Spilled Ink is an Imperial Stout, fermented initially with Arset Kveik (a Norweigan farmhouse ale culture) in our stainless steel fermenters for one month and then aged for seven months in french oak wine barrels with a mixed culture of saccharomyces and a couple of our favourite strains of brettanomyces. The brettanomyces in this beer adds a ton of depth on the palate and gifts the beer with a moderately dry finish despite its strength and extreme depth of roast and caramel flavours. We followed this up with four more months of conditioning time in bottles. If you’ve been counting, that is 12 full months!
This beer has certainly taken the scenic route to the finished product on our shelves – you may have managed to sneak a taste from the single keg we brought to Fest of Ale this year, or perhaps even last summer when we brought a single keg to the “Bowl Against the Brewers” food bank fundraiser at McCurdy bowl prior to the rest of the batch undergoing it’s slow secondary fermentation in the barrels.
The name Spilled Ink means more to us than just a reference to the pitch black colour of the beer. It evokes imagery both of experimentations (spilling ink and seeing what works) and of building on all the prior art that’s come before. After all, stouts were some of the first beers in the North American craft scene to bring barrel aging back into the picture. That core concept of using the knowledge of those who came before us as a launching point for original ideas is so integral to what are doing here at Wild Ambition that early in our planning phase we seriously considered branding ourselves as “Spilled Ink Brewing”!
This beer is once again 100% brewed, fermented, tucked away in a corner of our brewery for over half a year, bottled, and tucked away again for months to condition on-site in the space behind the tasting room right here in Kelowna, BC.