The Alchemist Petit Mutant & Petit Mutant Cheese

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Perhaps the most decadent cheese-beer pairing ever created. The Alchemist Petit Mutant , an oak aged sour cherry beer produced by one of the best breweries in the world.. paired with Willoughby cheese WASHED in Petit Mutant, which is made by one of the best cheese makers in America. What an epic combination!

“This special edition Willoughby celebrates the work of our friends at The Alchemist Brewery and their recent limited release beer; Petit Mutant is an American Brett ale fermented entirely with Brettanomyces bruxellensis yeast. This approach lends a rustic backdrop to the beer’s bright, intensely fruity flavor – over a pound of Montmorency cherries go into the creation of each 16 ounce can.  These yeasty, juicy aromas are a perfect complement to our lightly pungent and richly creamy Willoughby.”

 

Final Rating: 4.5/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into an Alchemist Arome glass. Purchased at the brewery this past weekend. Paired with Alchemist cheese washed in Petit Mutant beer.

Pour a deep maroon body with a pink fizzy head that reduces quickly to leave little lacing and no retention.

Aromas are heavy cherry, lots of berries, that’s pretty much all I get here but it’s fantastic. Definitely going to be sour by the nose.

On the tongue is a significant tartness and a TON of cherries, so much cherry, I love it. Funky yeast comes through on the follow through, finishing dry. Mouthfeel is medium light with high carbonation, very refreshing and easy to drink.

Overall a very well done beer. Tons of cherry and balanced acidity. Would be great in a barrel to add some depth and complexity.

De Garde Avenue No. 1

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De Garde Avenue Number 1 is a two year Wild Farmhouse blend ale with cherries aged in Oak Barrels. Blended with AltBrau & New Avenue for Youth

4.54/5
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a DeGarde Tulip glass. Acquired as an extra from cdJensen, thank you sir!

Pours a dark cherry colored body, pretty hazy to the point of being opaque. Off-white, lightly pink tinted head reduces slowly to leave solid lacing and good retention. Really nice looking.

On the nose.. cherries, cherries, cherries, very potent and fresh cherries dominate.. not artificial at all, very reminiscent of a Belgian Kriek. Slightly medicinal, but I love that aroma.

On the tongue, the cherries aren’t as dominating but definitely present in the form of sour cherry warheads, drying, tart lactic acid, wine-ish, finishes with an ever so slight oak note. Finish is crisp, clean, and refreshing. Medium high carbonation.

Overall a delightful beer, very nicely blended to incorporate a perfect amount of cherry flavor. Pretty sour but not enough to take over the fruit notes.

Cigar City Double Barrel Hunahpu

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Batch 2 opened for my first anniversary in Vermont.

Double Barrel Hunahpu’s is an imperial stout aged on Peruvian cacao nibs, ancho and pasilla chiles, cinnamon and Madagascar vanilla beans aged in apple brandy and rum barrels before being blended together.

Final Rating: 4.71/5
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Batch 2 2016. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a cigar city snifter. Opened for my 1st anniversary in Hinesburg, VT. Allowed to warm over a couple hours while drinking it; this review was done about an hour in.

Pours a motor oil, viscous inkjet black body with a one finger super dark brown head – the head on this beer is as dark as the body of some stouts I’ve had. This may be the thickest, most “stouty” looking beer I’ve ever seen!

On the nose lots going on here but predominately barrel character on the nose – brandy sticks out, maybe from vanilla from the rum barrels, cocoa, dark fruits, chocolate, and a tad bit of soy.

On the palate – where do I get started?! Initially it starts a bit sweet, liquid fudge followed by a rush of spices, cinnamon dominates, definitely getting peppers and a light spicyness from the peppers on the follow through. After that is sweet vanilla bourbon (brandy + rum barrels?), finished by a decadent dark chocolate roastyness that lingers on the tongue for ages.

Mouthfeel is extravagent – rich, thick, viscous, velvety. Very heavy body, low carbonation.

One of the best stouts I’ve tasted (well, more than just tasted, I finished the whole bottle ;)). This beer is highlighted by two attributes – it’s amazingly thick body and its complex flavor profile.

Hill Farmstead Flora

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“Flora is the wine barrel-aged version of Florence, our grandfather’s sister, as well as the name of our wheat farmstead ale. In her honor, we fill French oak wine barrels with Florence and allow the beer to mature in the presence of our resident microflora. After extended aging, a beautifully complex beer emerges; Florence becomes Flora. “

Final Rating: 4.5/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 6. Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Hill Farmstead stemmed wine glass.

Pours a slightly hazy orange body with a big frothy white head that leaves spotty lacing and a layer of retention.

Aromas are mesmerizing, citrus and tart green apple, funk and oak, brett, peppery saison yeast. As it warms the aromas get more potent and inviting. Can’t wait to try it.

On the tongue is a balanced, delicate tartness, citrus and dry tart fermented fruit, delicious funk, peppery yeast, moderate oak presence on the follow through. Easy drinker, crisp and delicate, medium carbonation and light but flavorful body.

A true showcase of how micro-flora can work to make a beer world class. Amazing.

Lost Abbey Duck Duck Gooze B3

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“In Belgian brewing there are fantastic wild ales brewed with naturally occurring yeast. These beers develop over time and are ready on their own terms. Duck Duck Gooze is our homage to these effervescent and wonderfully complex sparkling beers.

A blend of young and old barrel aged beers, this has been one of our most sought after beers year after year since it’s original release in 2009.

Alas, it is released in very small quantities only once every three years, so it’s extremely difficult to come by beyond the day we release it. It does, however, turn up on our Tasting Room’s Vintage List from time to time, so don’t despair.”

Final Rating: 4.65/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2016 B3 poured from a 750mL bottle into a Lost Abbey DDG Teku glass.

Pours a golden orange, slightly hazy body with a white head that reduces slowly, leaving spotty lacing.

Aromas are tart and lactic, with a solid amount of oak, funky yeast, citrus, grassy. Oak/wine barrel is the dominating aroma here.

On the tongue is a delicious tartness, interesting oak character, grassy, white wine, hay, barnyard, fruity yeast, super dry with a crisp funky aftertaste. Mouthfeel is light with high carbonation, very dry and crisp.

Lived up to the hype! This beer is amazing. Delicate and balanced.

Trillium Outside the Lines

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Outside the Lines imperial stout brewed with coffee, vanilla beans, and cardamom

 

Final Rating: 4.64/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Trillium tulip glass. Thanks Steve for picking this up for me.

Pours a dark brown, nearly black body with a 2 finger brown head that reduces at a moderate rate, leaving spotty lacing in it’s path.

Aromas are delicious and inviting.. mocha, roasted coffee, vanilla, milk chocolate, some spices in the background.

Awesome on the tongue as well.. freshly ground coffee, sweet milk chocolate, roasty follow through, dark chocolate and light vanilla, finishes with bittersweet chocolate.

Mouthfeel is fantastic – one of the thicker stouts I’ve had.. heavy mouthfeel, silky rich body, low carbonation.

Overall a fantastic beer! If you’re in the market for a rich stout with a lot of flavor (and alcohol!), this is the one for you!

Tired Hands Ourison

 

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“Ourison represents the progression and evolution of our Saison fermentation program. Ourison is Our Saison, SaisonHands, left to condition in oak and then allowed to fully express itself via a lengthy bottle conditioning period. The end result is a highly refined snappy and pungent Saison that, I feel, is one of the most simplistic and exciting iterations of Saison that we have ever produced.”

Final Rating: 4.49/5
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Tired Hands stemmed taster glass. Thanks Bsquirrelbrewer for throwing this in as an extra!!!

Pours a hazy bright yellow body with a pretty big white head that reduces pretty quickly leaving spotty lacing and a ring of retention.

Aromas are interesting. Quite honestly, when I first cracked this I thought it was skunked because I got a slight skunky aroma. Once it sits for a minute that completely goes away and leaves an excellent saison citrusy tartness, oaky aroma.

On the tongue is a delightfully balanced medly of tart citrus, grassy saison yeast, light pepper, finishes dry with a light oak and slight hoppy bite. Mouthfeel is amazing, crisp, refreshing, perfectly carbonated.

