Each week, beer blogger Lee Williams highlights the most notable upcoming beer releases that belong on every craft beer lover’s radar. This is Mutineer’s third edition of the weekly series.
Upright – “Late Harvest”
Upright Brewing specializes in Franco-Belgian farmhouse-styled ales with a “pacific northwest twist.” This past Sunday, the brewery held a release party for its newest seasonal offering, an intriguing barrel-aged creation called “Late Harvest.”
“Late Harvest is a Pinot Noir barrel-aged farmhouse-brown ale brewed with pomegranate seeds, grains of paradise and Tasmanian peppercorns, all of which produced a tart, complex and balanced beer. The aroma and flavor are both reminiscent of some Italian-style bitters with an herbal and spicy character while it maintains a rich grain profile by heavy use of caramel malts and rolled barley.”
35 of the 75 cases produced of “Late Harvest” were made available at the beer’s brewery release. The remaining 40 cases will be sold in Upright’s markets, including a shipment for Vancouver, B.C. Each 750ml bottle costs $12.
- 7.0% ABV.
- 8 months maturation in the barrel
Avery – “Quinquepartite”
Following in the heralded wake of Avery’s limited release barrel-aged Dépuceleuse wild ale, comes Quinquepartite, a blended sour ale, the Boulder based brewery’s appropriately name fifth chapter in its experimental barrel-aged program.
“Latin for consisting of five parts, Quinquepartite was blended from beers aged in five of the best oak barrels in the Avery cellars: two Cabernet Sauvignon barrels, along with one each of Port, Chardonnay and Zinfandel barrels. The beer achieves a pungent balance, mingling the exotic aromas and flavors of brettanomyces wild yeast with a citric acid-like tartness.”
60 cases of Quinquepartite have been made available for purchase at Avery, the brewery choosing to hold on to the remaining cases for its private cellar. As with previous releases in the series, Quinquepartite is released in foiled topped 12oz bottles.
- 9.91% ABV.
- 37% Cabernet Savignon barrel aged
- 25% Chardonnay barrel aged
- 21% Port barrels aged
- 17% Zinfandel barrel aged
Crispin Cider – “Lansdowne”
Crispin Cider of Minneapolis has announced the third release in its small batch 22oz bottle “Artisanal Reserve” series — the unusually yeasted, hard, cloudy cider Lansdowne, made with classic Irish stout ale yeast and organic molasses.
The “extra stout-bodied” cider is “naturally fermented using a premium blend of fresh pressed apple juice, not from concentrate, and fermented with Irish stout ale yeast, Lansdowne is a rich brown color, with an ABV of 6.9% it shows a slight hint of butterscotch, balanced by a subtle fruitiness and a slightly dry crisp finish with a uniquely full and buttery mouth feel.”
“Lansdowne never strays offsides and is uncorrupted by added malt, spirit or grape alcohols, and is free of colorants, sorbate and benzoate preservatives.”
The initial releases in Crispin’s “Artisanal Reserve” series are still readily available in their areas of distribution; the organic honey infused Honey Crisp and The Saint made with Belgian Trappist yeast and organic maple syrup. Both are available in 22oz bottles.
- 6.9% ABV.
Sierra Nevada – “Trappist Abbey Ales”
Last week, Sierra Nevada announced that in 2011 they would be releasing three beers brewed in the Belgian tradition. The beers are to be brewed with the monks of the Trappist-Cistercian Abbey of New Clairvaux in Vina, California.
“For nearly 1000 years, monks have been brewing ales behind monastery walls. Their closely guarded traditions and techniques produced styles of beer unlike anything else in the world. These unique Trappist-style Abbey ales are known for their uncompromising quality and compelling flavor.”
“In 2011, Sierra Nevada and the Trappist-Cistercian Abbey of New Clairvaux are working to bring this centuries-old tradition to America with Ovila—the nation’s only authentic Trappist-style Abbey Ale.”
“This series of three Belgian-style Abbey ales is made in accordance with the centuries-old tradition of the monks. Each beer will be only be available for a limited time and will rotate through the seasons. The first beer in the series, scheduled for release in March, will be a Belgian-style Dubbel brewed with authentic Trappist yeast. The second beer in the series, scheduled for release in July, will be a Saison, the traditional Belgian-style farmhouse ale made in honor of the Monk’s dedication to labor in the fields surrounding their abbey. The third will be released in time for the holidays. It will be a Trappist-style Quadrupel rich with dark fruit flavors and the unique wine-like characters of these strong Abbey ales.”
A portion of the proceeds from the sales of the three beers will go to the monks to aid in their rebuilding of an 800 year old medieval chapterhouse, shipped to California in 1933 by newspaper magnate, William Randolph Hearst.
Expect Sierra Nevada to announce many more details about theses intriguing release as 2011 approaches, a dedicated website to accompany the special series is likely to follow, à la their 30th Anniversary series this year.