2014 Prince Tuesday (Allagash Brewing, Maine Beer Company, Rising Tide Brewing)

Style: Belgian Rye Pale Ale

7.7% ABV

Brewery’s Note: “Prince Tuesday is a collaboration with Rising Tide Brewing and Maine Beer Company. The beer was originally brewed (on a small scale) for the first Maine Brewers’ Guild Festival in Boothbay, ME in 2011. It is a Belgian Rye Pale Ale. Brewed with Rye from Rising Tide, hopped by Maine Beer Company and fermented with the Allagash house yeast strain, we feel this beer was a collaboration in the truest sense of the word. A portion of the proceeds from this beer went to Portland Trails.”

The beer pours a lovely, rustic, dirty yellow with copper tints. The head is massive, eggshell white, and frothing, with excellent retention. When the head does settles down, it leaves fat, puffy clouds of lacing on the glass, with drooling tendrils running down to the receding head. In body, the beer is clean yet cloudy with an opacity to it that is proper to the style, and expected given the fact that I blended the yeast shot in (that’s the way I like it…). On the nose, the beer smells of spicy citrus. The rye malt gives lovely, bready spice characters while the yeast and hops tango on the nose with lemon citrus, grass, lemon grass, subtle pineapple, slight mango, and good old fashion phenols. On the tongue, the beer tastes sweet and bitter up front, though the sweet moves into a more dominant stance in the middle and finish of the sip, before giving way to a lingering bitter and dry aftertaste that makes the beer a balanced tango of bitter and sweet, which I love. Acidity is also present as a subtle citric pop at the beginning and finish of the beer, as well as some nice earthy notes that round out the taste. In flavor, the beer begins as spicy herbal hops and lemongrass citrus. This transitions into a sweeter bready funk with definite rye spice and herbal hops lingering over the top of the flavors. In the finish, the beer is funky fruity, with touches of pineapple and peach, which slowly transitions into the aftertaste of herbal bitters. In the mouth, the beer feels medium bodied, with a crisp but decidedly sharper mouthfeel, which is my only quibble with this beer. The carbonation comes off nearly creamy on the tongue, but something is giving quite a touch too much astringency and a stabbing feeling to the tongue, which is unfortunate given how fantastic the beer is to drink. The sharpness helps the beer stay supremely drinkable, and cuts through flavors that could be a little heavier, but it leaves the tongue tingling with slight ‘burn’ feeling, and feels a little aggressive as it passes over the taste buds. Outside of the fierce bite, the mouthfeel is still quite sublime though. Overall, I like this beer. I could six-pack it, or at least four-pack it. It will pair supremely with a wide variety of lighter and medium bodied foods, for sure, and is a great candidate for casual drinking settings. Its flavors are crisp, and its only drawback is the slightly stabbing mouthfeel. This is a superb collaboration beer for three local superstars to roll out once a year. It takes a nice balance between all three companies ‘house-styles.’ I like this beer, and will be having it again.

The Fuj and his beery friends are setting together a nice fund for BeerAdvocate user IndyDad, who’s beloved golden retriever has been struck with osteosarcoma and has already had a leg removed to help alleviate the pain. The Fund will go to helping IndyDad with the rising costs of treatment. The fund can be reached HERE and you should definitely head over to the Fuj’s awesome blog to get a better understanding of the story, and to learn about some nice incentives to donate. 
Cheers and Beers to Indy and his owners
thefuj:

Hey guys, I’m raffling off a couple of bottles for #IndyLikesBeer and with any luck a whole bunch more bottles. Please check out my blog for more info and to hopefully donate. Thanks! #CraftBeerhttp://thefuj.com/2014/09/14/beer-raffle-for-indy-likes-beer/

The Fuj and his beery friends are setting together a nice fund for BeerAdvocate user IndyDad, who’s beloved golden retriever has been struck with osteosarcoma and has already had a leg removed to help alleviate the pain. The Fund will go to helping IndyDad with the rising costs of treatment. The fund can be reached HERE and you should definitely head over to the Fuj’s awesome blog to get a better understanding of the story, and to learn about some nice incentives to donate. 

