What is a Whiskey in a Beer Called? A Guide to the Popular Drink Combo

If you’re a fan of both beer and whiskey, then you might wonder what happens when you mix the two. Well, the answer is simple: you get a beer that’s been aged in whiskey barrels, resulting in a unique and flavorful drink. But what is a whiskey in a beer called? This delicious brew is commonly referred to as a whiskey barrel-aged beer, or simply a barrel-aged beer.

A barrel-aged beer is exactly what it sounds like – a beer that’s been aged in barrels that previously held whiskey. During the aging process, the beer takes on some of the flavors and aromas of the whiskey, resulting in a complex and layered taste. Depending on the type of whiskey used, the resulting beer might taste a bit smoky, sweet, or even spicy. It’s a perfect drink for those who love experimenting with different flavor combinations.

Most breweries that produce barrel-aged beer use oak barrels that were previously used for bourbon or other whiskey varieties. The barrels are typically charred on the inside, which adds an extra layer of complexity to the flavor of the beer. The aging process can last anywhere from a few months to several years, depending on the desired result. So, next time you’re in a bar or brewery, make sure to ask for a whiskey barrel-aged beer and taste the unique and delicious flavors for yourself!

What is Whiskey Barrel-Aged Beer?

Whiskey barrel-aged beer is a type of beer that has been stored in whiskey barrels for an extended period, typically several months, to impart the flavors and aromas associated with whiskey. In the process, the beer takes on complex notes of vanilla, oak, caramel, and char that are not present in traditional beer styles.

The use of whiskey barrels for beer aging is a modern practice that began in the United States in the late 20th century. It was initially pioneered by a small group of craft breweries seeking to experiment with new flavor profiles for beer. Today, the popularity of whiskey barrel-aged beer has grown rapidly, with many breweries producing their own unique versions of the style.

Some Characteristics of Whiskey Barrel-Aged Beer

  • Higher Alcohol Content: Whiskey barrel-aged beers generally have a higher alcohol content than traditional beer styles, owing to the strong whiskey flavors that can overpower weaker beers. The more significant presence of alcohol is also due to the extended aging period in the barrels, which can remove some of the water from the beer.
  • Bold Flavors and Aromas: One of the most prominent characteristics of whiskey barrel-aged beer is its bold, complex flavor and aroma profile. The aging process imparts a unique blend of vanilla, caramel, oak, and char, creating a rich, full-bodied flavor that can be quite potent.
  • Long Aging Period: The extended aging period for whiskey barrel-aged beer is typically several months, sometimes even more than a year. During this time, the beer absorbs the flavors and aromas of the whiskey, building its unique flavor profile.

How is Whiskey Barrel-Aged Beer Made?

The process of making whiskey barrel-aged beer involves storing freshly brewed beer in barrels that have previously been used to age whiskey. During this aging period, the beer absorbs the flavors and aromas of the whiskey from the barrel, creating a unique flavor profile.

To make whiskey barrel-aged beer, the brewery typically starts by brewing a high-gravity beer, usually a stout or porter, that can withstand the rigorous aging process. The beer is then transferred to whiskey barrels, where it can age for several months, allowing it to absorb the wood and whiskey flavors from the barrel.

Once the beer has been aged to the desired level, it is removed from the barrel and typically bottle-conditioned before being packaged or served on tap.

Common Types of Whiskey Barrel-Aged Beer Whiskey Barrel-Aged Stout/Porter Whiskey Barrel-Aged Barleywine
Description Dark, rich beer with flavors of coffee, chocolate, and caramel complemented by the whiskey barrel flavors of vanilla, oak, and char. A strong, malty beer with flavors of dark fruit, caramel, and toffee, complemented by the whiskey barrel flavors of vanilla, oak, and char.

Whiskey barrel-aged beer has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many breweries offering their unique take on the style. It represents a fascinating fusion of two distinct forms of alcohol, beer, and whiskey, resulting in a complex and flavorful beverage that is sure to delight fans of both.

