To date, I haven't particularly enjoyed many of Bayou Teche Brewing's beers. Kind of a harsh taste, just not for me, at least with the regulars like LA 31, Passionne Acadie and Biere Noire. But if there's one thing doing these reviews has taught me, it's been that part of expanding my palate involves giving some beers a second chance. And while that's not the time for some of Teche's regulars, I was able to pick up a bomber of their Loup Garou barrel-aged stout this past December:
Loup Garou is the Cajun French phrase for a werewolf and is also Bayou Teche Brewing's limited edition, Belgian inspired Imperial Stout. Crafted with an insane amount of chocolate roasted Belgian malts, brown sugars and French hops, our stout is then aged on oak for several months. Loup Garou is just around 8% ABV and will be released in 22 oz. Belgian-style bottles and a very limited number of kegs.
You may still be able to find this around at places that carry a lot of bottles. Corporate Brew & Draft, the new place that took over the Cove's tap room, had some on draught a few weeks back.
An American stout basically takes the classic Irish style and adds something extra, like additional hops, coffee or chocolate flavors or some barrel aging, bourbon or otherwise. In the case of the Loup Garoux (and give Bayou Teche for embracing the Cajun stereotypes HARD in their branding -- the Loup Garoux is a Cajun werewolf for the uninitiated, which works for a rich, dark beer like this), it's a barrel, but not a bourbon one. Sometimes just a good charred barrel works for adding some additional flavor without the sweetness that can come from the additional liquor content a bourbon or whiskey barrel gives.
Very very dark. Rich black color with a brown head, and the roasted flavor of the malts really comes through. And it's an honest bouquet - the open to this is a hard, rich roasted flavor, with the bitterness of strong coffee. That bitterness is consistent throughout, in the background of some sweetness and malty body in the middle through the aftertaste. You taste the barrel in that middle, where the charred flavor kind of bolsters the roasted malts. The bitterness is a bit of a change of pace from what I typically enjoy, but I'm not sure it'd ever become a regular for me. And definitely too filling to session. I give it a 3.5 out of five stars.