Beer of the Week: Sealed Envelope

Modern Times Beer's special-projects team makes magic of a mail-bag challenge from Weldwerks Brewing

Beer of the Week header

The past two years have been all about change for Modern Times Beer. New ownership, organizational moves and a company culture overhaul, all of which have the 10-year-old operation in a better, healthier place than its been in a long time. Through all of those changes, one thing has remained the same…Modern Times produces epic stouts. Those looking to verify that statement need only look at the Point Loma brewery’s performance at brewing competitions this year alone (the company vocally abstained from entering competitions under its former regime). In March, Modern Times came a beer shy of sweeping the Best Barrel-aged Beer category at the San Diego Beer News Awards. Come September, the company repeated that feat in the Dessert of Pastry Stout category at the country’s most prestigious craft-beer contest, the Great American Beer Festival. The following month, Modern Times struck gold in Dessert Stout at the San Diego International Beer Competition. Need more proof? Then we present to you this week’s featured beer, Sealed Envelope. Being brand-new, this barleywine-cut bourbon barrel-aged stout lacks gold, silver or bronze hardware, but has plenty to offer on its own. Namely a chocolate-swizzled Tiki drink aroma brought on by banana, coconut and macadamia nuts. Rather than stand out on their own, those ingredients sync with their aging vessel’s bourbon character to produce a confectionery flavor profile that tastes of vanilla, milk chocolate, passionfruit and blueberry. Those lovely flavors are conveyed via a luscious, silken texture that coats one’s palate, making for an enjoyable extended stay. This is a masterfully matured and blended concoction that could very well earn a medal (or three) come awards season.

Sealed Envelope represents the fruits of our collaboration with the illustrious Weldwerks Brewing Co. out of Greeley, Colorado. The base of this beer is a hybrid of Medianoche, their amazing imperial stout, and one of our barleywines, Altar of the Orc Lord. We allowed it to age extensively in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels for 18 months. The blend is ultra-rich and absolutely drenched in complex, developed dark-sugar notes. The Medianoche component adds a roasty, baker’s cocoa edge to the beer, while the barleywine adds caramel and toffee notes. Why the name Sealed Envelope? Weldwerks sent us a sealed envelope with a list of ingredients we were challenged to use and vice versa. We added wild Thai banana, Hawaiian macadamia nuts and coconut, and the result is heavenly. The banana is some of the most expensive in the world, the macadamia nuts are specially procured from the farms of Kona on the Big Island, and the coconut is a blend of both toasted and untoasted flakes – it’s a pure, decadent dessert beer. Weldwerks will be releasing their interpretation this month, as well!”

Justin Holmes, Special Projects Manager, Modern Times Beer
Back to top button