Just 40 miles north of my residence in Bloomington is Taxman Brewing. Located in Bargersville, they’ve been on my radar for sometime— paying them a visit has been high on the to-do list but I had yet to make it happen. After seeing the event announcement go out on Twitter, I decided that one way to right the wrong would be to attend the inaugural Death and Taxes day.
I arrived shortly after the midday gate opening, and started out the day with a Let’s Get Weird by Upland. A part of their Side Trail series, it’s a blend of Belgian golden ale and oatmeal milk stout aged on blackcurrants. From its description I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I was greeted by was an ale with chocolate notes heavily influenced by the milk stout but nicely followed by a dash of tartness from the fruit.
After that one warm up beer, it was time to get down to business. The event ticket included two samples of the Death and Taxes beer, and after priming my palette, I was ready to try it for myself. Death and Taxes is an 11% Imperial Stout fermented with Belgian yeast. There was also a barrel variant aged in bourbon whiskey barrels for 10 weeks available. I was able to pick out a few Belgians esters in the aroma from the base beer. The barrel version however, has that huge hit of bourbon on the nose, which is to be expected but it does temper some of the other nuances in the aroma. In terms of flavor, the base beer has some roast, dark fruits notes but it had a really enjoyable bittersweet chocolate finish. The finish was similar in the barrel version but the flavors were of course more influenced with bourbon and vanilla notes contributed by the barrel aging.
A pit stop in the restaurant for lunch, accompanied by a Frozen Assets (Taxman’s Cocoa Belgian Milk Stout), provided me an opportunity to check out the indoor space they have for their brewpub.
In the afternoon I focused on some breweries that, due to their smaller distribution area, I’ve had minimal opportunities to sample. First up, based in Carmel, Danny Boy Beer Works and their American pale ale Training Day. Plenty of those west coast, grapefruit, citrus hops present but kept nicely in balance by some malt so it’s not too bitter, making it something you could enjoy a few of in a session. The next sample was Indiana City’s Shadow Boxer. One of their year-round brews, it’s an oatmeal stout with wonderful coffee, chocolate notes and the smooth creamy mouthfeel. Definitely a beer I look forward to having a full serving of at my next opportunity.
Before heading out I checked out some of the other tents but most importantly picked up my one allocated bottle. Based upon my earlier tastings, I opted for the bourbon variant and I’m looking to cellaring this to see how time evolves the barrel notes.
This was my first trip to Taxman but it wont be the last— I’ve already convinced my wife that this needs to be our next date night locale and I look forward to taking in more of brewpub atmosphere.
Check out GregKitz’s review of Taxman food and beer HERE
BY: Ross Hughes, blogger for indianabeer.com and a homebrewer, aspiring Cicerone and all-around beer nerd.