Cheers and Beers to Indy and his owners

thefuj:

Hey guys, I’m raffling off a couple of bottles for #IndyLikesBeer and with any luck a whole bunch more bottles. Please check out my blog for more info and to hopefully donate. Thanks! #CraftBeer
http://thefuj.com/2014/09/14/beer-raffle-for-indy-likes-beer/

Clusters Last Stand (Smuttynose Brewing Company and Stone Brewing Company)

Style: Double India Pale Ale

8.8% ABV

62 IBU’s

OG: 17.5° Plato

Malt: North American 2-Row, Flaked Maize, Munich 10L, C-60

Hops: Bitter-Clusters, Flavor-Brewers Gold, East Kent Goldings, Dry Hop-Bullion

Yeast: White Labs WLP-001 American Ale

Brewery’s Note: “Old, new? It’s all the same, really. Cluster’s Last Stand defies the commonly accepted notion that strong, hoppy beers are recent arrivals on the US beer landscape. Smuttynose has teamed up with Stone Brewing Company to recreate the original, post-Prohibition Ballantine IPA recipe. That’s right; strong, 60 IBU beer brewed in the 30’s. How do we know? We read it in Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele’s excellent and well-researched book, IPA Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale Ale./ The only difference between this beer and more contemporary IPA’s are the hop varieties: Cluster, Brewers Gold, Bullions and East Kent Goldings. None of these are trendy and we were a little surprised to find out that all four were readily available. The result is a rich, copper-colored ale with a strong, refined hop profile of spiciness with a hint of grapefruit.”

image

The beer pours a golden orange with brown and amber highlights and a smaller head of tiny white bubbles with mediocre retention. As the head fades, it leaves a nice, thin, well-connected sheet of lacing behind on the walls of the glass. In body, the beer is crystal clear, clean, and gorgeous. It takes an almost ruby hue in the light, which is rather lovely. On the nose, the beer smells of a dank, post-rain pine grove. Pine needles, pine cones, spice, weed, moss, earthy caramel, and nettle scents work their way across the nose. There are even brief flashes of mango and tropical fruit that blend their way in with the caramel scents. As it warms, there are slight hints of DMS and diactyl, but they are well integrated in with the rest of the nose and may just be coming from the corn that was literally used in the grist of the beer. On the tongue, the beer tastes of grassy bitters and spice, with a slight caramel/bread sweetness that gives balance, while keeping the beer on the bitter side of the fence. Flavors scream of old fashioned IPA things like pine, dirt, spicy hops, slight grapefruit, and subtle onions. The finish gives a brief burst of sweet caramel blended in with the herbal/piney hops. In the mouth, the beer feels medium + bodied with a middling carbonation that gives a nice scrub to the tongue. The mouthfeel has a nice grittiness to it, which I can only assume is coming from the corn in the grist. There is a certain amount of crispness to the sip that makes it hugely drinkable for the 8.8% ABV count. When the beer leaves, the mouth is left sticky with resin, and minimal spittle pools just beneath the edges of the tongue. Overall, this is an easy drinking DIPA. In fact, it is far too easy to drink for its ABV. It is not the most hop expressive, nor does it challenge the palette like some of those ‘new-age fruit bomb IPA’s’, but it is a damn fine easy drinker with a bitter bite to please the tongue, and a hidden booze kick to leave you happy at the end of the night. This is a drinking beer for sure!

image

Allagash Saison (Allagash Brewing Company)

Style: American Saison

6.1% ABV

Brewery’s Note: “Allagash Saison is our interpretation of a classic Belgian farmhouse style. It is a golden hued beer, brewed with a 2-Row blend, malted rye, oats and dark Belgian candi sugar. Saison is hopped with Tettnang, Bravo and Cascade hops. Fermented with a traditional saison yeast strain, Saison exhibits notes of spice and tropical fruit in the aroma. Citrus and a peppery spice dominate the flavor and make way for a pleasant malt character. Saison is full bodied with a remarkably dry finish.”

