Thursday, December 16, 2010
Special Finals Edition - Belgian Specialty Ale
Beer: Les Deux Brasseurs (A Collaboration between Allagash Brewery of Maine and De Proefbrouwerij of Belgium)
Category: Belgian and French Ale
Subcategory: Belgian Specialty Ale
I bought this bottle from the same fellow that sold me the bottle of Pliny, and thus I've been saving it for today when I finally finished my final exams. This is a strong Belgian pale ale fermented with two separate strains of Brettanomyces (wild yeast), one from each of the collaborating breweries. Pretty cool, huh? This should give the beer a more sour (but intentionally sour) flavor and some sublimely funky aromas and flavors in the mix. Let's see what we find!
Appearance: Gorgeous darker golden color, with more brown to it than red, so not really amber-colored. Wonderful clarity and a really nice white head that leaves great lacing.
Aroma: Sour apples and cherries with a slight vinous quality. Definite detectable yeasty character. Wild yeasts lend it that signature "horse blanket" quality for it. This is definitely some wonderfully funky stuff.
Flavor: Really nice oaky flavor up front, with almost a smoky and spicy quality to it. The brett yeasts add some really great funk to the flavor. There are lots of fruity tones...I detect apple, quince, and lemon. There is more hop bitterness than expected and a little bit of alcohol on the back of the tongue. The finish is also marvelously complex; very earthy yet surprisingly clean.
Mouthfeel: Very smooth, with medium-low carbonation and fine bubbles. Really enjoyable medium-bodied mouthfeel.
Overall: Man, this is a really interesting beer. I am still a rookie when it comes to wild beers, but this stuff is very complex yet very drinkable. It holds a lot of interest to the palate, especially offering up features that you might not get in other beers. I can't wait to try some more sour ales, because this has been an excellent experience.