Brewery – Urban Artifact
Beer – Thoroughbred
Style – Bourbon Barrel Aged Amber Lager
ABV – 9.1%

Imperial Amber Lager aged in Bourbon barrels with Brettanomyces claussenii.

Wild Cultures – Urban Artifact Lactobacillus, Sacaromyces Pastorianus, Brettanomyces Claussenii.

If you aren’t living in Cincinnati, or you are and weren’t following along with the buildup to Urban Artifact’s first bottle release (this one) you missed out on a lot of hype… and a long wait.  Now that we have the bottle in our hands, though It’s easy to see why it took so long.  This beer is pretty fantastic, and a great example of wild, funky things that will be coming out of this brewery, and this city for a long time to come.

It’s only fitting that the first beer that Urban Artifact ever put into a barrel, way back when they opened their doors for business is also the first one that they have stashed away into bottle format for their thirsty fans.  This second ‘version’ of the beer takes everything that was great about the first and kicks it up a notch.  You’re left with a hearty, strong, yeast forward experience in your glass.

The beer was also bottled with several variants, all inspired by different cocktails.  Released so far:

  • Thoroughbred, Mint Julep
  • Thoroughbred, Kentucky Mule
  • Thoroughbred, The Devereaux
  • Thoroughbred, King Cake Old Fashioned
  • Thoroughbred, Corpse Reviver

My Thoughts on Urban Artifact Thoroughbred

If you’ve yet to catch on, I love beer that is “different” than the norm.  I love breweries that are different than the norm too.  Urban Artifact is certainly not what I would call a typical craft brewery.  From their church converted taproom space, to their desire to do everything with wild or tart yeast strains, Wild Culture means a lot to these guys.  And this beer is certainly far from ordinary as well.

Thoroughbred might have been around since the brewery first opened, but the beer has taken on a new life with this release.  It’s got a solid bourbon character from the barrel, but what strikes me strongest is the oakiness that I taste.  Lighter bodied than your average barrel aged offering, but far from what I’d call “light”, this beer plays in a category all its own.

The flavor kicks it up a notch with a definite sour twang, and I’m sure the funk of the brettanomyces will continue to develop a bit in the bottle, though it’s not in your face right now.  I’m a fan of sharing this with almost any craft beer fan that you might know.  Fans of barrel aged beers will appreciate the unique take on it, while sour beer fans will have their palates ticked just in the right spot.

If you see this, get this.  If you get this, drink this.

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