The beer pours a bright, clear pale yellow with golden accents. It forms a beautiful head of miniscule, eggshell white bubbles that leave a fluffy sheet of lacing over the walls of the glass as it slowly recedes. In body, the beer is decidedly clear and clean, but with a cloudiness that makes it nearly opaque, and leans more towards the traditional rusticity of the style. On the nose, the beer smells of doughy bread, lemon zest, lemongrass, and drying hay. Herbal grassiness blends in and out of the other scents listed, and keeps the smell mildly complex, while giving it a bright crisp scent that makes you want to take a sip. On the tongue, the beer tastes initially citric tart. This quickly divulges into a fruity/bready sweetness that is evened out by a grassy bitterness and just a pop of funky citrus. Earthy notes underlie everything else, and give the beer some nice minerality. In flavor, the beer begins as lemonade and doughy bread, which quickly swirls into grassy hops and funk with just a whisper of banana esters. Peach fruit gives a brief burst of flavor with the finish, which also features some bright lemon grass flavors, before all dies down into an herbal, minty aftertaste. In the mouth, the beer feels on the very light side of medium in body, with a crisp, softly effervescent mouthfeel, and middling carbonation that allows for superb fluffing and pillowing action on the tongue. When the beer leaves, the mouth is left neutral, with just a hint of bitter tingling on the tongue, and some saliva pooling in the cheeks. Overall, this is a lovely summer refresher with superb, classic farmhouse character. It’s a little tart, a little grassy, a little bready/yeasty, and very drinkable. This beer is a great quaffer (whatever that means…) and a superb beer to have as a fridge regular.

Smuttlabs Schmutzig (Smuttynose Brewing Company)

Style: American/Hoppy Hefeweizen

6.0% ABV

15 IBU’s

Malts: North American 2-Row, Wheat Malt, Munich 10L
Hops: Bittering- Magnum, Flavoring- Sterling, Dry Hop- Crystal
Yeast: Hefeweizen

From: Hampton, NH

Brewery’s Note: “Schmutzig is a Bavarian IPA that showcases the interplay between hefeweizen yeast and Sterling and Crystal hops. It’s hoppy like an IPA, but firmly grounded in Bavaria, thanks to its hefeweizen roots.”

imageFirst and foremost, I would like to say that I love the new direction that Smutty is going with the Smuttlabs labels. The background textures, and the ladybug are beautiful, simplistic touches that allow for variation on the plain Smuttlabs label. I also think the diagonal, crooked, labeling job is a lovely touch… Especially since a really handsome man hand-labeled all 1,527 bottles… (Not sure if I will be invited back to label more of the beer.)

Schmutzig pours a beautiful, sunburst orange with golden highlights. It forms a head of rocky, eggshell white bubbles with a bit lackluster retention for the hefe style, but the beer still looks gorgeous in the glass, and does retain a good ring of bubbles. In body, the beer is a proper cloudy haze with enough translucence to show shadows from the other side of the glass, but nothing else. On the nose, the beer is expressive of orange juice pith, subtle lemon, clove, and banana smoothie. As you shove your nose into the beer and start to deconstruct it, more of the hop character comes through, suggesting subtle citrus and herbal grass. On the tongue, the beer tastes citrus sweet with good touches of wheat bread as well. The sweetness is balanced by a nice touch of acidity, and a lovely, balanced, and subtle hop bitterness that keeps the beer bright on the palate. In flavor, this beer tastes like pithy orange juice and citrus rind, with a finish of subtler creamy banana and clove spice. Herbal hop bitters enter into the middle of the sips flavors, but could easily be confused beneath the bright citrus juice. This beer is perfect for breakfast. In the mouth, the beer feels medium bodied, with a sharper, effervescent carbonation. The mouthfeel is creamy as a hefeweizen often is, but the effervescence and prickly carb give the beer a bit of a crisper feel, making it far more akin to orange juice in my mouth… Maybe I am just thinking of orange juice too much as I drink this beer. When the beer leaves, the tongue is left feeling a little assaulted from the carb’s scrub, but not in a way that does not invite further sips. The mouth is left fairly neutral overall, with some saliva pooling in the lower jaw line. Overall, I’m biased but I really like this beer. It took a while to grow on me, and I really hope it is given the chance to reach a large distribution rate. This is a beer I would love a six-pack of. This is also a perfect beer to pair with brunch, bacon, and anything you would normally drink orange juice with. It definitely displays hop bitters, but it is restrained and subtle, which meshes perfectly with the hefeweizen character and allows this beer to be very refreshing, and delicious. Another swell beer from the Smuttlab.

imageAvailability: (I’m going to try and start adding this in to the reviews) Limited. Bottles only in Hampton, NH. Kegs to select better beer bars within Smuttynose’s distribution pattern (mostly North East)

Dissenter Imperial IPL (Founders Brewing Company)

Style: Imperial India Pale Lager

8.7% ABV

70 IBU’s

Brewery’s Note: “It’s been a dozen years since we’ve brewed a lager—and, true to form, we’re going big with Dissenter India Pale Lager, our argument in favor of the potential for complex lagers. Brewed with a wide variety of tropical, citrus-forward hops, Dissenter clocks in at 8.7% ABV and 70 IBUs. Our ales are fermented at warm temperatures, but this lager is fermented cold, using a different kind of yeast. The longer brewing process used for lagers gives Dissenter an exceptionally clean finish, allowing you to appreciate the clear beauty of the hops as you would a well thought out, eloquent dissenting opinion. We’ll let this one speak for itself.”

