Enchiridion: A Celebration of Oak & Time
Enchiridion: A Celebration of Oak & Time
What was once a long-kept secret between our Co-Founder/Brewer, Winslow Sawyer, and our Director of Brewing Operations, Jensen Atwood, is now a barrel-aged stout that we look forward to throughout the year.
Enchiridion is our reserve imperial stout, with the original making its debut in December 2021. It is a thoughtfully curated blend of single, double, and triple bourbon barrel-aged stouts. Beaming with beautiful complexity, this specialty stout is a one-of-a-kind celebration of both oak and time.
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
Blending beer is not a new thing for us. It all started with the first beer we ever brewed at Pure Project: Lief, our Méthode Traditionnelle (M.T. III). Created as an ode to Belgian brewers and their beer-blending processes, Lief is a blend of one-, two-, and three-year-old spontaneously fermented ales. Each portion of this lambic-inspired wild ale ages in neutral oak barrels after being fermented by yeast indigenous to areas of San Diego—including Mt. Laguna, Cuyamaca Park, and our very own Miramar brewery—making its qualities remarkably terroir-driven.
When combining the one-, two-, and three-year spontaneously fermented ales for Lief, the result was a far more complex and unique brew—one that exceeded the aromas, flavors, and overall experience of each individual ale itself. (Learn more about Lief and the meaning behind the term Methode Traditionelle here.)
The result of Lief had Winslow and Jensen thinking: “What if we tried this aging and blending process with a stout?” And while they kept the concept a secret for years while their new creation developed and aged, the story of Enchiridion, unbeknownst to anyone else, had begun.
ENCHIRIDION: A TRIO OF STOUTS WITHIN A STOUT
Besides, of course, being a completely different beer style than Lief, Enchiridion also introduced something new with its barrel aging process. Instead of aging the stouts in one type of oak barrel for the duration of their slumber, to get maximum barrel impact, the stouts that make up Enchiridion are racked into a new barrel each year. Each of the barrels used in the aging process brings its own unique nuances to the end result.
Altogether, six bourbon barrels were used in the creation of Enchiridion. Let’s get into what each of the one-year, two-year, and three-year portions of the stout brings to the table to create this intricate, blended brew.
STOUT ONE — SINGLE BARREL PORTION:
Breckenridge (Distillery) bourbon barrels are one of our favorites here at Pure. We age many of our stouts in Breckenridge, and it’s because of the incredible attributes this oak barrel incorporates into the beer during aging. Enchiridion’s one-year barrel-aged stout was placed into 4-year-old Breckenridge bourbon barrels, and as a relatively young barrel, it seeps significant elements into the brew—including notes of oak tannin and bourbon warmth.
STOUT TWO — DOUBLE BARREL PORTION:
For the second batch of Enchiridion, we introduced a new barrel into the process. The two-year portion of the blend rested in Breckenridge barrels for 365 days (meaning it’s the same beer that made up the single barrel-aged stout of 2021’s Enchiridion), then was racked into 10-year Widow Jane bourbon barrels for another 365 days. We like to use older barrels for the multi-year aging process, as they help to mellow the beer, and not provide an overload of oak tannin characteristics. The addition of Widow Jane barrels into the mix contributes notes of refined oak and sweet brown sugar.
STOUT THREE — TRIPLE BARREL PORTION:
And, to complete the blend is the triple bourbon barrel-aged stout. This stout was initially the double barrel-aged portion of 2021’s Enchiridion. We saved some of that beer, placed it into another barrel, and had it continue aging to be incorporated in this year’s batch. It started out in Breckenridge back at the end of 2019, then went into Blanton’s Mash #2 bourbon barrels in 2020, and finally went on to rest in Widow Jane barrels for an additional year. Characteristics from the Breckenridge and Widow Jane barrels are incorporated, plus the inclusion of Blanton’s Mash #2 bourbon bestows vanilla, raisin, and some floral notes into the beer.
NOW AVAILABLE: ENCHIRIDION BATCH #2
This three-year process produces one incredible creation. Enchiridion emits long-awaited bourbon complexity, with aromas of crème brûlée, lightly toasted oak, and wildflower honey, and delicious flavors of caramelized fig, melted milk chocolate, and cinnamon bark that delight the taste buds.
Want to treat your palate with this luxurious stout? Enchiridion is available on tap at all five of our taproom locations, and is available for purchase in bottles, while supplies last. Don’t miss out on this once-a-year specialty stout release—once it’s gone, it won’t be back for another year!