Friday, October 7, 2016

Oak-Aged Noble Rot

Beer Review #160

The first, last, and only other beer I've ever had brewed with grape must was Dogfish Head Sixty-One (review #113). It was also the first time that a Dogfish Head beer failed to blow me away. This being the case, it begs the question why would I choose the same brewer's Oak-aged Noble Rot as my second beer brewed with grape must. Maybe it was the year of aging in oak, or the 9%ABV. Whatever the case might be, I'm glad I made the purchase. All others take note. This is some next level shit, the ultimate marriage of beer and wine.

Noble Rot is the head-on collision of the beer world and the wine world ... and now we've aged it on oak ... for a whole year. 
This saison-esque science project gets complexity and fermentable sugars from the addition of two unique white wine grapes, sourced with our friends at Alexandria Nicole Cellars in Prosser, Washington. 
The first addition is the must of viognier grapes that have been infected with a benevolent fungus called botrytis. This 'noble rot' reduces the water content in the grapes while magnifying their sweetness and complexity. 
The second is a pinot gris intensified by a process called 'dropping fruit,' where large clusters of grapes are clipped to amplify the quality and distinction of those left behind. 
We then aged Noble Rot in one of our oak tanks for an entire year, making for a hazy ale that has a spicy white wine body and a dry, tart finish.

I've never had a beer so pale, light and airy on the mouth, and delicate, that packs so much flavor. The vanilla / oak aromas and flavors are immense. Its hard to believe that they are packed into such a pale, almost 'white wine-esque' body.

Moderate carbonation, decent retention of a crisp white head. Ridiculously transparent. Clean vanilla

 finish.  

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