Difference between Whiskey and Beer

Whiskey and beer are two of the most popular alcoholic beverages consumed all over the world. While both these drinks are made using grains, the fermentation process and distillation methods used to create them differ tremendously. Here are some of the key differences between whiskey and beer:

  • Production Process: Beer is brewed by fermenting malted grains, usually barley, with hops and yeast. Whiskey, on the other hand, is essentially distilled beer or a mash made of grains, water, and yeast. The mash is brewed and fermented, and then the resulting liquid is distilled to create whiskey.
  • Alcohol Content: Beer typically contains anywhere from 4-8% alcohol by volume (ABV) while whiskey has a much higher ABV, ranging from 40-50% or more. This is due to the process of distillation which results in a more concentrated alcohol content.
  • Flavor Profile: Beer usually has a variety of different flavor profiles, depending on the type of hops and yeast used, as well as the brewing process. Whiskey, on the other hand, has a more complex flavor profile that is influenced by the grains used, type of water, and maturation process.

Overall, while both whiskey and beer are made from grains, they are distinct in their production process, alcohol content, and flavor profile. So, the next time you take a sip of your favorite pint or dram, take a moment to appreciate the craftsmanship and care that goes into creating each delicious sip.


While both whiskey and beer are popular alcoholic beverages, they are very different in terms of their production process, alcohol content, and flavor profile. Knowing these differences can help you appreciate these drinks even more!

History of Whiskey-Beer Collaboration

If you are a fan of both beer and whiskey, you might be curious about the flavor of a whiskey-infused beer. But before we dive into what a whiskey-beer collaboration tastes like, let’s take a brief look at the history behind this fascinating combination.

  • The practice of aging beer in whiskey barrels dates back to the early days of brewing when transportation was difficult, and wooden casks were used to store and transport beer. These casks were often used for other spirits like whiskey, which would infuse the beer inside with unique flavors.
  • Today, many craft breweries intentionally age their beers in whiskey barrels to develop complex flavor profiles that are impossible to achieve through traditional brewing methods.
  • Another popular way of incorporating whiskey into beer is by adding whiskey-soaked oak chips or whiskey flavoring during the brewing process. This technique results in a beer with a subtle whiskey flavor that is often described as smooth and smoky.

Now that we have a bit of background information, let’s take a closer look at the flavor profile and characteristics of a whiskey-infused beer.

Whiskey adds a robust and complex flavor to any beer it is combined with. The unique combination gives the beer a robust smokiness, oaky, and vanilla flavor. The whiskey adds an extra robustness to the beer, and yet the burn of the alcohol presence is not overpowering. But even for someone who doesn’t like whiskey, you will love whiskey-infused beer, because it offers a unique taste experience.

Whiskey-Beer Collaboration Flavor Profile
Stout aged in whiskey barrels A rich and full-bodied beer with flavors of dark roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, and a hint of whiskey.
IPA brewed with oak chips soaked in whiskey A complex and balanced beer with hoppy and citrusy flavors and a subtle whiskey aftertaste.
Belgian Tripel with whiskey flavoring A sweet, spicy, and fruity beer with a warming whiskey finish.

Whether you are a whiskey enthusiast or a craft beer lover, a whiskey-beer collaboration is an experience worth trying. With the endless combinations of different beers and whiskeys, the possibilities are endless, and there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Best Whiskey-Beer Pairings

Whiskey and beer are two of the most popular alcoholic beverages in the world. When you combine these two, you get a delicious drink that is perfect for sipping on a cold evening or enjoying with your friends. The whiskey-beer combo has been around for many years, and there are plenty of great pairings to choose from. Here are some of the best whiskey-beer pairings that you should try out!

