Arise (Batch 2) | Butchertown Brewing
While searching to find some of the best breweries in Louisville, a few names kept popping up. Mile Wide. Monnik. Atrium. One that kept coming up in mentions was Butchertown Brewing, which I had little knowledge of. I found out they brew out of a space in the Mellwood Art Center, protected by not one but two karate locations. While not the smallest brewing operation I’ve seen (honestly Gallant Fox might’ve been smaller), it’s still tiny compared to some of the bigger boys. What’s not tiny about Butchertown is their beers and Arise definitely fits that bill.. (For more information about Butchertown, check out my interview with owner Andy Cobb on our Louisville show.)
Arise is the name of Butchertown’s series of barrel-aged stouts. Currently there are 4 different versions of Arise – batch 1 (Weller barrels), Vanilla, Coconut, and batch 2 (Jack Daniels Whiskey Single Barrel) – but I expect that number to grow as the brewery grows. Don’t sleep on their fruited things either, as a Cherry Sherbet one made exclusively for Frankfort Avenue Liquors is one of the best things I’ve put in my mouth this year. While Butchertown does make IPAs and lagers, you’re mainly going there for the big stouts and fruited sours.
Arise Batch 2 features the base Arise stout aged in a Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey Single Barrel Pick for 13 months. Arise pours a pitch black color. It still moves like a liquid so I won’t go so far as to say motor oil. A small coating of brown head forms but quickly vanishes. I’m honestly surprised I got any head on this at all, but at least it tells me the beer is carbonated! Dark brown highlights shimmer when held to the light. No color staining of the glass happens, but the clear alcohol residue lets you know you’ve got a big one in the glass. Arise displays an impressive amount of legs for a 12% ABV beer; while not as long as Triptych’s When Someone Asks If You’re a God…, they are as numerous.
It must be the base beer as Arise Batch 2, much like Arise Coconut, gives off some nice caramel notes. Chocolate and vanilla come for the ride as well, but the whiskey really steals the aroma show here. It’s big but it never goes so far as to burn the nostrils. And it smells like whiskey and not just some generic barrel spirit. Even some dark fruits – most notably raisins – poke through a bit. Everything reminds me of Revolution’s Deth’s Tar if aged in whiskey barrels.
Much like the Arise Coconut featuring a surprising note of caramel, Arise Batch 2 comes with surprise nuttiness! Not as forthcoming or noticeable as Ethereal’s Candy Bar Baba Yaga, but it’s there. Chocolate and vanilla combine with a nice caramel sweetness to round things out. The whiskey barrel definitely makes its presence felt, with what I’m assuming is the nutty originator. While not perfect, it blends very well into the base stout. Somehow the entire beer never gets to be too sweet and that could be the carbonation.
Arise Batch 2 keeps things medium, causing any of the above flavors to move off the palate rather quickly. While this helps with any sweetness, I would’ve liked some of those amazing chocolates, vanillas, caramels, and nuts to stay around and play. The whiskey barrel also muscles out more of the base stout than I’d like, but it’s so slight that I was still fine with what was in the bottle. It will age well, but there’s really no need to.
Since just having Arise Coconut, it makes sense to compare the two. Arise Coconut defied even my lofty expectations of what I read about Butchertown while Arise Batch 2 met them. The base and barrel integration on Coconut shine bright and the coconut shows up in just the right amount. The barrel does shine on Batch 2 but at the small expense of the beer. I still killed my 12 ounce bottle of it and would gladly do so again.
So yes, the 3 Sons vibes are real and warranted. If you reside in Louisville, get to Butchertown now (or when they’re open). Between the stouts and the fruited sours, you’ll be in heaven. (I did have their IPA, but it was after one of their stouts and my palate was wrecked.) For those not in Louisville, venture there (only a 4.5 hour car trip from Chicago) or try to trade for some. You will absolutely not be disappointed. And then hit Franklin Avenue Liquors, Gallant Fox, Atrium, Old Town Liquors…