We’re not ready to say goodbye to Summer just yet, so in this round we’re sharing a few of our favorites from the past three months. There’s some beautiful beers in this round that range from a delicious, refreshing Pale Ale to a boozy, warming Belgian-style Ale that’s perfect for a cool night around the campfire. Hope you enjoy!
Skully Barrel No. 14
From the label: Palisade peach sour ale aged over a year in French Chardonnay barrels with last year’s peach harvest using our blend of house yeast, Brettanomyces and slow souring bacteria, the final blend spiked with peaches from this year’s harvest to bestow a pure and bright fruit flavor to this complex aged sour golden.
American Wild Ale
Format: 500mL bottle
Availability: Released July 2014 – 1800 bottles produced.
Appearance: There’s a monstrous head billowing out of the bottle as I pop the cork and I quickly pour some into the glass to prevent any spillage. The beer’s poured into a Spiegelau chalice and shows off a hazy, burnt orange color. A 4-finger tall, foamy white head fades away, leaving behind thick lacing along the glass wall.
Aroma: A tart, peachy nose hits me up front, but there’s also a bit of barnyard funk hiding in the shadows.
Taste: This is Summer-time funk, driven home by the moderately sweet peach flavors. It leans towards the tart side, with the slightest bit of earthy notes in back. Skully 14’s clean and lightly acidic. Despite being one of my favorite beers in the Skully series (so far), I’d still prefer some of the sweet peach flavor to fade out, leaving behind more of that beloved barnyard funk. I dig this beer, but might grab another to age as it comes off as a bit young at this point.
Insane Pairing: Grilled Salmon.
Smoked beers scare me a bit. Typically, I’m not a huge fan and when I was given this bottle, I’ll admit I was a bit nervous about being able to give this one a fair review. Epic’s Smoked & Oaked though is something special. This is a far cry from your average, liquid smoke brew. It caught me off guard and managed to win me over.
Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Format: 22oz. bottle
Appearance: Poured a hazy amber color, with a tinge of red. Minimal 1/2 finger tall, off-white head, with soft carbonation.
Aroma: Nose is really interesting and a tad boozy. Notes of whiskey, campfire smoke, oak, toffee and biscuit come through. Really nice.
Taste: The barrels really shine on Smoked & Oaked. Smoky and warming, the beer gives up caramel, light peat malt, whiskey, oak, a moderate dose of smoke and just a pinch of vanilla. Smoked & Oaked finds a wonderful balance between the sweet Belgian-style base beer, smokey undertones and flavors brought out from the barrels. Really nice job by Epic. A bit boozy, but it fits.
Insane Pairing: Smores on an open fire.
Score: 4 / 5
The good people at Roaring Fork Beer Company opened their little brewery in Carbondale back in March and have been quick to offer up a variety of tasty, sessionable, well-crafted brews. A few of these have hit cans with limited distribution outside of the brewery and have subsequently become a staple in the cooler during our Summer camping trips. We dig ’em and highly recommend giving Roaring Fork a go.
American Pale Ale
Format: 16oz. can
Availability: Year round
Appearance: Freestone pours a clear, light orange color. The beer’s topped by a 2-finger, foamy white head, supported by a slow, steady stream of carbonation. The head fades after a few minutes, leaving behind a light coating of lacing around the glass.
Aroma: Fresh melon dominates the aroma. There’s also the slightest kiss of citrus and a balanced hop presence.
Taste: Melon comes through in the taste, followed by a healthy dose of bitter hops. Overall a very crisp and drinkable beer. I’m a big fan of sessionable brews in 16oz. cans and would love to see this one get distributed down in the Denver-area.
Insane Pairing: Tacos!!!
Score: 3.75 / 5