Octuple barrels | Credit: Courtesy

Not only has Draughtsmen Aleworks’ newly released Octuple been quarantined in three types of barrels, with each treatment getting its own bottle. But clocking in at 11.4 percent ABV, the Octuples double the punch of most Belgian-style witbiers, that soft wheat beer style delicately spiced with orange peel and coriander. Although this imperial version concentrates the flavors, the bottle-conditioning keeps it refreshingly vibrant. Its welcoming body and zest avoid booziness and residual sweetness.

The sauternes barrel version is somewhat like sangria as the dessert-wine essence that seeped in is a touch sweet and a lot fruity, specifically grapes and apricots. In contrast, the rum-aged iteration picks up some tropical cocktail notes and baking spice, making it a beer you could serve with a paper parasol. Then there’s the cognac-aged one, redolent of prunes and pear tart, the woodiest of the trio. The oak character delivers this one to a place between the sauterne and the rum versions for a vibrant sipper that’d work well as a pre- or post-dinner treat.

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