Not all beers are created equal, including Odell’s De-con-struc-tion Ale. It’s not that De-con-struc-tion is bad…it is astonishingly superb. I first had a sip of this beer at a KC Gents meeting, which is a group of guys in the KC Metro area who get together to drink and discuss beer. I don’t know who brought it, but they win best beer of the night in my opinion. Anyway, I only had about a 4 ounce pour of the beer and it blew my mind enough to birth a conviction in me to seek out a full bottle (around $15) which is not an easy task for a guy who is unemployed. Fortunately for Christmas my wife’s parents bestowed upon me a gift card to Gomer’s Fine Wine and Spirits in Lee’s Summit, MO.
Buying a bottle of something that struck you and that you’ve only had a smidgen of can be a risk. Was the beer really that excellent? Did the mood/ambiance alter my senses? Did previous beers alter my senses or confuse my palate?
Not in the case of De-con-struc-tion. Reading up on the beer, I loved it even more, as it employs the fine art of blending–but not just blending, blending of pilot brews (oak aged) with the final recipe. From the Brewery’s website:
A Method of brewing based on isolating first principals and making pronounced through pilot brewing the desired elements that contribute to the overall flavor. A Golden Ale created by blending the final recipe with its own barrel aged pilot beers fermented with wild yeasts. Each individual barrel contributes a unique flavor from the wood chosen and the cultures resident to achieve subtle complexities that develop(ed) over time. A beer which starts sweet, filling the mouth with fruit-like esters and a mild spiciness, changing to a tart and lingering flavor reminiscent of grapefruit living amidst an earthy, citrusy hop aroma. Define flavor for yourself in this constantly evolving liquid expression.
Having been reading up a good deal on the history and art of barrel aging and blending, primarily in the Flander’s Tradition, I have to say the beer nailed it. The beer is mixed as such:
- 44% Ale
- 33% Ale aged in oak
- 20% Bourbon
- 3% Wine Barrels
Many may recall that I am not a huge fan of bourbon in beer…but it works with this one. The beer is pleasantly wild yet blessed with ungodly proportions of smoothness. Bretty and buttery, fruity and citrusy. The slightly hop forward nature balances out the oak. There is nothing more irritating than a beer that tasted like your chewing on a piece of wood. De-con-struc-tion manages the oak flavors as subtle nuance. The 10.5% ABV is well masked by the fruity complexity of the beer, so bee careful.
I really cannot–nor do I want to–explain in adjectives and metaphors how delicious the beer is…it just has to be experienced. This is one beer that broke my heart at the last sip, as I wish I had several bottles more.
Have you had it?