Interiority entered the world nameless and naked like a newborn babe with passive parents. In time, it received cacao nibs, vanilla beans, and whiskey barrel-aging as it blossomed into adulthood. First brewed in February of 2018, Interiority is Trap Door Brewing’s take on ‘many excellent barrel aged imperial stouts being made in the PNW and throughout the country.’ As the beer came of age, it was named ‘Interiority’ after the title of the third chapter in Douglas Coupland’s novel ‘Microserfs.’
“The definition is “the quality of being interior, subjective”, which lends itself nicely to a beer aging inside of a whiskey barrel for 1 year or more,” says Trap Door head brewer and co-owner Zane Singleton.
The recent, 2nd annual release of Interiority was brewed bigger and better than before; just like Trap Door itself is growing with an upcoming location in Ridgefield.
“This year’s batch is bigger – 13% ABV and the finishing gravity was much higher, resulting in a thicker, smoother mouthfeel,” says Singleton.
This year’s edition has nearly twice as much chocolate from Ghanian cacao nibs and six times the amount of Madagascar vanilla beans. You’d think with all that, the vanilla notes would be overpowering, but they are not. The beer is indicative of baker’s chocolate and dark fudge brownies but is not overpowering. The beer pours black like oil with a small ring of chocolate cake lacing. The bitterness and nutty roast balance the sweeter and sharp notes with the warmth of the alcohol bringing a pleasant heat from a cold beer.
Portland’s Westward Whiskey, (formerly House Spirits) provided the barrels from the distiller’s Stout Cask Whiskey finished program. Trap Door gets to borrow those barrels to age Interiority in for one year before returning the oak like a book from the library.
“We get to use freshly emptied whiskey barrels, age an imperial stout in them, and then return them for Westward to finish a whiskey in them,” explains Singleton.
Get this decadent and classic barrel-aged Imperial Stout at Trap Door’s taproom in Vancouver, Washington or at better bottleshops in southwest Washington and in the Portland-area via Point Blank Distribution. 500ml bottles are $13 and limited draft is available as well.
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.