The beer pours a rich, golden yellow with amber tints. It forms a nice head of sudsy white bubbles that leave some lacing on the glass, and mild retention. In body, the beer is lager clean free of particles, with near absolute translucence. The beer smells juicy and tropical with a nice splash of grass. Lemons, citrus, mango, passion fruit, touches of sticky pine, pineapple, and lots of ‘new American hop citrus’ blast the nose nicely. The grassy piney character does a great job in rounding out the nose and giving it a good bitter balance. On the tongue, the beer tastes bitter with a splash of booze, a nice tartness from the citrus, and just a wisp of sweetness. In flavor, the beer tastes of ruby grapefruit juice, lemon rind, slight grass, and a little too much boozy alcohol. The taste demonstrates a nice citrus/pine finish, much like a classic West Coast IPA. In the mouth, the beer is on the thin side of medium in body. Carbonation is on the lighter side, and mouthfeel ends up crisp with a slight oiliness. Overall, this is a nice IPL. It is a touch boozy, even for an Imperial strength beer, but it is the first lager that Founders has put out in quite some time, and for that it is quite impressive. In the future, I would like to see the booze hidden a touch more behind hop or malt character. Not a bad beer.

Coolship Resurgam (Allagash Brewing Company)

Style: Blended Spontaneous Fermented Beer/ American Gueuze

6.0% ABV

From: Portland, ME

Brewer’s Note: “In the summer of 2008, we decided to build a coolship at our brewery. A coolship is a large shallow pan used to cool wort overnight using outside air temperature. During the cooling process, naturally occurring yeast from the air inoculates the wort. In the morning, the cooled wort is transferred into barrels where the fermentation process begins. The beer is then aged for an undetermined amount of time, until we deem it “ready”./ Coolship Resurgam is a blend of both old and young unfruited spontaneous beer. The name comes from the motto of our fair city, Portland, Me. It means “I shall rise again”. Coolship Resurgam won a Silver medal at the 2010 GABF.”

The beer pours a pale orange, like a sunrise through soft mist. The pour ignites a champagne bubble head of spritzy white bubbles that fizzle away quite quickly, leaving a ring of tiny white bubbles. In body the beer is clean, yet hazy with a light murk to it and some particulate floating. On the nose, this beer is a gueuzey godsend. Horse blanket, with all its grittiness and barnyard glory, splashes fresh across the nose, followed by pineapple juice, subtle cherries and fruit leather, aged cheese, yogurt, and subtle hints of strawberry jam as it warms. The horse blanket has a definite grassiness to it, which I remember being harsher in the Coolship Red (POST LINK) I had last year. What a beautiful nose on this beer! It seems to have a bit more lacto character than what I remember from Old World gueuzes I’ve tried (I think it’s been a year since I had one so I could be pulling that out of my ass…). On the tongue, the beer tastes sharply tart, which mellows and then is balanced by a sweet funk and big tannic oak bitters on the finish. The beer begins as tart, lemony yogurt. Cherry pie and light horse blanket move into the lemon flavor, tangoing with funky sweet cheese and pineapple juice with sharp citrus lemon. Then the oak comes in as a big bitter bruiser with herbal tannin that blends with the grassy funk in the citrus. The tannin becomes a little overpowering as you continue to sip and it builds in the mouth, which makes me think that maybe the fresh barrel was what I didn’t enjoy in the Coolship Red… The funky cheese rind flavor comes out more as the beer warms, and does mellow the oak a touch, while adding subtle metallic flavors to the edges of the taste. In the mouth, the beer feels medium bodied with a fierce, sharp carbonation and mouthfeel that does leave the tongue a little ‘sliced.’ When the beer leaves, the mouth is left slightly wet, with the tongue burned from carbonation scrub, and a funky spittle linger in the mouth. Overall, this is a lovely American Wild/American Gueuze/Spontaneously Fermented Beer with great cheesiness, and wonderfully bright citrus. The oak is a little bit of a bruiser on the finish of the beer, but I can see that mellowing as the beer ages. The carbonation is also a touch on the fierce side, without the effervescence and champagne-like mouthfeel that I desire in the style. This is nit-picking for a fairly new project that will surely grow and better itself with every new vintage. Allagash has done a lovely thing with this beer and I can’t wait to see where it goes in the future.

