Henry’s Farm BA Double Bock

Henry’s Farm Barrel Aged Double Bock
22 oz Bomber, $10, 8.2% ABV

Purchased at the brewery, Stratford – Thanks Shaun!

bockAh yes, another Two Roads Limited Release! No one in Connecticut does a limited release like Two Roads. Say what you want about their beer, but when it comes to marketing and creating a buzz, Two Roads is far and away the best.

Of course, I will say what I want about their beer… because that’s what I do.

But back to their marketing for a moment. You know what Two Roads is? Two Roads is a popular dance club in a suddenly hot new section of town (or in this case, state). There are older and more established clubs that are quietly successful. There are newer or just as new clubs that are cooler and better and play better music and spend more time on creating the best club possible, but they are a bit more underground.

The Two Roads club is huge and expensive. It has a massive web-presence and employs people to scour social media for positive mentions. They advertise in the mainstream club press and do a lot of ancillary things to get their name everywhere – sponsorships, charity work, local events, etc. There is really nothing to dislike about the club, but there are things to like more about other, smaller clubs.

The Two Roads club loves “buzz.” They, just like their brethren clubs in New York City, love lines. If people see a line, they then think there is something worth waiting in line for. They create artificial scarcity to increase the buzz.

For we all know, the more difficult to get, the better the beer. That’s just science. (Note: This and the two other limited release beers were secured for me by my man Shaun. Thanks Shaun!)

Of course, the product has to be good enough to sustain the hype – and the prices. Igor’s Dream BA Stout at $20 a bottle before anyone had ever tasted it? That’s balls. This special release was little different – 3 different beers at $10 a pop. 690 bottles of each, 2 bottles (of each) limit.

And yes, they sell out of all this stuff.

longlineWhich brings me to the second part of my club comparison: The beer IS good. All of it. Two Roads hasn’t really put out an awful beer (okay, maybe Roadsmary’s Baby, but that was a matter of taste for me, as it wasn’t necessarily a flawed beer) – but they’ve never put out a perfect beer either. If you’re wondering, I think I like their No Limits Hef the best, but I could be swayed to Igor’s Dream or Route of All Evil. Or even the mish-mash Rye-95 which was all sorts of confused, but I loved it.

Anyway… the club. The Two Roads club targets the post-college, pre-white collar crowd. They no longer want a sweaty hook-up dance club serving kamikaze pitchers, but they are not ready for a quiet high-end bar with 10 minute drink preparations. In other words, the Two Roads target customer is past Bud/Miller/Coors, but not aware of Hill-Farmstead or even, say, Connecticut’s Beer’d.

And that’s FINE. They are, by all accounts, hugely successful in their first year. And bringing interesting beers to “the masses,” such as they are, is again, FINE. But for the nattering nabobs of negativity like me, FINE doesn’t justify the hype or the prices.

(By the way, I say the same about other certain “rare” beers like Heady and Yuengling. You can get Heady quality beer at NEBCO or Beer’d in Connecticut and the whole Yuengling nonsense is so absurd I don’t even know where to begin.)

Two Roads Says:

My great grandfather, Henry Dethlefsen, farmed over 100 acres in White Lake, SD. When snow from the legendary South Dakota blizzards began to melt, he went to work on his pride and joy – his bock beer.

As a tribute to my great grandfather, we’ve created this barrel-aged double bock beauty.

Henry’s farm is intensely malty with notes of caramel, toffee and pumpernickel. With a kiss of hops for balance – finally, it’s aged in rye whiskey barrels that deliver a rich, warm flavor and bold character.

So, yeah. This beer is the same beer as their regular double bock that sat in a rye whiskey barrel for an amount of time – remember, their “rum barrel aged” pumpkin beer was “aged” for something like 3 weeks only. Oy. The lager gained 0.4% ABV through the process and a definitely whiskey aroma and slight burn. The beer was a bit hot and could certainly stand to be cellared for a spell.

And yeah, it’s FINE. And this one, as opposed to the other two limited releases released on the same limited release day, is probably worth the $10. I gave the “regular” Henry’s Farm a C+ so that means this one must be a B-, because it is more complex and frankly, smooth.

In the end, I do not hate Two Roads. I don’t dislike them, like a lot of local beer snobs do. I appreciate Two Roads and I think they fill their niche wonderfully well. But I also think their best beers are nowhere near the best beers available at other local breweries in Connecticut and I think the bulk of their beers are in the C+ to B- range.

I’ve said my piece. Peace.

Overall Rating: B-
Rating vs. Similar style: N/a

Two Roads Brewing Company
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