Wicked Weed Dark Arts, an American wild, barrel aged, imperial stout, returns again in October. This monstrous beer is an annual release, and 2016 marks just the third appearance.
Wicked Weed Dark Arts is brewed right up to the North Carolina alcohol cap of 15%. The 2014 edition was aged in bourbon, 2015 in tequila, and 2016 is aged in rum barrels.
A barrel-aged imperial stout of such a high alcohol content can be cloyingly sweet. Head of brewing operations, Walt Dickinson, uses Brettanomyces yeast to cut down on the sweetness and dry out the beer. Wicked Weed Dark Arts is typically brewed in late summer/fall, and racked to barrels for nearly a year.
When you think about really good spirits, they are innately dry (not sweet) and without residual sugar,” adds Walt, Head of Brewing Operations. “Barrel aged stouts can be cloyingly sweet, but because we use brett, Dark Arts is a dry beer. Any residual sugar not usually consumed by traditional brewers yeast will be consumed by the brett and you won’t have to fight through too much sweetness.”
Wicked Weed Dark Arts Wild Imperial Stout will be available in 16.9 ounce bottles starting October 21st. A coffee variant, Dark Arts Espresso, will be available as well on the same day.