Hop Knife Harvest Ale (Troegs Brewing Company)

Style: Harvest Ale/ American Pale Ale

6.2% ABV

87 IBUs

Color: Deep Amber

Malts: Crystal, Pilsner, Vienna

Hops: Cascade, Chinook, El Dorado

Dry Hops: Centennial, Citra, Columbus

Yeast: Ale

Brewery’s Note: “Hop Knife Harvest Ale recognizes the meticulous, time-honored tradition of hand-harvesting hops at the peak of maturity. Our HopCyclone process creates an inward spiral of hop dispersal during fermentation, releasing a bounty of citrus, resin and tropical aromas.”

The beer pours a bright, clear copper color with faint pink highlights. It forms an eggshell-white head of miniscule bubbles that has mediocre retention, but does leave a nice sheet of splotchy lacing on the glass as it leaves. In body, the beer is crystal clear and clean with some really nice vibrant coloring. On the nose, the beer smells of big piney citrus. Mangoes and pine resin tango across the nostrils, chasing faint touches of dankness and oh-so-slight hints of garlic and onions that give the nose a nice herbal touch. As I put my nose further into the glass I get more tropical fruit expressions, suggesting papayas, blueberries, and pineapple. The beer is nicely expressive with its hops, leaving the malt to be a faint ghost of caramel and bread on the end of the sniff. On the tongue, the beer tastes initially bitter, with a surprising bready sweetness towards the middle and finish that keeps the beer as a nice mellow sipper. I wasn’t really sure how to consider this beer in terms of style, and with the nose I was leaning towards an IPA, but in flavor I find it far more balanced and more in line with the APA family (granted the two are pretty much the same). Slight acidity also seems to play throughout, giving a light tartness to the sip. In flavor, the beer begins bitter pine and mangoes, quickly folding into rich bready malts with streaks of caramel, and even a hint of figs. This character is added to by the fruitier hop components to suggest fruit cake… The flavors blend strawberry, dried mango, blueberry, peach, and even brief clementine notes over the tongue. The finish brings bitterness back into the play with slight medicinal touches, and definite pine and grapefruit undertones. The breadiness stays on however, and reasserts itself in the aftertaste with a rich caramel malt character that is really quite pleasant. In the mouth, the beer feels medium bodied with a middling carbonation that gives a nice fluff to the tongue, but still provides a light bite. In mouthfeel, the beer feels crisp yet sticky, with a definite resiny touch coming from the rich hop oils. When the beer leaves, the mouth is left slightly dryer with a nice sticky sheen and some saliva pooling in the cheeks. Overall, the beer is a lovely balanced beer. Gorgeous hop aroma gives way to a wonderful blend of hops and malt in taste, making it an easy and interesting drink. Troegs has created a very nice little harvest ale that is ideal for six-packing.

Ride The Lion (Clown Shoes)

Style: Wee Heavy/Scotch Ale aged in Bourbon Barrels

11% ABV

From: Ipswich, MA

Brewery Description: “Descended from a notorious clan of Scottish lore, head brewer Dan Lipke channeled the Tartan tapestry encoded in his DNA to create a formidable Wee Heavy. The beer has been aged 100% in fresh bourbon barrels. Ask yourself, ‘Who needs to ride the lion?’”

