Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Allagash Interlude 2014 (review)

Beer Review #70

After previously reviewing Black and Tripel Ale from Portland ME based Allagash Brewing I decided to take a trip up to the top shelf to check out an October 2014 bottle (750ml) of their Interlude.

Interlude represents several firsts for me in my still young, ever evolving, beer tasting adventures. Its the first time I've bought beer in a 750ml corked bottle. With a price tag of $23 at The Jolly Farmer, Waverly its most I've ever spent on a 'single bottle' (although its a bit cheaper per-ounce than Dogifish Head 120 Minute IPA . Its also my first red wine barrel aged beer and the first beer I've had brewed with Brettanomyces . Considered a contaminant in most wines and beers, 'Brett' is an essential ingredient in many traditional Belgian style ales (Lambic, Gueuze), imparting a 'funky' characteristic, that has recently seen a popularity surge in the ever-experimental American craft beer scene.

Interlude pours a cloudy pale orange with a nonexistent head but a snappy effervescence you can hear if you put your ear to the glass just after the pour.

The aroma is bright and tangy-sweet like a jolly rancher, with some grape and pear along with a mild 'barnyard' (but not off putting) funk from the Brett.

The taste is light and wine-link. My wine drinking friends who don't care for the sledgehammer flavor profile of many craft beers would appreciate it.  A mild, fruity (pear, grape) tartness hits first, on the tip of the tongue before giving way to just enough caramel malt darkness at the back of the throat to remind you that you're drinking a product that began its life as grain instead of grapes. A mild 'funk' remains cleverly melded into the background throughout.

9.5% alcohol by volume well hidden. I'll definitely be exploring Brett beer further in the months ahead.

Musical Pairing: Wine of Aluqah by Therion

Twin Tiers Beer Trail:
-Twin Tiers Craft Beer Club
The Jolly Farmer, Waverly
Bluestone Brewing Company (Sayre)
- Diversion Brewing Co. (Chemung)
River Barge Brewing (Wyalusing)

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