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 sixth edition of the weekly series.
Along with BrewDog and Mikkeller, Norway’s Nøgne Ø is one of the more notable and creative craft brewery’s in Europe. When a brewery as consistently interesting as Nøgne Ø begins sake production its worth taking note regardless of your status as a sake lover or neophyte.
The idea of Nøgne Ø striding confidently into the somewhat intimidating world of sake production is not that surprising given the brewery’s eye for all styles and given its specialist interest export market.
Sake is very much underrated and overlooked here in the West; too many people have unfortunately only encountered the incredibly tepid and tasteless sake served in mediocre Japanese restaurants. Sake, in actuality, is brewed in many different styles and can be just as complex or subtle as any beer style you care to name.
Nøgne Ø has thus far produced five styles of sake – four of them unpasteurized.
- Niogori – Milky White and slightly sparkling.
- Nama-Genshu — Fermented with the famous Masumi-yeast. Flavors of peaches and sweet flowers.
- House Yeast — Fermented with naturally occurring yeast. Flavors of wild raspberry and yuzu (a Japanese citrus fruit.)
- Yamahai motoshibori — A pressed sake made with moto yeast. Intensely acidic and almost like rhubarb.
- Junmai-shu — The only pasteurized sake Nogne O makes.
A small batch of Nogne O sake was released in May of this year in Norway, with more now hitting the market. It’s unclear if any of these will ever make it to the United States, but the story of a well respected craft brewery making craft sake was far too interesting to go unnoticed by the Craft Beer Radar.
Those lucky enough to be in or near Athens, Ohio on September 11th, would be wise to pay a visit to Jackie O’s Pub and Brewery. On that day, Jackie O’s is releasing Oil of Aphrodite and Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Apparition — two very limited Russian Imperial Stouts — and is also hosting a Barrel-Aged Festival.
Oil of Aphrodite is an imperial stout brewed with Black Walnuts and Dark Belgian Candi Sugar, ABV. is 10.0%. This is a 16 case release and there is a three bottle per person limit. Each 22oz bottle is $16.
Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Apparition is an imperial stout aged in Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels for 5 months, ABV. is 12.0%. This is a 32 case release and there is a three bottle per person limit. Each 22oz bottle is $18.
For more information on these bottle releases and on the Barrel Aged Festival, including a complete list of the beers being poured, please visit Jackie O’s website.
In beer trading circles, Upland is probably most well-known for its fruit lambics, especially the ones made with decidedly unorthodox lambic additions, such as kiwi and persimmon. This October, Upland will likely have another hot beer trade commodity on its hands with the release of its 2010 World Beer Championships Gold Medal winning Teddy Bear Kisses Imperial Stout.
Upland describes the beer as “a dark and robust beer brewed in the traditional stout method. Teddy Bear Kisses features an abundance of dark malts and high alpha hops for a powerful impact of roast, chocolate, and sweet bitterness. The lucky few who cuddle up to a warming session with Teddy Bear Kisses sense the velvety malt character, balanced bitter intensity, and soothing chocolate notes created by long aging on fair trade cocoa nibs. Teddy Bear Kisses will make you feel warm and happy inside, but it’s definitely not your childhood cuddle toy.”
Teddy Bear Kisses will be available in 22oz bottles in the markets the Upland is distributed in.
- 11.5% ABV.
- 80 IBU’s
September 24th will see the release of the next “Untitled Seasonal” from Portland, Oregon brewery Upright Brewing — a brewery specializing in creative renditions of farmhouse saisons and bière de gardes.
Upright describes this Untitled Seasonal as “well balanced with delicate flavors throughout, using a Munich lager yeast that highlights the ingredients clearly and gives the beer a soft yet satisfying finish. Brewed with Canadian grown pilsner malt and magnum, liberty and tettnanger hops from Mt. Angel.”
The brewery is hosting a party at their tasting room for Untitled Seasonal on the day of release. The party will be “in the style of 70’s and 80’s British Punk Rockers who fought the law to death and glory in the clash of the lower class leftists with limited career opportunities.”
No word on per person bottle allocation or cost as bee announced.
- 6.77% ABV.
Craft Beer Radar is primarily concerned with brand new beer releases, but this week I wanted to highlight some 2009 Autumn and Winter seasonal releases that will be making a welcome return in 2010.
On September 13th, Odell Brewing will release the 2010 batch of its Bourbon Barrel Stout, an Imperial Stout aged in oak Bourbon barrels.
Odell says that during the Summer of 2010, “three Odell brewers traveled to Kentucky to hand select the aging barrels for Bourbon Barrel Stout. They visited a variety of distilleries examining thousands of different barrels and decided on barrels from the Maker’s Mark distillery.”
“The delicate vanilla and maple candy Bourbon aromas give way to a panoply of smells that include chocolate, caramel, roasted almonds and coffee,” said Andrew Nagy in his review of the beer for Cigar Aficionado. “The stout is well balanced to the palette as molasses, mocha and chocolate flavors start and then turn to the familiar whiskey taste of wood, vanilla and root beer candy, followed by a finish of coffee and toasted marshmallow.”
Odell Bourbon Barrel Stout will be available in 750ml cork and cage bottles in the markets where the brewery is distributed. Price is $14.99 a bottle.
- 10.5% ABV.
- Aged for three months in the charred Makers Mark oak barrels
Monk’s Blood was one of the most buzzed about, enjoyed and requested limited released beers of 2009. Released by San Francisco-based 21st Amendment, Monk’s Blood is a Belgian Trappist style Quadruple, brewed with dark Belgian candi sugar, dried black mission figs, cinnamon, vanilla bean and aged on oak chips. Few, myself included, were expecting to see it again this year, but see it again we shall — for a limited time in December.
“21st Amendment founders Nico Freccia and Shaun O’Sullivan traveled to Belgium to develop the recipe for this special beer, visiting small, traditional breweries in the hop fields of west Flanders, not far from the famous Trappist abbey of Westvletren. Monk’s Blood is designed to pair beautifully with rich winter stews, creamy cheeses, unctuous desserts or just by itself, in a Belgian tulip glass, with a good book by the fire.”
Monk’s Blood will once again be released in 12oz cans 4 packs.
- 8.3% ABV.
- 34 IBU’s
- Malts: Belgian Pilsner, Two-Row Pale, Caramunich, Caravienne, Aromatic, Special B Malts, Flaked Oats and Flaked Wheat
- Hops: Magnum, Centennial and Amarillo
- Yeast: Abbey Ale Yeast