Breakside Brewery releases 8 Variants of The Oligarch barrel-aged Imperial Stout

Breakside Brewery The Oligarch Series variants

Breakside Brewery has announced the return of The Oligarch barrel-aged Imperial Stout with eight different variants. The Oligarch dates back to 2015 when it was first released while the eight new versions are part of an ambitious new barrel-aging project called ‘The Oligarch Series’ that dates to 2017.

The base “original” beer is a single batch British Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels for two years. The eight different variants that make up The Oligarch Series all have special ingredients: Maple, Candy Cap mushrooms, cinnamon bark/almonts/chocolate/lemon zest, cacao nibs/vanilla bean/toasted corn, hazelnuts/vanilla/sea salt, cocoa/vanilla, and raspberries/almonds.

These eight beers will be released in bottles and draft, with all the variants having a very limited, exclusive distribution.

“This is the longest we’ve ever aged a single batch of strong ale, with the oldest casks of the blend having been in wood since January of 2017,” said Ben Edmunds, brewmaster for Breakside Brewery. “This is also the first time we’ve blended different-aged batches of the same wood-aged stout into a finished blend, which gives The Oligarch incredible nuance.”

And that was just what he had to say about The Oligarch itself. Edmunds dove into the creation of the variants, saying, “When we took on this project, we approached each blend seriously, trying to create a whimsical, balanced, and delicious set of flavors. I hope that people enjoy drinking these beers as much as we enjoyed creating and blending them.”

The Oligarch project encompassed 84 casks, resulting in 122 barrels of finished beer. Beers that will be released in the series this year include:

  • The Oligarch – An Imperial Stout blended from four different batches of stouts aged in bourbon barrels, this beer is rich, sticky, sweet and aggressive and is best shared with friends who tend toward excess, indulgence, and pleasure.

  • Maple Oligarch – Edmunds says that “the maple-bourbon barrels from Bissell Maple Farm in Jefferson, Ohio provide a ton of complexity, offering an especially nerdy delight” to be found in this intense and rich beer.

  • Candy Cap – This variant is made with one of the Pacific Northwest’s most beguiling foodstuffs: candy cap mushrooms. Their intense brown sugar smell helps create a sweet-then-savory sensation that dovetails perfectly into some of the strong oxidative notes of the casks.

  • Bocconotto – Aged on cinnamon bark, toasted almonds, chocolate and a touch of lemon zest, this beer is an ode to one of our favorite Italian pastries, a specialty of southern Italy.

  • Champurrado – Comprised of eight of the richest casks from the series and inspired by the flavors of Mexican champurrado, we aged this stout on a mix of cacao nibs, vanilla bean, and toasted corn.

  • Piedmontese – The most elegant variant in this series, this beer was fashioned on the off-sweet cakes of northern Italy. We conditioned this blend of maple barrel-aged stouts on Oregon-grown hazelnuts and vanilla bean and added a touch of sea salt for depth.

  • Coco Breakfast – We took inspiration from our brewmaster’s favorite childhood breakfast cereal and loaded up the cocoa and vanilla for a beer that’s great for dessert – or breakfast.

  • PB & Oligarch – The last variant (but surely not the least) combines the original Oligarch with raspberries and almonds.  Just like our mom used to make only better! This variant has a delicious nutty aroma with a kiss of raspberry that takes us back to those lunchtime classics.

The series will be released at all three of Breakside’s Portland, Oregon locations during Zwickelmania on February 16, with the beer becoming more widely available shortly after. The Oligarch will be available across the brewery’s distribution area in 22-ounce bottles and on draft, with the seven variants having very limited distribution in 12-ounce bottles and draft.

About Breakside Brewery

Breakside Brewery opened in 2010 in Northeast Portland as a restaurant and pub brewery. The brewery is known for its innovative, experimental and diverse beers. In 2013, Breakside expanded operations to Milwaukie, OR with a 30 bbl production brewery filled with 30, 60 and 120 barrel tanks, barrel rooms for wild and non-wild/sour fermentations, a high-speed bottling line and a 24-tap tasting room. The brewery expanded to Northern California in 2016 and in 2017 Breakside opened its third location in the Slabtown district of Northwest Portland. In addition to winning several national and regional awards for its beers, Breakside was named Brewery of the Year at the 2017 Oregon Beer Awards and the 2018 Best of Craft Beer Awards. Breakside sells on draft and in 22oz bottles in Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, North Carolina, South Carolina, Massachusetts, Northern California, British Columbia and Alberta.

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Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: