I zagged to a classic this year and picked up a bottle (glass to you young folk) of Curieux from Allagash. Labeled as a golden ale but really a blend of barrel-aged Tripel with fresh Tripel.
Since I have had a couple Cur-8’s that Allagash did with Crowns & Hops, I had bit of a head start on re-visiting this classic of the beer canon. Pours a muddy orange color. Orange and a tiny touch of bourbon oak on the nose. Belgian yeast esters in effect in the taste department with a mini-mix of clove and banana show up. That bit of spice really ties it together. Does not taste over 10% at all.
Wheatwine, stop if you have heard this before, doesn’t have its own space in the bottle shop cooler. But when you can find one, it usually is a special release and one to try. Such is the case with Karl Strauss and their 34th anniversary release.
Here are the details from the brewery, “To kick it up a notch for our anniversary, we aged ours in Chardonnay barrels with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc grape peels. Aromas of freshly baked bread and caramel dance with hints of oak from the barrels and subtle herbaceous notes from the grape peels. It’s full-bodied, with a luscious mouthfeel and a smooth finish.”
…is what I hope doesn’t happen with the pear in this new beer from The Bruery.
Pear is such a delicate flavor which is probably why it is not used so much in beers. I think the flavor combo for this punch might overwhelm. I would have left out orange and found a barrel treatment a little less powerful. That said, if the blenders got this one right, it sounds great.
Our next double are big barrel-aged beers from Firestone Walker that I have posted about earlier…
Royal Street – I often wonder when blenders think too many barrels has been achieved. Cognac, Rye, Bitters AND Absinthe. That is a serious flavor overload. Box reading aside, how does RS taste? It is quite bubbly. Getting cola and licorice in equal measure. Lemon acidity cuts through as a minor creek. As it warms, I am getting a major amount of honey. If I was handed this as a cocktail, I would be fooled for a bit.
Paraboloid – The newest Parabola variant. Has that Firestone Walker bourbon smell. After enough vintages, you can sense their signature barrel style. This is chocolate and cherry to me. Has a See’s Candy hit to it. More bubbly than expected and less Bourbon than expected but it is a dreamy beer to me.
Royal was an experiment that didn’t fire on all cylinders but the Parabola, damn, that is good stuff.
You should be excited by the 2022 release of Parabola from Firestone Walker but your excitement should be heightened by Paraboloid, “a limited small-batch spinoff aged in an equal selection of rare older-stock barrels from premium spirits producers—specifically 14-year-old Old Fitzgerald bourbon barrels and 18-year-old Sazerac rye whiskey barrels.”
More info from barrel meister Eric Ponce, “These barrels complemented Parabola’s classic flavor profile by imparting hints of stone fruits, fudge, leather and peppery spice. Additionally, the beer was aged for a full two years prior to blending and bottling.”
I have heard about crazy beers but what Forager Brewery from Minnesota is doing is out there. What is the surface volume of an ant? Or do you put it in a hop bag? I would want to try it but maybe just a taster.