Recipes‎ > ‎

Dale's Whiskey Cake

Brewer: Ben Schielke

This last Christmas, I went to visit my family.  For breakfast, my Dad (Dale) had made a really excellent breakfast bread.  Much like a pound cake with a heavy hand of golden raisins and pecans and then soaked in a bourbon glaze.  Suffice to say, it was delicious. 

The flavor profile I thought would lend itself really well to a strong beer much like something Hair of the Dog would put together.  I wanted a layered malt body but not with not too much dark caramel, light fruitiness from golden raisins, some hints of pecan and a light bourbon/oak note.

To get that layered malt body, I used a mix of three base malts. 
  • Vienna to bring in a touch of sweet melanoiden toastiness
  • English Pale for richness
  • Pilsner to lighten and give some breadiness

Specialty malts were:

  • Flaked Barley to contribute some beta glucans for a velvety body
  • Crystal 80 for moderate caramel flavors
  • Victory to bring in some nuttiness to help with the Pecan impression
  • Special B for color adjustment and a light touch of dark fruit for complexity

To further boost the depth, I took about a pint of the first runnings from the mash and blended it up with the golden raisins.  This mixture I then reduced by half to caramelize before adding back to the kettle.  I will say though that the little raisin chunks get lodged in everything.

Finally, to bring the pecan note into the mix, I soaked a half cup of crushed toasted pecans in bourbon for a month.  I chilled the mixture down and skimmed off the oil that had risen to the top from the pecans.

Beer Recipe

Original Gravity: 1.093
Terminal Gravity: 1.022
Color: 15 SRM

Alcohol (ABV): 9.5%
Bitterness: 28 IBUs
Final Volume: 5.5 gal
Boil Duration: 1.5h
Efficiency: 72%
Mash Temperature: 155° F for 60min; mash out at 168 F for 10 min


6 lbs                        Vienna (3.5 SRM)                                     33.0 %        
5 lbs                        2-row Pale English (3.0 SRM)               27.5 % 
4 lbs                        Pilsner German (2.0 SRM)                     22.0 %       
1 lbs                        Flaked Barley (1.7 SRM)                       5.5%     
12.8 oz                  Crystal 80 (80.0 SRM)                             4.4 %        
8.0 oz                     Victory (25 SRM)                                       2.7 %    
3.2 oz                     Special B (180 SRM)                                 1.1%
11.2 oz                  Golden Raisins (1 SRM)                           3.8%


56g       East Kent Golding (5%)          28.4 IBU


1 Tablet Whirlfloc


Safale US-05; 22g rehydrated with GoFerm


Filtered; no salt additions

Golden raisins were blended with pint of first runnings and then caramelized/reduced down by half.

Oaked with 1.5 oz blend of medium toast American and French oak cubes for 10 days.

10 Yr Russel Reserve Bourbon (1.5 cups soaked on .5 cup crushed toasted pecans).