Friday, 20 July 2012

Anchorage Brewing Company The Tide and Its Takers Tripel

Good evening all. Tonight's beer is The Tide and Its Takers Tripel, a Tripel from Anchorage Brewing Company (Anchorage, Alaska). Yesterday was my graduation, and even before travelling up to the event I had this beer in mind to toast the achievement once I had returned home. Now that time has finally arrived, and frankly I can't wait to try this! It's an interesting take on the Belgian Tripel style, being fermented not only with a Belgian yeast but also aged in Chardonnay barrels with Brettanomyces before being bottled. If that wasn't enough, it's also hopped using Sorachi Ace and Styrian Goldings, with the latter being quite understandable (Duvel Tripel Hop uses it after all) but the former being more of an unusual addition. Sounds very similar to Mikkeller's Nelson Sauvingon, so I'm looking forward to this even more than usual! Review after the pic....

The Tide and Its Takers Tripel (9.0% ABV) pours a light golden colour with a white head that retains itself well on the surface of the beer. There's a small amount of lacing present, and the picture above was taken after I'd poured the rest of the beer into the glass, hence the opacity. The aroma is amazing and very complex, with plenty of Brett character (sherbert, cooking apples, funk), spicy phenols from the Belgian yeast, a vinous quality in the background and some honey sweetness from the malt. The contributions from each yeast type are surprisingly noticeable, with neither predominating over the other throughout the duration of the beer. The Brett delivers the usual funky notes, and as always these work fantastically with the vinous aromas from the Chardonnay, whilst the Belgian yeast supports everything nicely. The sweetness from the malt is also perfect for this beer style. Great stuff, and although the wine isn't as apparent as I was initially expecting, this is understandable when considering the array of aromas bursting forth from the glass. If the aroma was "amazing", the taste is unbelievable, with loads of phenols, effervescing carbonation from the Brett, honey, wine and some light bittering hop character in the background. The Belgian yeast is definitely more noticeable on the palette, with the Brett gradually coming forward with the effervescing sherbet quality that is always instantly recognisable. The wine is noticeable in the finish, accompanied by the spicy remnants of the Belgian yeast, and the malty sweetness also makes itself known at this point. The tartness from the Brett comes out in the aftertaste, along with a slight dryness that I can only assume is due to the wine. The mouthfeel is light and the beer is moderately carbonated, with the perception of carbonation increased because of the Brett. Overall, this is a very impressive beer that balances a lot of interesting flavours and concepts, making it immensely drinkable and definitely one to get again in the future. Highly recommended!

Until next time....

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