The 2015 vintage of the powerful yet sleek, potent yet nuanced, utterly delicious and highly coveted Drew Curtis/Wil Wheaton/Greg Koch Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout is now arriving at select stores, bars and restaurants where Stone beers are sold. It’s the third annual release of this beer-geek fave from San Diego-based Stone Brewing Co., an imperial stout brewed with pecans, rye and malted wheat, then partially aged in bourbon barrels. For this year’s go-round, its intrepid collaborators have banded together to revive the original recipe…with a bit of a twist. Namely, a small addition of Stone w00tstout 2.0, originally brewed with stone-ground chocolate and later specially barrel-aged for a year. (Wow.)
The collaborative trio is composed of Stone CEO & Co-founder Greg Koch; craft beer lover and star of screens big and small (see Stand by Me, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Big Bang Theory) Wil Wheaton; and craft beer-loving Fark.com creator Drew Curtis. Much like the original recipe from 2013, this year’s edition of Drew Curtis/Wil Wheaton/Greg Koch Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout was inspired by their individual backgrounds and predilections.
For Koch, that equated to hops, not surprising considering that the brewing company’s reputation is based on those aromatic craft brewing staples. For Wheaton, that meant using wheat, and not just because it’s part of his surname. The actor and online mega-celeb regularly incorporates malted wheat into his homebrews for the silkiness it brings to the body of the beer. Curtis’ influence came courtesy of his home state of Kentucky, in the form of pecans, rye, and the bourbon barrels used to age a portion of the beer. The result is a massive imperial stout coming in at 13% alcohol by volume. Combining such an impressive array of flavorful ingredients made for a barrel-aged imperial stout that went on to win acclaim among enthusiasts for its rich, roasty character, and balanced flavors of chocolate and coffee accentuated by unmistakable caramel and vanilla undertones extracted from the aforementioned spirit barrels.
Each edition of the beer has been a little different, whether it’s adding an ingredient (stone-ground chocolate), featuring a new collaborator (Aisha Tyler) or bringing in a new famed comic book artist to design unique bottle art. This year’s commemorative artwork comes from comic-book cover artist Dave Johnson (see DC Comics and Vertigo series 100 Bullets) and features the beer’s collaborators standing triumphant in heroic, beer-making glory. As has been the case with previous collaborating artists, Johnson donated his talents in exchange for Stone Brewing’s contribution to The Hero Initiative, a charity fund set up to assist veteran, golden-age comic book artists.
A scrumptious beer that became the talk of the craft brewing glitterati, a noble charity organization given a much-needed boost, and myriad great memories made making and drinking beer with friends. There’s no doubt about it that Drew Curtis/Wil Wheaton/Greg Koch Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout has a lot going for it, both in its flavor and its soulful conception. Enjoy it now or store it at proper cellaring temperatures for several months or years. Over time, it will develop deeper, rounder coffee, nut and bourbon flavors as the hop aroma and bitterness subside.
As if they needed another excuse to hang out, the collaborators will debut their creation on Wednesday, July 8, at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station in San Diego during Hop-Con 3.0: The w00tstout Festival, an annual celebration of nth-degree beer geekery. The festivities will commence at 8pm and include:
- A commemorative Hop-Con 3.0 glass for guests to keep
- Ten four-ounce beer samples per guest
- Unlimited plays in the HOP-CADE
- Complimentary gourmet food stations
- Lots of geeky good times!
As part of the 35-plus beers on tap, vintage and cask variations of Drew Curtis/Wil Wheaton/Greg Koch Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout will be available in addition to exclusive beers brewed by Aisha Tyler and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman. To purchase tickets to the event or for more information, visit hopcon.stonebrewing.com.
Drew Curtis, Fark.com Creator & 2015 Kentucky Gubernatorial Candidate: Like a spider turned radioactive by exposure to something outlandish and super-charged, Drew has been bitten by the craft beer bug, leaving his bloodstream sufficiently infected with an insatiable thirst for finer ale—preferably the variety inspired by his home state of Kentucky.
Wil Wheaton, Actor & Web Celeb: Armed with a homebrewing kit and an otherworldly yearning for knowledge, Wil charges down the zymological rabbit hole at warp speed, fueled by his appetite for ale and always in search of his next craft beer conquest.
Greg Koch, Stone Brewing Co. CEO & Co-founder: Born with a superhuman sense of justice and the ability to valiantly eschew all things cheap, mediocre and flimsy in his ongoing mission to provide the common man with something not only uncommon but vastly superior, Greg’s fight is as righteous as it is never-ending.
Dave Johnson, Famed Comic Book Cover Artist: Known to all as “The Reverend,” this Eisner Award-winning marvel best known for his work for DC Comics and the Vertigo series “100 Bullets” wields a pen far mightier than any staff in the name of The Hero Initiative.
Quick Facts Drew Curtis/Wil Wheaton/Greg Koch Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout:
Name: Drew Curtis/Wil Wheaton/Greg Koch Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout
Stats: 13% ABV, 45 IBUs
Availability: Limited 22-ounce bottles and draft
National Distribution: AK, AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WA and Puerto Rico
International Distribution: Australia; Alberta and British Columbia, Canada; Japan; and Singapore
Tasting Notes, provided by Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele
Appearance: The deepest opaque brown with a creamy brown head of foam.
Aroma: Intense nutty, coffee and cocoa, followed by vanilla, oak and bourbon, with accompanying hints of maple and licorice.
Taste: Pronounced coffee and cocoa, followed by well-blended flavors of bourbon, vanilla and oak, with a touch of alcohol at the end.
Palate:Thick and smooth. At 13% ABV, this beer is definitely a sipper, but it is creamy and slightly warming with a pleasant sweetness.
Overall: The flavors are a wonderful blend of everything that makes a great imperial stout, loaded with roasted notes and malt complexity. Brewing with rye and nuts always creates challenges for our brewing team, but they again rose to the occasion with this one. We were even able to blend in a small amount of last year’s version into the entire batch. Simply amazing.
Suggested Pairings, provided by Stone Craft Beer Ambassador “Dr.” Bill Sysak
Appetizers: Blue cheese-stuffed shiitake mushrooms, lamb kabobs, baked plantain chips, caramelized onion dip, bacon-wrapped dates
Soups: Buffalo chili, beef goulash, roasted butternut squash, lentil stew
Entrees: BBQ short ribs, coffee-rubbed porterhouse steak, fennel and leek risotto, wild mushroom ragout, sweet potato gnocchi
Cheeses: Point Reyes blue, Rogue Creamery Oregon Blue, Widmer 10-year Aged Cheddar, Hook’s Blue Paradise, Colston Bassett Stilton
Desserts: Maple milk toffee, coconut macaroons, chocolate lava cake, double chocolate pecan cookies, tiramisu
Cigars: La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero Chisel, Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series Exclusivo Maduro