Monday, July 18, 2011

Lazy Magnolia Getting Crazy At The Londoner!

I know they aren't a Louisiana brewery, but I still consider Lazy Magnolia (@lazymagnolia) out of Kiln, Mississippi to be a regional brewery.  They've been in our market since their early days, and the Southern Pecan is widely considered to be one of the better nut brown ales out there.  One of the problems Lazy Magnolia faces, though, is that they are in Mississippi and Mississippi's laws regarding alcohol production/sales are pretty ruthless.  They aren't allowed any beer greater than 6% abv, so Lazy Magnolia's options are limited when it comes to brewing bolder and bigger beers.  One way to create new and interesting beers that they have been able to use, is aging and spicing processes on their existing favorites.

Not too long ago I met up with Jay and Al Manint over at The Londoner to do some work on our potential radio show, and to try some of these Lazy Magnolia varieties.  First up was a beer they call the "Southern Gentleman," which is a bourbon-barrel aged version of their Southern Pecan.

It was a deep amber color, not hazy, and aroma was very spicy and boozy... the bourbon aging really came through in this style.  The taste was even more bourbon heavy, easily one of the most bourbon-dominant examples of aging I've tried. The nutty pecan flavors are there as well but the bourbon vanilla and spice notes dominate the palate.

The mouthfeel is interesting because it tastes like a stronger beer than it actually is. The alcohol notes from the bourbon really fool you, but it's not a strong beer alcohol-wise at all. Overall, I'm glad I got the chance to try this, hopefully it's more than a one-time release.  It might be bourbon-dominant, but fortunately I like bourbon, and I'm fan of the Southern Pecan either way.

After a few of those they tapped a cask of chamomile infused Indian Summer, Lazy Magnolia's light wheat ale.  Unfortunately this was a cask that had been tapped the night before for a tasting, and casks aren't meant to hold carbonation for long.  As a result, we had a bit of a flat beer on our hands, but I could see the promise in the way the flavors combined.  I wish I had a better example to properly review, but I think this spiced beer had a lot of promise and I commend Lazy Magnolia for giving these a try.  I do hope both end up in a regular (or at least special release) rotation so I can try them again.