The beer pours a dark mahogany color, settling into the glass with a small head of off-white/verging-on-tan bubbles that fizzle away to a thin ring. In body, the beer is a hazy murk of opacity, and when it splashes against the glass it leaves a slick pair of legs to show its booze. On the nose, the beer smells of rich bourbon (Buffalo Trace?), oak, and smooth caramel malt, all accentuated by distinct twinges of fusel alcohol. The beer smells hot like bourbon, and lacks the evening character of oak that many bourbon barrel aged beers have, but makes up for that with bourbon nuance. As the beer warms, I start to pick out hints of minty herbal character, as well as subtle scent I can only list as “pork jam” as it has hints of meatiness blended seamlessly in with strawberry jam. This beer is one to leave in a glass and let it open up, as it continues to unfurl layers as it warms. On the tongue, the beer tastes of woody tannin bitters, hot booze, and very smooth yet nearly sickly sweet malt that somehow stays in check. There is even hints of rounding tartness around the edges of the sip, adding further complexity. This beer is hot, but very nicely balanced as a whole. In flavor, the beer begins as hot bourbon that tastes distinctly of Buffalo Trace to me, though I am not well versed in the art of bourbon. Prickly oak wood tangoes beside subtle smoke, corn alcohol, praline, and vanilla, which round into the middle and finish of the sip where it rounds into flavors of almonds, rich caramel, butterscotch, slight cherry pie, and a flavor that I will again describe as “pork jam” for lack of a better word. To say the least, subtle salty pork flavors blend with jammy sweetness to make a bizarrely pleasant finish. As the beer warms, the fusel alcohol notes back off and really let the rest of this beer out to play. In the mouth, the beer feels on the very light side of heavy in body, with a smooth, nearly watery mouthfeel that nearly deceives the tongue from the beers massive flavors and weight. Carbonation is soft and languid, but the rough tannins and booze do well in scrubbing and biting at the tongue and keeping the cloying sweetness at bay. Only once the beer has left the mouth does the tongue feel sticky and dry, much like it feels after a shot of bourbon. The mouth as a whole, is left remarkably clean and crisp, with a sticky dryness that does little to weigh down the palate. Overall, the beer is a lovely sipping Wee Heavy. I have a personal affinity with the style, and always look to them as the days start to turn colder (is it bad to note that they already have?), and this beer is no exception. I appreciate the more ‘straight-bourbon’ take that the barrel aging took with this beer, but I do wish there was little more balancing oak/smoked malt character playing around, if only to ramp up the flavors a touch. As is, the beer is supremely balanced for the boozy behemoth it is, and while definitely hot with booze and bourbon, provides a lovely little sip. Clown Shoes made another nice sipper.

Étoile Du Maine (Oxbow Brewing Company)

Style: American Saison/Farmhouse Ale aged in Oak Barrels

6.0% ABV

From: Newcastle, ME

Brewery’s Note: “Etoile du Maine was brewed with our friend and fellow farmhouse brewer, Daniel Thiriez of Brasserie Thiriez. This rustic blonde saison has been aged in oak and gently dry-hopped in the barrel prior to bottle-conditioning.”

The beer pours from the bottle, and then sits in my glass the color of blond gold. Lime green highlights lurk within the middle of the beer, yet in body the beer is quite clean and clear, if a bit hazy. The beer pours with a quick spritzy head of sudsy white bubbles that do vacate rather quickly. On the nose, the beer smells of smooth American oak, chardonnay must, and then pineapple brett, cider, drying grass, and slight lemon-lime. It’s a complex, yet fresh and crisp smell, especially for a barrel aged farmhouse ale. The oak is superbly built into the nose at just the right level, giving amazing complexity but not weighing down the beer’s fresh, bright character. As the beer warms, the pineapple brett character does start to turn more towards funky horse blanket on the nose, which is totally fine with me. On the tongue, the beer tastes funky and complex, beginning tart with citric acidity that leads into funky sweetness and further acidity, but then is dried out by ample oak tannin and hoppy bitters. The finish is a citric burst of refreshment. In flavor, the beer begins as tart lime and pineapple juice, which gains a touch of tangerine juice, then slight horse blanket brett with lots of mellow oak tannins giving herbal, tea-like characters. The finish is a beautiful burst of lemon-lime juice with just a hint of smoky oak that does not weigh down the sip at all, but further adds to the complexity. As the beer warms, funky horse blanket starts to stretch into the finish and aftertaste of the beer. In the mouth, the beer feels on the light side of medium in body, with a crisp fully attenuated feel. Carbonation is mild, but the acidity and attenuation keep this beer light and extremely drinkable, especially for the oak presence in this beer. Overall, this beer features some of the best oak presence I have ever found in a light, drinkable beer. The balance is incredible, as I am getting lots of the gritty tannin without their normal weight, and I am getting great farmhouse funk and great fresh citrus. This beer hits my funky farmhouse notes nicely, and leaves me satisfied. I’ve got another bottle aging, but honestly, I am wondering if that is a good choice or not… I guess only time shall tell if the bottle lasts.

On a side note. When you type “etoile du maine” into Google, THIS is one of the first page options…