Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Long Trail - Quercus Vitus Humulus

Long Trail - Quercus Vitus Humulus - French Oak-aged Ale brewed with French Grape Juice, fermented with Champagne Yeast - Barley Wine - Strong Ale - Middlebury, VT 12% abv. Poured into a fluted Allagash Ale glass.
22 oz dark brown bottle. No freshness date.
It pours a ruby-hued copper color with a thin, fast-fading off-white head.
Smells are all over the place! Sparkling wine, toasted rye toast, aging, fermenting fruit bowl, spicy and floral hops and lemon zest. A hint of sherry lingers in the background.
The flavors are also varied and complex. Sangria comes immediately to mind. Dry malt, lemony, metallic and spicy hops add an edgy dimension. Orange liquor, doughy bread, lemon hard candies and honey temper the upfront, edgy flavors. A little natural woody flavor lasts throughout.
There's a bit of an unappealing astringent rasp in the mouthfeel, yet it abates a bit as it warms.
While it is certainly a beer with a big alcoholic bang, it's fairly gulpable, and that's a bit scary. This one could get the unsuspecting in a little trouble if he/she should drink two or more of these extreme beers.
Strong cheeses and hearty rye crackers or rich dark chocolate. You can pour a little over vanilla ice cream with shaved chocolate and crushed nuts.

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