Friday, 27 April 2012

Mikkeller Nelson Sauvignon

Good evening all. I first tried the subject of this post on draft during a Meet The Brewer event at the Cask Pub and Kitchen in Pimlico, and on the first sip I decided it was the best beer that I'd ever had and pledged that I would try it again at the closest opportunity. After almost a year, I finally decided to purchase a bottle, and on this, the penultimate evening of my Easter break, I felt it was the right time to pop the cork and see if it's as brilliant as I remember. That beer is Nelson Sauvignon, a Bière de Champagne from Mikkeller. This bad boy has been brewed with an ale yeast and brettanomyces before being aged in Austrian white wine casks for three months. Quite an epic journey from inception to bottle! Review after the pic....

Nelson Sauvignon (9.0% ABV) pours a slightly cloudy amber colour with an incredible white head that settles to a thick halo around the inside of the glass. There's tonnes of lacing present, this beer looks fantastic! The aroma is stunning, with an incredible vinous quality, citrus fruits, some tartness and a pleasing sweetness in the background. The vinous edge hits the olfactories right from the word go, never really relenting over the course of the beer, and the fruity hops combine with this distinctive aspect to create a wonderfully sweet, fruity and dry  aroma. The brett addition is surprisingly noticeable, delivering a slight tartness to the aroma that works very well in this context. Absolutely incredible, and that's just the nose! The taste is equally as stunning, with dry white wine, effervescing tartness, citrus fruits, piney hop flavours and a noticeable sweetness. Most beers suffer the same fate of having the aroma delivering a host of powerful senses to the nose, but when it comes time to tasting they're lacking in flavour. However, this tastes almost exactly like it smells and the aromas have been amplified significantly on the palette. The vinous quality is slightly piquant and creates a dryness in the finish, with the tartness from the brett creating a sourness in the mouth that offsets the piquancy. The sweetness still remains in the background, and the fruity qualities of the hops are only slightly apparent in comparison to the heavier puckering flavours, but together they provide an excellent base and don't compete with the stars of the show. The mouthfeel is slightly on the thick side, and the beer is very well carbonated which compliments the dry sweetness and the fruitiness perfectly. Overall, I don't think this review has done this beer enough justice- every time I've had the opportunity to try this beer, I've been more than impressed with it and tonight's tasting is no exception. It's dry, vinous, sweet, fruity and slightly tart, and when all of these components come together like they have in this offering, it's the closest to perfection a beer can ever get. I'm sure I'll change my opinion in the future, but at the time of writing it's still the best beer I've ever had and is totally worth the money. 

Until next time....

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