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Rare Scooop by Cycle Brewing in collaboration with 3 Sons Brewing Company is a Neapolitan (ice cream) bourbon whiskey barrel-aged imperial stout. Rare Scooop is easily one of (IF NOT THE BEST) barrel-aged small batch craft beers I have ever had in my entire life. I waited seven long months to open the Rare Scooop from the date I purchased it at Cycle Brewing.
Rare Scooop Tasting
After seven long months, Rare Scooop tasted even better then the first time I had it. The couple months of aging had softened the sweetness and brought in more character flavor. I could taste the strawberry, chocolate and vanilla even more. The smell of bourbon and oak is unbelievable from this beer. It hits your nostrils with pure bliss the second you begin to pour it in your glass. It has a creamy, sweet and smooth finish that puts it over the top. Every sip was heaven on earth.
The Rare Scooop paired amazing with my Sindicato Maduro; as the sweet robust flavor paired nicely with my full-bodied stogie. Obviously, because it was a Neapolitan ice cream flavor you would get the three flavors (chocolate, vanilla and strawberry) as well as soft hints of bourbon that brought a bold bite and flavor to the tasting experience.
Rare Scooop Experience
On May 20th, 2016 Cycle Brewing released Rare Scooop at 8am in the morning on the Friday of American Craft Beer week at their brewery in downtown St.Petersburg, FL. Cycle Brewing had notified everyone in the beginning of the week and the day before via Instagram of the cost ($30 per bottle) and the limit (1 bottle per person). Rare Scooop would be the most limited and highly anticipated craft beer Cycle Brewing had ever released. I arrived that Friday at 4am in the morning. When I got there, there was already 75 people waiting in line. I knew this would get ugly.
By the time it got to 7:30pm, the line wrapped around the block and the people first on line could see the backside of the people who were last on line. It was a crazy turn out. People from North Carolina and Georgia were waiting for this beer. People driving by were asking if we were waiting to meet a celebrity or even if we were going to see a concert. No, we were all just craft beer nerds and wanted to buy Rare Scooop, a barrel-aged beauty that was the first of its kind.
I waited on line for several hours until it was my turn to pay cash for Rare Scooop. Later that day, I went back to Cycle Brewing because they said they would have a limited amount of Rare Scooop on tap. Naturally, I had to try it, and that is when I feel in love. I knew that aging it for a few months would make it even better, and I was right. That gamble paid off big time!
I opened it on Thanksgiving, along with my bottles of Dos Brunch and Brazil Oberon (both Cycle Brewing barrel-aged beers; and both AMAZING coffee stouts that I would give high recommendations for as well.) I decided to share the goods with my Dad and a few close friends. They all agreed it was fantastic. We all sparked up stogies and enjoyed some of the best barrel-aged bourbon craft beer on the planet. Damn good way to close out a turkey day.
On UnTapped and Beer Advocate, Rare Scooop receives a high score of 4.8 out of 5 and 98 out of 100. It is in a league of the craft beer elite. I hope they make Rare Scooop again, because if they do I will be back on line at 4am in the morning to try and get it. It was that damn good.