Overall a world class Saison, this is very well done.

Bullfrog Le Roar Grrrz

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Le Roar Grrrz from Bullfrog Brewery out of Pennsylvania is an excellent American interpretation of the classic Belgian Gueuze. Aged in oak barrels with wild yeast and bacteria.

Final Rating: 4.54/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Bullfrog Le Roar Grrrz glass. Acquired in a trade with Brian. Thanks man!

Pours a hazy amber body with a two finger white head that reduces to leave a ring of foam and spotty lacing.

Aromas are thick and inviting, there’s a lot going on here. Predominately citrusy-funk, giving way to a mustyness, white grapes, oak, pepper, fruit skins.

On the tongue is a lightly tart citrus funk, musty basement, lots and lots of oak, champagne, white wine, bright fruits, finishes with a crisp, dry wine/champagne like astringency. Medium-light body, not very carbonated at all. Would have preferred a little more carbonation.

Overall a very, very solid Wild. This would definitely hold it’s own against some Belgian gueuzes. Complex, balanced.

Alesmith Hawaiian Speedway Stout

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Alesmith Hawaiian Speedway Stout is an Imperial Stout brewed with Coconut, Vanilla, and Ka’u Coffee.

“We often use Speedway Stout as a jet-black canvas for homages to things we hold dear, whether it’s artisan coffee, a favorite edible or sumptuous flavor combination. The most recent variation of our celebrated imperial stout honors the culinary character of the Hawaiian Islands by combining the lush sweetness of coconut with vanilla and Ka’u coffee. Named after the region of Hawaii from which it hails, Ka’u is produced from some of the world’s rarest coffee beans. Slow-grown beneficiaries of nutrient-rich volcanic soil and idyllic climate, Ka’u offers nuances of caramel and hazelnut plus a soft floral character, all of which marry seamlessly with natural sweetness from the vanilla and coconut as well as Speedway Stout’s inherently rich, chocolaty character. Say aloha to something truly exceptional and evocative of its namesake isles.”

Final Rating: 4.08/5
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled a year ago, October 2015. Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Alesmith taster glass. Acquired as an extra in a trade.

Pours a deep brown, nearly black body, opaque once in the glass. Medium sized 2 finger brown head rises and reduces moderately slowly, leaving some lacing.

Aromas are slightly muted.. I can’t imagine this bottle is past it’s prime but the adjuncts may have faded. Light coffee and chocolate, some vanilla and booze.

On the tongue is chocolate, vanilla, light coconut in there, roasted cocoa, follow through has heavy notes of roasted coffee, finish is charred, chocolate malt, burnt. Mouthfeel is slightly lacking, it’s a little thin. Medium carbonation.

Overall, Hawaiian speedway was alright, I wish I got more of the ‘Hawaiian” character, the coconut and vanilla were a little underwhelming.

Cantillon Lou Pepe Framboise

The Gueuze Lou Pepe is made with two year old lambic beers with a mellow taste, often coming from barrels in which only wine has been kept before. In July, the same kind of beer is used to make the Lou Pepe Kriek and Framboise. With these beers too, the fruits are soaked in barrels coming directly from Bordeaux.

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Final Rating: 4.74/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2012 sticker date. Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Cantillon stemmed lambic glass. Allowed to warm to just under room temperature over 3 hours.

Pours a maroon body with a pretty big, 3 finger light pink, fizzy head that dissipates pretty quickly to leave no retention or lacing.

Wow.. the aromas on this baby are mesmerizing – a huge wave of fresh raspberries fills the air. So much fruit here. Light funk and oak on the aromas but fresh, bright berries dominate.

On the tongue, it starts with fresh, sour raspberry juice notes.. really delicate but pronounced. This gives way to a good amount of oak, lactic sourness, earthy light funk, finishing crisp, clean, acidic, tannic almost. Ever so slightly sweet. Mouthfeel is fantastic – medium carbonation, and medium light, easy drinking body.

I can see why the Lou Pepe series is sought after, these beers are true masterpieces. I wouldn’t say this beer is overly COMPLEX, being pretty fresh the berries dominate, but that’s exactly why it’s so great. World class.