Pelican Le Pelican Brun 2007
Eight years is a long slumber for most beers, but this hybrid Belgian ale (somewhere between a dubbel and a Belgian strong dark ale) more than stood the test of time. The nose evokes an almond Hershey’s bar with dusty cocoa and nuts buoyed by dark cherry and sherry aromas. The cohesive sip carries those flavors through: earthy cherry tartness, cocoa powder and dried fruit glide smoothly across the tongue. Improbably, this tastes like a beer half its age.
Deschutes The Stoic 2015
Deschutes hasn’t brewed this rye whiskey and pinot noir barrel-aged Belgian-style quad since 2011, when it polarized drinkers with its lighter hue and body. (Those who cried foul were mostly appeased by 2014’s release of Not The Stoic.) This spring, The Stoic returned. There’s plenty to savor if you crack it now: melon, licorice and banana aromas, plus sweet cherry flesh and banana on the sip. Brewer Eric Moore aged the 2011 version and says 18 months is this beer’s sweet spot, so plan to pull this bottle in early 2017 to taste how some of its sweeter malts have tempered.