With Woodcut No. 8 hitting shelves this week, we feel it is appropriate to take a look back at the history of this annual Cellar Series release. Each Woodcut offering is a truly limited edition beer with a unique flavor that comes from select hops, fine malted barley, and the brewers’ careful aging process. Each brew is aged in virgin oak barrels that are retired after the release.
Woodcut No. 8 – a barleywine – pays homage to our traditional English-style brewing roots. The brew has a rich malt base with notes of dried fruit that mingle with hints of toasted coconut, vanilla and turbinado sugar from the new oak. Slightly warming and sweet, the beer boasts delicate crème brûlée character that will evolve and mellow with age.
Below, a list of Woodcut offerings from our past. Consider yourself lucky if you have one in your beer cellar; our Cellar Series releases are limited and rarely re-created!
Woodcut No. 1: We began the annual Woodcut endeavor with an oak-aged ale, which had hints of vanilla and dried fruit flavors derived from the medium toast of the oak cask. Woodcut No. 1 was named one of Draft Magazine’s top 25 beers in 2008.
Woodcut No. 2: An oak-aged golden ale, Woodcut No. 2 was crafted with fine specialty malts and hops. The rich toffee-like malt character was balanced by soft tannins. Freshly cut wood and vanilla bean aromas complimented the beer’s smooth finish.
Woodcut No. 3: Our oak-aged crimson ale was a combination of Crystal, Cara, and Munich malts to create a pleasant sweetness and an appealing red color. Hints of caramel, raisin, and toasted almonds were balanced by delicate hop flavors, and the beer’s distinct oak aroma enhanced the finish.
Woodcut No. 4: Woodcut No. 4 was an oak-aged double Märzen-style lager. Originally from Bavaria, Märzens were brewed during the cooler months, and then stored in a lager (cave or cellar) during the summer months. Woodcut No. 4, best described as a double Märzenbier, boasted a malty body with a clean, refined finish. Hints of toasted cedar, vanilla and almond were created by lagering the beer in new American Oak barrels.
Woodcut No. 5: Our oak-aged Belgian Quadruple was brewed with a blend of Belgian ale yeast and our house ale yeast. Woodcut No. 5 presented a rich, spicy dried fruit essence and a deep auburn color. Vanilla from the New American Oak complemented the Special B malt with hints of cherry, raisin and plum on the palate.
Woodcut No. 6: Our brewers included both Mosaic and another yet-to-be-named experimental hop variety in the kettle and Hopback for Woodcut No. 6, an American ale. The beer was dry hopped with 100% Mosaic hops, and transferred to virgin American oak barrels where it aged for several months. The final blend married the unique and complex tropical fruit sweetness of the Mosaic hop with the vanilla and toasted oak from the new barrels.
Woodcut No. 7: We combined a hearty portion of pale, roasted and chocolate malts for a strong backbone and a deep thick body in Woodcut No. 7, a Russian Imperial Stout.