BRING THIS OUT: Allagash Odyssey
When it was released in the summer of 2009, this knockout oak-aged beer’s tart wheat and woody tannins earned it a 95-point score. After two years in our cellar, Odyssey emerges even deeper and more complex than before: The beer’s once nuanced fig and blackberry scents have blossomed, accentuating an underlying sweet caramel aroma while toasty oak smoothes the edges. As in the nose, dark fruit’s role has expanded in the taste, engaging the tongue with succulent cherry and fig notes alongside oaky tannins and a lessened wheat twang. Although sweeter and chewier than before, this beer remains cohesive throughout the swallow, finishing slightly dry with a honey-sweet finish akin to the one we loved so much when the beer was new.
LAY THIS DOWN: Marin Star Brew Triple Wheat Ale
This 9.3%-ABV wheat wine is bold, from its sparkling golden hue to its dense
flavor—a perfect candidate for sipping today and cellaring for tomorrow. As is often the case with fine wheat wines, Star Brew emits a punchlike aroma of mango, melon and passionfruit. Its huge swallow and almost syrupy mouthfeel coat the tongue, while biting wheat cuts into bold tropical sweetness and robust alcohol works the mouth dry. Underlying caramel accentuates the tropical notes, as does a flash of orange hops just before the finish. After a year or two in your cellar, this sipper will emerge less bright than it is now, but smoother and more refined, with caramel notes that have evolved into dark fruit flavors to complement the tropical fruit.