Hop Nation settles on winning formula for The Kalash

Hop Nation The Kalash 2021

Hop Nation Brewing has released the 2021 vintage of its barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout, The Kalash, along with a second version aged in Bakery Hill whisky barrels.

Hop Nation co-founder Sam Hambour this week told the Drinks Adventures podcast that The Kalash began in 2016 as a wine barrel-aged beer, with 2017 undergoing maturation in port, sherry and whisky barrels.

Since then, he said Hop Nation has refined its recipe and switched to 100 per cent bourbon barrel maturation, a time-honoured treatment for imperial stouts.


“We’re much happier where it is with bourbon. It’s kind of cliched, a bourbon barrel-aged stout, but it’s delicious for a reason,” Hambour said.

Hop Nation The Kalash 2021
Hop Nation The Kalash 2021

He said Hop Nation has started importing bourbon barrels directly to ensure they arrive in peak condition.

“When you get your barrels you want to pull the bung out, look in and see that it’s still wet so you know you’re going to get the best out of the flavour,” he said.

The Kalash 2021 (10.7 per cent ABV) and its sibling aged in Bakery Hill whisky barrels (11.7 per cent ABV) are now available to purchase direct from Hop Nation.

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