Top Whiskey-Beer Pairings

  • IPA and American Whiskey: The bold and bitter flavor of an IPA pairs incredibly well with American Whiskey. The whiskey helps to balance out the bitterness of the hops and adds a subtle smokiness to the drink.
  • Stout and Irish Whiskey: Irish Whiskey is the perfect accompaniment to a rich and creamy stout. The flavors of the whiskey complement the chocolaty and coffee notes of the beer, resulting in a smooth and delicious drink.
  • Belgian Ale and Rye Whiskey: The fruity and spicy notes of a Belgian Ale go exceptionally well with the subtle sweetness and spicy undertones of Rye Whiskey. The combination of these two creates a multi-dimensional and complex drink.

How to Pair Whiskey and Beer?

When pairing whiskey and beer, it’s important to consider the flavor profiles of both the beverage. You’ll want to choose a whiskey that complements or contrasts the flavor of your favorite beer. If you’re not sure where to start, try sticking with classic pairings like a stout and Irish whiskey or an IPA and American Whiskey. Keep in mind that you can also experiment and create your own unique pairings based on your personal preferences.

Summary: What is a Whiskey-Beer Called?

A whiskey-beer is a mixture of whiskey and beer that is commonly enjoyed in bars and pubs. This drink has been around for decades, and there are plenty of great pairings that you can try out. The best whiskey-beer pairings include a Stout and Irish Whiskey, an IPA and American Whiskey, and a Belgian Ale and Rye Whiskey. These drinks are perfect for sipping on a cold evening or enjoying with friends.

Whiskey Beer Pairing Notes
American Whiskey IPA The hops in the IPA are balanced by the American Whiskey
Irish Whiskey Stout The whiskey complements the chocolaty and coffee notes of the beer
Rye Whiskey Belgian Ale The fruity and spicy notes of a Belgian Ale are complemented by the spicy undertones of Rye Whiskey

Remember to explore and find your own flavor combination!

How to properly serve Whiskey-Beer

Serving a whiskey-beer requires a bit of knowledge and patience to get the perfect balance of flavors. Here are some tips on how to properly serve a whiskey-beer:

  • Choose the right glass: A tulip-shaped glass is perfect for serving whiskey-beer. It allows the aroma of the beer and whiskey to be concentrated, enhancing the overall drinking experience.
  • Chill the glass: Before pouring the beer, chill the glass in the freezer for a few minutes. This will keep the beer cool and enhance the flavors.
  • Use the right proportions: The ideal mix of whiskey and beer is 1:3. Pour one part whiskey and three parts beer into the glass to achieve the perfect balance of flavors.

In addition to these tips, there are a few other things you can do to enhance the whiskey-beer experience:

First, experiment with different types of beer and whiskey to find the combination that you like best. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to pairing whiskey and beer, so don’t be afraid to try new things.

Second, sip the whiskey-beer slowly and enjoy the flavors. Allow the beer and whiskey to mingle and breathe so that the flavors can fully develop.

Beer Type Whiskey Type Flavor Profile
Stout Irish Whiskey Roasty, with notes of coffee and chocolate
IPA Bourbon Bitter and hoppy, with a sweet, oaky finish
Belgian Tripel Rye Whiskey Sweet and spicy, with notes of fruit and caramel

Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask the bartender for recommendations or to experiment with your own pairings. Whiskey-beer is a unique and delicious drink that is meant to be savored and enjoyed.

Future Trends of Whiskey-Beer

Whiskey-beer is a unique style of beer that has gained popularity over the past few years. It is made by adding whiskey to the brewing process, which gives the beer a distinct flavor. As this trend continues to grow, we can expect to see some exciting developments in the world of whiskey-beer. Here are some of the key trends to keep an eye on:

  • Collaborations: Breweries and distilleries are coming together to create unique blends of beer and whiskey. The collaboration between Jameson Whiskey and Five Points Brewing Co. is a great example. Their partnership resulted in the creation of a cold-pressed coffee imperial stout that was aged in Jameson barrels.
  • Regional Flavors: As we see with standard beer brewing, whiskey-beer has begun to take on regional flavors as well. In Scotland, for example, Innis & Gunn have launched a whiskey-barrel aged beer called Highland Cask, that features subtle hints of smoke, honey, and spice
  • Experimentation: With whiskey-beer remaining as a niche, this allows brewers plenty of room to experiment with different flavors and brewing techniques. Brewers are not restricted to traditional styles and can create truly unique brews.

