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Cellar this: European imports with New World twists

These European imports get an assist from New World ingredients and techniques—and some time under wraps.
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D54_Cellar_049-Edit2Some beers are better with age. Here’s one to crack now, and one to sock away:

BRING OUT:
2009 De Proef Van Twee Belgian Ale The Belgian brewery collaborated with Bells on this hybrid ale, which expertly blends a porter’s roast and cocoa with the dried fruit notes of a dubbel. Over time, pleasant sherry taste coated the dark, sour cherry juice supplied by the Kalamazoo, Mich., brewery. Milk chocolate and lightly ashy roast balance the cherries’ tartness for a layered finish.

LAY DOWN:
2014 Stiegl Ferdinand Barrel-Aged Imperial Alt 

The latest in a series of annual Vintage releases from the long-running Austrian brewery looks to the Americas for inspiration: A Caribbean rum cask that previously held cognac imparts big, boozy vanilla flavor to the malty imperial alt, which, at 10% ABV, already brims with alcohol heat. In time, that should quiet down, allowing caramel and leather notes to cushion Ferdinand’s honeylike sweetness. Resist cracking this now; cellaring is practically mandatory.

 

Author
Kate Bernot is DRAFT’s beer editor. Reach her at kate.bernot[at]draftmag.com.

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