Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Tide and Its Takers

photo courtesy of Anchorage Brewing Company
Like Ahab's white whale, this beer is a beast worth of devotion and furious obsession.  It deserves to be serenaded with sonnets and ballads strum upon pearlescent lutes leafed in hazy gold to match the yellow hued straw of this bottled sunlight.

Whereas big Imperial stout, or rich chocolate porters conjure images of dark velvets and language that is as laced and heady as a deep red wine, this Trippel, imbued with Bretts in an Oak Chardonnay barrel, is just as decadent, but with contrasting lightness.

It pours out like straw colored champagne and retains its head and lacing like the aforementioned beverage.  It holds a nice golden light and gives off a soft nose of yeast and lemon.  The addition of Bretanomyces really takes a solid Trippel and makes an incredibly nuanced beer more akin to wine than a straightforward beer.

Anchorage Brewing Company has really mastered the use of Bretts and have not feared the big bad monster of "wild yeasts."  Embracing the fact that they have been around souring beers before the discovery of sanitizing in the 19th century, it's another connection bridging modern brewing with the traditions of the past.  It's fitting that Belgians haven't shied away from this beast and for Anchorage to throw it into a Trippel is a nice touch

The tropical, peppery, earthy-ness that is lent to Bretts creates such a unique and subtle backbone to this exquisite Belgian.  You still get the zesty lemon/grapefruit, but it seems to be infused with an apple-pear crispness and the oak and chardonnay tartness really add to the surprisingly robust flavor. All that sharp and airy tartness has Bretts breath through it and adds that wonderful, earthy funk.

The name of this beer is spot on.  It really does feel like the ocean.  Light, breezy, wild, and satisfying to the core.

As far as Bretts beers go, this one is insanely approachable.  It would turn on any wine drinker with its white wine aspects.  It's not aggressively sour or funky and that's the beauty.  It takes an established style and elevates it to something wonderful.  A white whale in this under sailed sea of Bretts beers.

"...the waves should rise and fall, and ebb and flow unceasingly; for here, millions of mixed shades and shadows, drowned dreams, somnambulisms, reveries; all that we call lives and souls, lie dreaming, dreaming, still; tossing like slumberers in their beds; the ever-rolling waves but made so by their restlessness."
-Henry Melville, Moby Dick

5 adoring heads out of 5

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