In addition to these trends, we are seeing an increasing number of smaller distilleries experimenting with the infusion of beer into their whiskey blends, creating an even deeper connection between the two industries.

Pros of Whiskey-Beer Cons of Whiskey-Beer
Unique Flavor Profile May not appeal to traditional beer drinkers
Allows for experimentation with different brewing techniques Can be difficult to find in certain areas
Opportunities for collaborations between breweries and distilleries May be more expensive due to additional production methods

Overall, whiskey-beer is a trend that is here to stay. As consumers continue to explore new and exciting flavors, we can expect to see more innovative and experimental whiskey-beer creations in the years to come.

Whiskey-Beer Festivals Around the World

If you are a whiskey and beer enthusiast, then attending a whiskey-beer festival is a must. These festivals offer an opportunity to experience a unique drink that combines the bold and robust flavors of whiskey with the mellow and refreshing taste of beer. Here are some of the most popular whiskey-beer festivals around the world where you can taste and enjoy this exceptional drink:

  • The Whiskey and Beer Festival, San Diego: This festival is held annually in San Diego and features over 200 different whiskeys and beers from all over the world. It is a perfect event for those who want to explore the world of whiskey-beer and meet other enthusiasts.
  • Whiskies and Spirits Conference, Edinburgh: This event is held annually in the Scottish capital and attracts whiskey and beer lovers from all over the world. The festival offers a chance to taste different Scottish whiskeys and beers, as well as learn about the rich history and culture of Scotland.
  • Beer and Whiskey Festival, Stockholm: This festival is held annually in Stockholm, Sweden and offers a chance to sample over 500 different types of whiskeys and beers from around the world. The event also features live music, food, and other activities to make it a fun and memorable experience.

Attending a whiskey-beer festival is not only an opportunity to taste and enjoy new drinks, but also a chance to learn about the history and culture behind them. These festivals are a great place to meet fellow enthusiasts, as well as experts in the field who can share their knowledge and experience. Make sure to check out the upcoming whiskey-beer festivals in your area and start planning your next adventure.

FAQs: What is a Whiskey in a Beer Called?

Q: What is a whiskey in a beer called?
A: A whiskey in a beer is typically referred to as a “whiskey barrel-aged beer.”

Q: How is whiskey barrel-aged beer made?
A: Beer is aged in a whiskey barrel that has been previously used to age whiskey. The beer absorbs flavors from the wood and whiskey, giving it a unique taste.

Q: What kind of whiskey is typically used for whiskey barrel-aged beer?
A: Bourbon whiskey is the most common type used for barrel-aging beer, but other types of whiskey, like rye or scotch, can also be used.

Q: What are some examples of whiskey barrel-aged beers?
A: Some popular examples of whiskey barrel-aged beers include Bourbon County Stout by Goose Island Brewery, Dragon’s Milk by New Holland Brewing, and Black Note Stout by Bell’s Brewery.

Q: Why is whiskey barrel-aging popular in craft beer?
A: Barrel-aging adds complexity and depth to the beer’s flavor, and it also allows brewers to experiment with new and unique flavors.

Q: How strong is whiskey barrel-aged beer?
A: Whiskey barrel-aged beer can range in alcohol content, but it is typically higher than average beer. Some examples can have an alcohol content of over 10%.

Q: Can I drink whiskey barrel-aged beer if I don’t like whiskey?
A: Even if you don’t like whiskey, you may still enjoy whiskey barrel-aged beer. The beer’s flavor is often influenced by the barrel and whiskey flavors but is not overpowering.

Closing Thoughts: Thanks for Joining Us!

Now that you know what a whiskey barrel-aged beer is, you can impress your friends with your newfound knowledge at your next beer tasting. Whether you enjoy the taste of whiskey or not, it’s always fun to try a new and unique beer. Thanks for reading, and we hope to see you back here for more interesting beer-related topics in the future!