We’re back this week with the first Friday Four Pack of 2022. The year is off to a fast start, and while we originally planned to be tasting through barrels at Revolution for the upcoming VSOR release, these are crazy times and we’re grateful to be healthy and warm to start the year. Speaking of warm, we have four beers to share with you today that will help us brave the cold as we head into the weekend.
Hidden Hand- Seer of Visions (9% Triple IPA)
Seer of Visions is our first “wow” beer of 2022. Patrick with Citra, Mosaic, Wai’iti, Moteuka, and Nelson Sauvin Hops, I get a huge limey orange and peach nose followed by a crisp, slightly bitter front to mid palate and a hanger of a sweet orange dank finish. This beer also uses a hop product known as “Phantasm”, which amplifies everything.
Phantasm is a thiol derived from Marlborough Sauv Blanc grapes from New Zealand. A thiol is a sulfur containing compound and while most people who think of sulfur think rotten eggs, there are plenty of good smelling thiols, too. These grape derived thiols just amplify all of the beers tropical, citrus, and grape notes. I need more Phantasm in my life.
Revolution Brewing- Deth by Cherries (12.5% ABV Barrel Aged Stout with Cherries)
When COVID caused our New Year’s plans to go sideways, my wife and I were left with a fridge full of Steve Buresh cheesecake jars and a cooler full of big beers. So Saturday night, I paired a lovely tart cherry cheesecake jar with a cherry imperial stout, a Demar Derozan buzzer beater, a puzzle… and some professional wrestling. Yes, this is 30.
Deth by Cherries was last canned in November of 2020. At the time, I thought the cherry was a bit overwhelming. Fast forward a year, and I found it to be drinking much better. The cherry has fallen off some, allowing the base beer to flex. I get chocolate oak and soft cherry nose to start. I love how the oak asserts itself. The palate is still tart cherry with some soft green coffee notes that rolls into a dark chocolate and leather finish. Paired with the cheesecake, absolute perfection.
Maplewood Brewing- Barrel Aged Cuppa Neopolitan (13% ABV Barrel Aged Stout)
In keeping with our cheesecake pairings, we have BA Cuppa Neopolitan. This version of barrel aged Cuppa is aged in Blanton’s, Eagle Rare, Four Roses, Wild Turkey, and Maplewood’s very own whiskey barrels for 12-18 months and then conditioned on cacao nibs, vanilla beans, freeze dried strawberries, and a little bit of coffee, is Maplewood’s take on a neopolitan milkshake.
I get the vanilla, strawberry, and graham cracker on the nose, yet the beer remains soft and doughy, almost éclair like. Paired with a Strawberry cream cheesecake jar, the palate does a quick change of pace, with initial hits of tart strawberry. I get more chocolate and vanilla on the finish with a bit of barrel heat.
Brouwerij Bosteels- Tripel Karmeliet (8.4% Belgian Tripel)
We saved the best for last with a Belgian Tripel that was a gift from a colleague. Tripel Karmeliet is a classic Belian ale, brewed from an authentic recipe dating back to 1679. The original recipe describes the use of three kinds of grain: wheat, oats, and barley and is then refermented in the bottle or bottle conditioned.
Enough with the history, how does it taste? I get big notes of coconut and beech on the nose. A soft banana coconut palate that finishes with tons of nuance and plenty of hang, leaving you reveling in baking spice, banana, and wood. It worked phenomonally well with my homemade Tuscan chicken that only took about 30 minutes to make from start to finish. Email me for the recipe. You won’t regret it.
So there’s our first Friday Four Pack on the very cold first Friday of 2022. Hopefully you all enjoyed the Holiday Season, are in good health, and have managed to stay warm. Until next week, Cheers!