Beers in Review: 2016 Finale

Hello, friends! As indicated yesterday, I'm back from Christmas family time, which included a whole lot of high quality beer! I will be talking about that in a video this weekend, and writing about for probably the next couple of weeks, but I still have a few pre-Christmas reviews on which to catch up. So let's look at a couple of them now!

First up is the 14th Anniversary Ale from Terrapin Beer Company in Athens, Georgia. In addition to the anniversary celebration, this Tart Belgian Red is also Terrapin's "100th brew crafted in house". This ale utilizes U.S. Goldings hops and a multitude of malts, especially Crystal malts that generate this ale's pretty reddish-copper color. Coming in a 7.5% ABV, flavors include a great deal of tart cherry, along with berries and dark fruit. I also detected wine and wine barrels, as well as fruit rinds--perhaps peach, among others?--that bring a unique bitter note into the fold. A bit of funkiness is also present later in the drinking experience. Despite some lackluster reviews, I found this to be a nice beer, though I tend to be bigger on Flemish Reds and the like.

Next up is Grains of Truth Harvest Ale, a Biere de Garde from Brewery Ommegang. With an ABV of 5.8%, this ale is intended to utilize grains (barley, oats, wheat, rye) to honor the practice of farming and the harvest. The outcome is supposed to be balanced, smooth, and creamy. Grains of Truth nails the mouthfeel traits, but otherwise mainly holds a lot of typical Belgian traits. It pours a nice gold-to-orange color, and flavor notes include green/white grapes, apricot, and bit of banana and peach. Bubblegum is also pretty prevalent (I feel like this is a flavor quality I've just started to pick up in the last few months), along with a bit of funk and some spices, including black pepper and cloves. This was a terrifically deep beer, though if I had read the description that talks about things like "balance" before drinking, I would have been greatly surprised and possibly disappointed. Excellent beer, though.