What’s up Window Sillers? It’s that time again! We’re pumping up yet another delicious Connecticut can release. This time, we’re heading back to Stamford’s Half Full Brewery for their second Without Rhyme or Reason release—the Ernest. It’s a blended and barrel-aged Belgian/Amber hybrid, and it’s coming this Friday, December 15!
Once again, Half Full has treated Beers on Window Sills incredibly well, and I was able to get my hands on a few cans early to review for your guys. Jordan, the Director of Branding and Customer Experience, and Zach, the Tasting Room Manager, invited me to come down to the brewery this past Tuesday for a meet-and-greet. Half Full may have been closed, but they opened up their doors to me, and it was really fun.
Jordan, Zach and I talked about the past, present and future of Half Full, and they even gave me a quick walkthrough tour of the facilities. I hadn’t taken the tour since the first year they were in business, and was really amazed to see how much it had grown. Sure, the brew house is the same size as it always was, but there were so many more tanks! And the canning line! I know the facilities have been expanded slowly over the last five years, and anyone who has been there recently has already seen all this, but I hadn’t. It was awesome to see the growth!
I won’t spill the beans on what Jordan and Zach shared with me about plans for the future of Half Full—they didn’t swear me to secrecy or anything, but I got the feeling they didn’t want to jinx anything just yet—but I’m really excited for what’s to come. Hopefully, BoWS will be there for it all.
Now, let’s talk about the beer release! If you read our last Half Full can release post, you’re familiar with the WROR series. Here’s a quick rundown, from Half Full itself:
What’s this all about? Truth be told, we’re not really sure, and that’s kind of the point. These beers don’t fit into any particular series, and they don’t adhere to any particular style, so as much as we possibly can, we’ll be releasing these beers under the moniker, “Without Rhyme Or Reason“. They will be brewed just once, and cans will only be available at the brewery.
The first release in this series was a DDH IPA with Lactose Sugar and Lupulin Powder named “Amelia.” It was amazing, and I’m really glad I was able to score a few more cans during my visit. As I mentioned above, the second release is very different. What the two have in common is that, like “Amelia,” “Ernest” is a a work of brewing art. Rather than take a Belgian ale, or an amber ale, Half Full meshed the two styles together to create a hybrid brew. Now, they could have taken that that delicious-sounding concoction, canned it and released it to the masses, but, instead, they took it to the next level… the barrel level.
Prior to being packaged for sale, this beer spent a full year in first and second-use bourbon barrels. A whole year of all that oaky funk and bourbon-y goodness infusing itself in an already tasty brew! Do you know how much stuff can happen in a year? Just think about the last year, and everything that’s happened in the world! — Actually, it’s probably better that we get back to the beer. I was going to start one of those fun montages of all the cool things that went on while this beer was aging, but… seriously, the beer is tremendous!
I took the six pack home and sat on it for a day before trying it. Popping the tab on the can immediately filled my nose with that boozy, warm bourbon aroma. Pouring it into the sweet glass Zach and Jordan gifted me released even more of those delicious smells. By the time I put the glass to my lips, I was ready for a ride to bourbon town. But the flavors didn’t stop at the bourbon. The funk from the oak was there too, along with the Belgian yeast and some fruity sweetness on the finish. The beer warmed me up and refreshed me at the same time. Really tasty! My wife, Jeannie, who actually had some before I did due to the sinus infection I’ve been battling, really enjoyed it too.
I can’t say enough good stuff about Half Full, the WROR series or the Ernest that’s releasing this Friday. I’m going to do my best to make it down for the release—assuming my sinuses stop trying to pop my left eyeball out of its socket—but I am definitely urging you guys to make it. There will be less cans available than there were for the Amelia—I believe less than half of the case-quantity—so get there early!
The bourbon-barrel-aged marvelousness starts at 4:00 PM on Friday, December 15! I hope to see you guys there!
Check out the Ernest on our Instagram page: