Originally posted June 7th, 2014
One traditional method that brewers and breweries have been using for centuries is barrel aging. The Belgians are the best at this, but some of you many to agree but never mind that I am not here to be that argument up on the table. When you age a beer in a certain type of barrel the beer tend to pick up little flavors from the barrel, that barrel could be anything from a whiskey, bourbon, rum, white/red wine, oak, or some other type of wood. But there is no set amount of time in which a beer sits in that barrel. That is up the beer brewery and its brewers. Well that sounds all neat and fancy. Take that wine makers. Here is one example, Allagash Curieux, 11.0% Abv. Curieux is a Tripple ale that has been put into an oak bourbon barrel and aged for eight weeks in Allagash’s cold cellars. Curieux was bottled on March 21st 2014 and there are only one thousand case bottled. This beer sounds a little rare. The aroma on Curieux is nice with touches of a peppery like spice and hints of coconut. Now the taste of Curieux is a bit like a white wine but with a hint of soft peppery like spice. The coconut from the aroma is there but much less present along with vanilla. There is the strong alcohol on the back of your tongue. But the alcohol isn’t huge, nor is it really in your face, its just sort of there and say hello as you take a sip. The mouth feel is close to the bottom end of medium. Curieux has a nice sweet and slightly spiced vanilla finish with a nice hint of the 11% abv. The after taste is an extension of Curieux’s finish with a touch more of smoothness. Over all I thought this beer was good so Allagash Curieux gets a B+. The only thing keeping it from an A is 11% abv. It really has a tiny amount of bitter flavors to it but nothing that would keep me from having Curieux again. I would recommend you try Allagash Curieux and see how you like it. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!
This Westbrook Brewing Company Fruit/Wood/Time Passionfruit Rum Barrel Finish, 6.6% ABV is part of the breweries Fruit/Wood/Time series, this particular beer is a blend of mix fermentation sour beer from two oak foudres. The blend is racked into six 400 liter Barbados rum puncheons and refermented with passionfruit for six months before bottling according to Westbrook. Passionfruit pours a bright yellow with a quickly fleeing thin one finger white head. The aroma is tropical fruity, tart/sour bright with some light alcoholic notes with a sour/tart tropical fruity flavor with some rum notes on the back of the mouth and finishes with a big mouth puckering sour note and a tropical fruit and rum aftertaste. Now I don’t think you need to have more than just one, a lot of sour flavor going on in this beer. I don’t dislike this beer but I wouldn’t say I love it, it’s interesting and different. With that said Westbrook Brewing Company Fruit/Wood/Time Passionfruit Rum Barrel Finish is a C. Towards the end of the bottle it slowly becomes too much flavor but okay. I think It needs more sweetness to balance it out. If you think this sounds interesting like I did then by all means go and try Westbrook Brewing Company Fruit/Wood/Time Passionfruit Rum Barrel Finish. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!
I received Anheuser-Busch Budweiser Reserve Copper Lager, 6.2% ABV for a Christmas gift. Budweiser Reserve Copper Lager is aged with Jim Beam oak staves, and Budweiser uses them in the brew kettle rather than transferring the beer to a Jim Beam Barrel, and uses Two-row barely before the addition of the oak. Budweiser Reserve Copper Lager pours a deep copper almost red color with a little one finger bubbly beige head, giving off big sweet sticky vanilla aromas with a very faint smokey note that leads in to a very sweet sticky taste of some vanilla with light caramel and very faint smoke flavors with a very faint light smokey sweet sticky finish and a sweet aftertaste with a lighter mouthfeel. I see what Budweiser’s going for with Budweiser Reserve Copper Lager, the other bourbon barrel aging of a beer is popular and they are trying to cash in on that wave of popularity but I think that the base beer gets a little bit lost and the outcome is an overly sweet beer that after two pints the flavor of Budweiser Reserve Copper Lager would become too much on your taste buds. I give this a D+. The flavors it did have were okay at best but overall it really didn’t taste like a bourbon barrel aged beer, more like an amber lager with a sweetness to it. I mean if you are an average beer drinker that wants to try a bourbon barrel beer but are a little intimidated by the bourbon barrel aged craft beers out there then Budweiser Reserve Copper Lager might be a good beer for you to start out with. I don’t see myself having this soon but I might have this in the future. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!
Haven’t reviewed much of The Unknown Brewing Company’s offerings, but I saw Madame Butterfly French Oak Tart Blonde Beer, 5.8% ABV. Madame Butterfly is a blonde ale aged in French Oak barrels and pours an orange color with a half finger clear fizzy head that fades into itself as quickly as it can with aroma of white wine fruits, some apples, pears, and green grapes with hints of soft vanilla that take you to a tart white wine flavor of apples, pears and nice green grapes with hints of nice soft vanilla that is tart enough without puckering your mouth with a nice tart but lightly fruity sweet finish and soft tart white wine aftertaste with a medium mouthfeel. The Unknown Brewing Company Madame Butterfly is a good beer and one that I a wine drinker would enjoy. It is much like a white wine. I give Madame Butterfly and A-, just could not t have two or more pints of Madame Butterfly’s flavor becomes overwhelming on your taste buds, but otherwise, this is a good beer. I recommend trying The Unknown Brewing Company Madame Butterfly French Oak Tart Blonde Beer. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!