest scene.
Updated: 3 hours ago
That cranberry sauce you’re eating on Thanksgiving? Here’s where it probably came from

That cranberry sauce you’re eating on Thanksgiving? Here’s where it probably came from

A visit to a Wisconsin cranberry farm shows how the berries are harvested.
Updated: 3 hours ago
What’s happening in food: Plant City Pig Jam, Beaujolais nouveau is here

What’s happening in food: Plant City Pig Jam, Beaujolais nouveau is here

Beaujolais nouveau is released, the Pig Jam gears up in Plant City and Norman Van Aken is out at his restaurant in Mount Dora.
Updated: 3 hours ago
What’s happening in sports: St. Pete Run Fest, Bolt Run, Bucs, Lightning

What’s happening in sports: St. Pete Run Fest, Bolt Run, Bucs, Lightning

Run around St. Pete and Tampa and watch the Bolts and the Bucs this weekend.
Updated: 4 hours ago
Three vegetable casseroles to try for Thanksgiving

Three vegetable casseroles to try for Thanksgiving

In case you’re sick of green bean casserole.
Updated: 4 hours ago
Chick-fil-A now offering delivery, celebrates by giving away free sandwiches

Chick-fil-A now offering delivery, celebrates by giving away free sandwiches

Chick-Fil-A will give away free classic chicken sandwiches to customers who order at least $5 worth of food from DoorDash, a delivery service.
Updated: 6 hours ago
A wave of women in the kitchen is behind some of Tampa Bay’s most exciting new restaurants

A wave of women in the kitchen is behind some of Tampa Bay’s most exciting new restaurants

There’s a handful of women-owned, women-staffed and women-managed restaurants that have recently launched or are debuting soon. We spoke with some of the players.
Published: 11/14/18
From the food editor: Make this Caramel Pumpkin Stuffed French Toast for your Thanksgiving breakfast

From the food editor: Make this Caramel Pumpkin Stuffed French Toast for your Thanksgiving breakfast

You can cook most of the parts the night before, then assemble in the morning.
Published: 11/13/18
Five vegan recipe ideas for Thanksgiving

Five vegan recipe ideas for Thanksgiving

Holiday foods for your meat-free friends.
Published: 11/13/18