We are welcoming the new year with two limited release beers, available starting next Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - the 2017 vintages of Erebus and Terror.
ABOUT THE BEERS
Erebus is our Russian Imperial Stout, released for the first time last year (February 2016) and Terror is the barrel-aged version, which is a new addition to our limited release beer roster. This is Winterlong's first foray into barrel-ageing and an exciting one at that.
Erebus on it's own is a beautifully dark, roasty stout with hints of chocolate, liquorice and molasses; while Terror has additional hints of vanilla, toasted coconut, toffee and oak from the bourbon and rye whiskey barrels that it has been ageing in for 4.5 months (purchased from the Port Chilkoot Distillery in Haines, Alaska). Erebus comes in at 8.5%, while Terror comes in a little boozier, at 10% courtesy of the whiskey barrels.
Both beers are available in 650 ml bottles and Erebus will also be available on draught. (Sorry, no growler fills as we have very limited volumes!) These beers are best enjoyed a little warmer to fully appreciate their glorious flavours, so take it out of the fridge half an hour before drinking. We also recommend buying a couple bottles of each and saving a few for ageing as the roasty and complex malt characters and contributions from the barrels will continue to develop the beer's flavour over time.
ABOUT THE NAMES
These beers also have a story worth sharing about how they got their names. With our first batch of Russian Imperial Stout, we were looking for something to describe its dark colour and depth - so what better than 'Erebus', the personification of shadow and darkness in Greek mythology as well as the name for the Greek underworld (a place between Earth and Hades).
But in addition to that, the name also has a connection to Canadian history, as HMS Erebus was one of two ships that was used in the ill-fated 1845 Franklin Expedition, which attempted to complete a crossing of the Northwest Passage. The expedition's other ship was HMS Terror, so we couldn't resist using that name for the barrel-aged version.
During the 1845 Franklin Expedition, both ships ended up getting trapped in sea ice, and abandoned by their crew. Search parties were sent out over the next decade to look for the missing men and to find the ships, but they were never found. The entire 129 crew eventually perished and the ships lost, making the Franklin Expedition one of the most tragic in Royal Navy history and one of the biggest mysteries in polar exploration still to this day.
It was only recently, in 2008, that the Canadian Government through Parks Canada took up the search for the ships, with a broader plan of also asserting Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic. But even with today's technology it took 7 years until the remains of HMS Erebus were found along the coast of Queen Maud Gulf in Nunavut, and another 2 years until HMS Terror was discovered (September 2016).
So whether you buy the beers because you're a beer-swilling history buff or just a craft beer fan, we hope you enjoy these deliciously, mysterious brews. Cheers to more great discoveries in 2017!