It has been a month since my last post, craziness of life sometimes gets in the way of blogging but my daughter’s soccer team is done, birthday parties including my 40th are done for the year and you should see more posts over the next several weeks. The long Maine winters are a great time to blog.
This one from Jack’s Abby continues a string of beers from Massachusetts that will continue as I am doing more and more business down that way. Look for more reviews of Trillium, Mystic, Night Shift and hopefully more from the guys at Jacks Abby too.
Sour Barrel Project #5 is a wine barrel aged version of Leisure Time and was available at the brewery for growler fills this summer. Appearance is a nice light golden color with minimal head which is pretty typical for a sour beer. Aroma is mild but has some earthiness along with hints of wheat and spices. Taste was light on the sour and had little to no wine barrel character but it did have some spice and a light tartness that worked well.
There was nothing about this beer that really stood out but everything about it worked making it a very enjoyable beer and something that would be a great intro to wild/sour beers for craft beer drinkers that are interested in the style but don’t want anything too crazy.
Pros: No flaws
Alcohol Content: ??% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Brewers Website: Jack’s Abby Brewing
Brewers Description: Leisure Time aged in red wine barrels with brettanomyces, lactobacillus, and pediococcus for 12 months.
Another beer that has been in my cellar for some time. Arboreal was a brewery only release with only 200 bottles total. This was bottle #57 which is the only bottle I was able to purchase as their was a one bottle limit. I really wish I had more as this was an amazing beer.
Getting into this beer was a chore. The wax dipped top was very thick and hard to cut through. Once I did get through it and opened the bottle some of the precious contents were lost as it was a gusher. Fortunately I was prepared and opened over the sink with glass nearby so I was able to contain most of the beer.
Appearance is a deep red with a solid off white head. Aroma had plenty of funk, I find it difficult to identify the aromas on many of these sour/wild beers. Taste is very complex with a nice sour fruit taste with some oak but the bourbon was not apparent. I wonder if it was there and went away with age or if the sourness simply overpowered it.
This beer was truly amazing and it is unfortunate that more people will not be able to enjoy it. If anyone has a bottle at home, OPEN IT or contact me as I would love to obtain another bottle.
Alcohol Content: 8.5% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Brewers Website: Oxbow Brewing
Brewers Description: An American Sour Ale, fermented and aged in bourbon barrels with Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus.
I had high hopes for this beer being a collaboration with New Belgium Brewing and being a brett beer in a can. Overall I was happy with the beer but I think I am spoiled by the great funky beer coming out of Allagash and Oxbow.
Appearance may be the best part of this beer with a nice orange color and thick off white head. Aroma is a bit odd with some apple tart and a bit of funk but not overly pleasant. Taste was disappointing with a little brett and some light fruit but also some flavors that just seemed off, not even sure what they were. Alcohol was well hidden but overall this is not a beer that I would seek out again.
Cons: Odd flavor
Alcohol Content: 9.25% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Brewers Website: Brewery Vivant
Brewers Description: Escoffier is our much heralded collaboration with New Belgium Brewing in Ft. Collins, CO. Coinciding with their entry into Michigan, this project began with a friendly meeting at our pub. After a few beers and some food, the idea to brew a beer together started to take shape.
Auguste Escoffier is considered the master chef of the 20th century. His ideas and methods left an indellible imprint on the culinary world, and are still in use to this very day. We named our beer ‘Escoffier’ to celebrate the relationship between great food and excellent beer, and how they elevate each other when enjoyed together. If you’ve ever visited our pub, this is the cornerstone of what we try to accomplish.
Characteristics: This beer displays our Farmhand yeast and a wild yeast from New Belgium’s brewery called Brettanomyces. Expect a brew that is somewhat dry and malt forward with the “horse blanket” funkiness synonymous with brett. This beer will only get better with time, and cellar well for years to come.