Friday, January 20, 2012

Sixteen (Weyerbacher Brewing Co, Easton, PA)

Digging into a couple of six packs of singles from the Ale Jail, and pulled out a braggot.  For those not up to date on your medieval drinks, braggot is a combination of mead and beer--both honey and malt--and generally has spices added.  From the BeerAdvocate description, braggot tends to be high in alcohol as well.  Sixteen matches exactly.  GABF Gold Medal in 2011 according to Weyerbacher and second highest rated on  BA for braggots.  The beer comes with some credentials.  Let's see if it lives up to the accolades.

Had to pour hard down the center of the glass to build up an 1/2 inch head that fell before I could get it in the picture. Taking the initial sips, I see legs slide down the glass, which confirms the potency of this ale on the label: 10.5% ABV.  Looks dark brown in the glass, but serious ruby highlights when looking through the edge.  Drinking it slow to let it warm, a big spice is emerging on top of a sweet, fruity malt.  Clear fig, raisin, dark chocolate and cherry, peppery hotness from the alcohol, maybe some cinnamon and tumeric.  Honey in the nose is so strong that it reminds me of a Sioux Bee honey from my childhood.  On the tongue, more fruit and malt, and the honey and spice is more subdued but not completely tamed.  Surprisingly dry finish that lingers.  Complex and well balanced beer that is a pleasure to drink, but it's a pretty small category.  Not likely that I'll go out and buy a bunch to drink or age, but this one was a very good departure from the usual.

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