It’s an incredible sports Saturday today. My Missouri Tigers basketball team just beat UCLA, and continues to have the longest home winning streak in the NCAA. The Missouri football team is just about to take on Auburn in the SEC championship game. I bought this beer of little over a year ago when I was on vacation near Tampa, Florida and stopped into the brewery. It was hidden in the crisper of the beer fridge, and thought this was a great occasion to crack it open. The bottle says it’s an ale brewed with curacao peel.
Location: Poured from the 750ml bottle into a snifter glass at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 11% ABV, 25 OG, 5 FG, 5 SRM, ~390 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s a rusty reddish color and pretty clear. There was a big foamy white head on it when I first poured it, but it felt to just a thin layer of bubbles over the top after a few minutes. However, the thin creamy ring around the glass left some really nice lacing. The aroma is a caramel fruitiness with some earthy hops
Taste & Feel: The body is medium-to-full and the mouthfeel is smooth and somewhat creamy. The flavor up front is sweet with some caramel, citrus, and woody flavors. There’s a strong burst of earthy-citrus bitterness in the middle. The bitterness carries through the finish with the caramel maltiness growing as well. There’s an earthy and wood flavor there behind it with some fruitiness in the background.
Food Pairing: The caramel and woody flavors make this a great beer to accompany a steak, and in particular, a bacon wrapped filet. These flavors would also go nice with a thick juicy burger with some sautéed onions on it.
Overall Impression: This was a very complex beer with a lot of different flavors going on – caramel, woodiness, citrus, and earthiness. The flavors mixed together nicely with a good dose of bitterness in the middle. It was big and flavorful, yet still smooth and fairly drinkable. Perhaps it was the year of aging in the beer fridge, but for an 11% ABV beer, it was very smooth. Overall, I enjoyed the flavors and will have to try other beers in this series, if I can get my hands on them.