6.5% from a 750 mL
(I apologize for the sideways picture–my iPhone is fucked up.)
So…I write a novel, I’m feeling pretty proud about myself, about my career, and yet I keep hearing from people, I keep receiving emails:
“Why don’t you review beer any more?!”
I guess I thought novel > beer blog reviews in the world of writing and entertainment, but apparently, to many people, that isn’t the case and, in fact, I alienated many of my fans! They didn’t care about my stupid novel (that took years to write), they care about my subversive reviews of craft beer (that take a few minutes to write).
Who am I to be the arbiter of my fan’s enjoyment? Thus, I am back. And, I plan to be back with new reviews every single week now. My first “back” review, though, is of a great beer by some of my good friends in the industry, Nebraska Brewing Company.
Nebraska burst onto the scene in 2010 with two of my favorite beers of the year: Hop God aged in Chardonnay Barrels and Melange a Trois, a tripel aged in, you guessed in, Chardonnay barrels. Here’s another beer aged in Chardonnay barrels, this time using their Apricot Au Poivre Saison as the base.
Now, oddly enough, I’ve had all of Nebraska’s rare, high-end, and pricey brews–which, luckily, they ship to me, gratis–but I haven’t had that many of their regular line. I was fortunate enough to finally try their IPA the other day and it is as good as anything on either coast, and last summer I sucked down plenty of the standard Apricot Au Poivre. That was a nice little brew, but the chardonnay aging takes this one to a completely different level.
Flawlessly effervescent. A slight tartness yet the apricot fruitiness comes through with just a hint of stinging black pepper. I put back a 750 of this in about 750 seconds. I was loving it that much. Another huge winner from Nebraska that demands being searched for. It still doesn’t even have a single review on Beer Advocate yet! Come on people.
Is Nebraska one of the best sour beer makers in America?! Hard to say, there’s so many great ones and NBC doesn’t quite have as large of catalog (yet) as some other, older breweries. But they might be the best Chardonnay-barreled beer maker around. Or, damn close. At the moment, I’d rank them 2nd to the American kings of the sour beer game, Russian River, who also favor Chardonnay aging.
Interestingly, just a few weeks earlier I tried a Russian River beer aged in these beloved barrels:
Russian River Sanctification
This is a 6.5% Belgian Blond aged in Chardonnay oak with 100% Brett added. And, whoa!, is it a nice beer. Perhaps the best-looking beer I’ve ever had. Looks like fresh squeezed OJ with the pulp removed. Not overly complex, but flawless in execution. Tart, crisp, with the fruity taste of a nice white wine. Not too sour, and totally refreshing. A beauty.