Not what I expected. If I had one thing I had to say about this beer, it’s my previous statement. Having sipped It’s Alright, I had to believe that this would be a sour as well. The label mentions that it’s a Belgian Wild Ale. Well, you’re going to have to wait on those Brett yeast yuckies to come through. When I first sipped the beer I was looking for the those dirty bastards to assail my taste buds. Yet, after a consultation with Mikkeller’s site, I realized that storing this for a while is essential for that quality. Was a disappointed? In a sense. I really wanted a sour, almost true lambic style beer. However, I want to review the beer on its own merits before dismissing it. Rather, I needed to dismiss my presuppositions about what it was.
The Pour: This is a very finely carbonated, active, and foamy-headed brew. Its color reminded me of an amber Oktoberfest styled beer. The yeast itself looked like a Krausening yeast head of a brewing beer. When I knew what I was getting into, my guess was that the similarities ended there.
The Nose: The powdery, yeast and caramel malt qualities melded together with a slight touch of alcohol. The Styrian gold hops and Hallertau made for interesting, yet highly functional hop tones in a Belgian styled beer. Within the brew was a very nice touch of malty sweetness along with the slightest hint of smoke.
The Taste: Were the Bretts there? At the very end of the brew, I did catch just a simple, little taste of them. However, more predominant caramel malts and a lovely array of hops (both aroma and bitterness) were a pleasing attribute. I was especially relieved that the hops were not the normal citrusy Cascade hops that I’ve lamentably become accustomed to tasting in so many beers. Why do I say that about this particular beer? I personally found it to be more like a cross between and IPA and normal Pale Ale. The grain-bill seems to be very much in that vein. The smoke that I noticed on the nose came more to the fore, but not overpoweringly so, when I sipped the beer. A touch of sweetness, the slightest sourish tone, and Belgian candy sugar were also very nice aspects to beer. A hint of vodka alcohol qualities were present, but it was far more winish than I expected. The beer finished very much on the drier side, which also played a bit like wine.
Overall, I’ll give this beer a very hardy thumbs up. Not what I expected but very good nonetheless. It is indeed alive but will be far more alive in a year or two of aging.
Among other Bretts: