2023 Oakspire Bourbon Barrel Ale balances the craft of two beverage legends

2023 Oakspire Bourbon Barrel Ale, photo provided by New Belgium
2023 Oakspire Bourbon Barrel Ale, photo provided by New Belgium /

As the holiday season approaches, special beer offerings celebrate the craft of brewing beer. For New Belgium Brewing and its 2023 Oakspire Bourbon Barrel Ale, the spirited offering is a rousing toast to friends, family, and the appreciation for a great brew.

Oakspire has become a New Belgium Brewing holiday tradition. While some breweries focus on darker, robust stouts, this holiday season offering is an amber ale. In some ways, those malty, golden caramel colors sparkle as brightly as the twinkling lights on the tree.

Since the amber ale can be a little easier to pair with a wide array of holiday food choices, some people gravitate to that offering. While far from that lager, the amber ale can be equally as enjoyable with a holiday roast or a plate of gingerbread cookies. That approachability adds to its appeal.

With this 2023 Oakspire Bourbon Ale, the collaboration with Four Roses Bourbon celebrates both brand’s creativity and craft. While the beer brings that malty sweetness, this bourbon highlights some fruity notes and a hint of spicy characteristics.

Speaking to this year’s offering, Jared Spagnola, Emerging Brands Manager at New Belgium Brewing, “As we bring back our collaboration with Four Roses, Oakspire returns with new packaging that offers the consumer a premium experience. Every year as we approach the holidays, we look forward to Oakspire season. Whether you’re a beer or bourbon fan, it’s the perfect complement for slowing down with family & friends.”

2023 Oakspire Bourbon Barrel Ale
2023 Oakspire Bourbon Barrel Ale, photo provided by New Belgium /

With this year’s offering, the toasty notes from the time spent in the oak barrels play off the sweetness and even spicy characteristics that this ale showcases. From that vanilla and caramel sweetness to even a hint of coconut aroma, there is a blend of familiar holiday flavors but with a little intrigue. Similar to that flavor that evokes a memory hidden in the far corners in the mind, this beer invites drinkers to stop and enjoy the sipping pleasure. Far from being overly pronounced, this beer is different from other offerings.

The rye characteristics in the New Belgium ale combined with the spicy character from the Four Roses Bourbon complement each other. Without overpowering the sweetness and fruitiness, there is a character to this beer without it losing its drinkability.

It is easy to drink on its own, pair with a food, or even enjoy as the final sip of the evening. Some might dare to imbibe with a plate of holiday cookies at the end of the night.

The 2023 Oakspire Bourbon Barrel Ale is available now. Check with New Belgium Brewing for pricing and availability.

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