Friday, 15 December 2017

The 2-4 Beers of Christmas Day 3: 1 year (plus a few days) Aged 11/05 2016 Edition

Aged 11/05 Can Conditioned Sour Belgian Tripel

Collaboration with Nickel Brook Brewing Company

Sawdust City Brewing Company

 Independent Microbrewery/Brewpub    Est.:  2012

Location: Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada
Beer Style: Belgian Sour Tripel
ABV: 11.05%      IBU: 
Format: Aluminum Can Size: 473 ml
Cost: $6.50 CAD     Purchased At: The Brewery

Nickel Brook Brewing Company

Type: Independent Microbrewery Est.: 2012
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada

nickelbrookbrewing        sawdustcitybeer


Ok, yes, I know... I was supposed to do this beer 6 months ago... Better late than never. So this can has sat in the Fridge of Fame for a little over 12 months. Long ago I would, like many others, would have thought this beer would be bad, and throw it out (or more likely drink it later into the night after I have already had a few. Yes. I have no shame.) However, I have come to realise under certain conditions, that bottle ageing (or can ageing in this case) is not only possible but very intriguing in its results. What beers can be aged? Well, that depends.Higher alcohol beers are good candidates, heavier styles like porters, quads, and the like fair very well. Anything bottle conditioned usually because they have active yeasts that keep the beer "alive" and continue to change the flavours over time. If you want to try ageing I may do a more in-depth article soon, but when in doubt... ask your local craft brewer. tell him or her you are interested in ageing some beers at home and could they make a few suggestions. I'm sure they will be happy to oblige.

Before we head onto our beer tonight I want to remind you about my notes for the beer way back in November of 2016:

Pours a cloudy gold colour with a fluffy white head made up  of small bubbles. Aroma is a warm sweet and sour nose with lots of yeasty bread, nuts, honey and fruit, with hints of grapes and wine. Alcohol is up front and warming. First sip is tart, but still slightly closed in flavour. Very bready, and nutty with hints of brandy. Aeration gives us a full and creamy mouthfeel with notes of spice, hints of black pepper and apricot.

The beer was a late release last November. While the beer is usually ready for November 5th, Sawdust was can conditioning it and it was not quite ready. So the cans came with a band on the top and you had to "pinkie swear" not to open until the 21st of November. I did mine around the 25th so the initial can conditioning was done. However, there is still active yeast in there working on the beer. So the band also advocated trying it again in 6 months. I did buy a second can to try in 6 months. However, I didn't get to it until now. Interestingly, the beer is still on sale in the brewery (I may have picked up another can to try next year!). 

Onto our beer.

The colour is still bright gold but it has taken on a slightly more cloudy appearance. The can nearly exploded when I opened it and the fluffy white head was MASSIVE. The nose is incredible with bright citrus notes, some breadiness, a little funk from the Brettanomyces and a small amount of nuttiness. First sip gives us a very smooth slightly funky beer. Definitely, still, wine-like taste although the grapiness is more muted. Hints of oak, light caramel, a little more woodsy, and earthy. The finish has a little black pepper and hints of liquorice. Aeration brings out the alcohol with a boom. My cheeks warmed right up! It also brings out hints of banana and clove. Interestingly the brett fades as the beer warms.

Impressions: Fail, So-so, Pass, Exceptional 

Cost: 5/6 PASS

Colour: 5/6 PASS

Beer Style: 6
Re-Order:  5/6 PASS
Experience: 6/6 EXCEPTIONAL
Christmas Cheer 6/6 EXCEPTIONAL

Final Thoughts:

Phenomenal experience. Ageing this beer was a wonderful experiment and it is great to compare it to its younger self. There are a still a few of these left in the brewery. I would suggest grabbing at least two and trying one now and one maybe next year!


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