Thursday, 31 May 2012
Mikkeller In May
24. Mikkeller Weinbrand BA Red Ale 10.0%
It's the last day of May, and so the last of my Mikkellers In May series. I'll briefly list some of the highlights at the end of this post, I may even have a top three, but I wanted to have something a little bit special to end with and this could well be it.
It is already a special beer to me because this actual bottle is the very first bottle of Mikkeller beer that I ever bought.
I had read a little about Mikkeller beers and when I saw this bottle, with it's seductive wax-sealed cap, I knew it had to be mine.
This is a Red Ale or American Amber style, another that is brewed at the De Proef experimental brewery, before being aged in Weinbrand (a type of fortified fruit wine, quite similar in some respects to brandy) barrels from the Kollwentz vineyard in Germany for a period of three months.
I've never had a beer quite like this before, and suitably intrigued it's time I pressed on and see how it tastes.
It pours a cloudy dark amber with a definite ruby red edge to it. The head is surprsingly heavy with a beige colouring, and although it blooms and fades, it seems to do so reluctantly. The aroma is quite pungent with losts of musty vanilla and a big kick of cherry liqueur. It's bitingly sharp at first, making it's presence felt immediately with some milk chocolate, then the big flavours of sour cherries and a hint of vanilla and orange peel sweep in. Next comes what is almost a warm alcoholic orange and cherry void before a musty lollipop flavour, more cherry but this time with a little lemon, leaves a really rounded texture in the mouth. This coats the whole mouth with some sticky-sweet sourness resonant of the aftermath of a boiled sweet. This moves seemlessly into the finish which lingers a long long time.
This is another superb beer from Mikkeller, benefiting from storing a while I think, but it makes me wonder what the flavours would have become if left for a while longer.
The big question you're asking however (well, you might be) is, 'does it make the top 3 for May ?'
I was actually quite surprised when I read through my reviews and thought about the beers without drinking them at the same time. All the reviews and posts were made on the days that I drank them, which made it interesting at times, but I wanted to be true to the guidelines that I set myself.
Without further ado then, here I my favourites in reverse order:
3. Jackie Brown for it's gorgeous chocolate hoppiness.
2. Mexas Ranger for it's crazy hoppy chocolate roller-coaster ride.
1. Spontanale for it's pure sour fruit juice wonderment.
I hope that you've enjoyed coming along with me on my Mikkeller adventure. I'd love to know what you thought of what I wrote, and if you've tried some of these great beers or you've been inspired to explore the wonderful world of Mikkeller beer. Thank you to those who have already contacted me here and via twitter @1970sBoy.
I'll leave you with a picture of some of the Mikkellers that didn't quite make it due to time contraints but I may well visit here soon.
It's been a very good May indeed!