Lazy Magnolia (Kiln, Mississippi) has started the year off with the very enticing news that Southern Belle will be released in early 2013 as the newest offering in their series of barrel aged beers.
Until this news broke, the lone beer in Lazy Magnolia's barrel aged portfolio was Southern Gentleman, the brewery's Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale aged in bourbon barrels. As the flagship of the program, Southern Gentleman has become a highly sought after offering that has proven exactly how capable the brewery is with barrel aging. Although this brew is incredibly delicious, the bourbon notes can come across as aggressive to some and the brewery has been seeking the perfect complement to Southern Gentleman.
That is where Southern Belle comes in. Instead of going with a liquor barrel that can impart large quantities of boozy and sugary notes, Lazy Magnolia has chosen to go in another direction by aging Southern Pecan in Pinot Noir wine barrels. This treatment should give Southern Belle a complex depth of flavor that comes across in a velvety smooth manner. Here is the beer's description from Lazy Magnolia's most recent newsletter:
Just as its predecessor, the Southern Belle also incorporates our award-winning Southern Pecan. The twist is the tub. Smooth as a gentle kiss, the Southern Belle is instead aged in Pinot Noire wine barrels. It’s sure to melt your heart.
Southern Belle is slated for its first release in March of 2013 and Southern Gentleman will follow closely behind in April. As a part of the brewery's Balcony Reserve Series, both offerings will be available on draft only and in limited quantities throughout the year. You can keep an eye out for these brews at Birmingham's more craft beer friendly bars, restaurants and growler stations.
I will keep you updated once further details surface about exact release dates and areas. Just remember to be patient if the release dates are pushed back a bit because barrel aging can be very unpredictable at times. With that said, I know patience can be a lot to ask when it comes to a brew that sounds as tasty as Southern Belle. Here's to hoping she follows her Southern etiquette and does not keep us waiting too long. Prost!