Beers in Review: Including a Triple Collaboration

Returning to the realm of the written word (expect the next video review early next week), we'll open with a live tasting of Natty Greene Brewing Company's Red Nose Winter Ale. Having a red ale base, it pours an almost iced tea-like color and a pretty heavy body. The first impression is that of malty sweetness, and gradually, a number of other flavors blend into that sweetness. I'm getting some citrus hints, and a little of what I call the "fall/winter spice blend"--maybe a bit of nutmeg or cinnamon, something in that vein. It's not very strong, which is fine with me. There is a non-hoppy bite at the end from something--I can't quite identify the flavor, but doesn't really feel out of place.

Next up is a triple collaboration from Stone Brewing, Ecliptic Brewing, and Wicked Weed Brewing. Points Unknown IPA is labelled as a "double IPA blended with a barrel-aged Belgian-style Tripel". I typically don't want to quote bottles or websites, but given this beer's complexity, I feel they explaining it best:

The Tripel was transferred into barrels that originally housed red wine before finding a second life as vessels for aging tequila. Four months later, that beer was excavated, then blended at one-fourth to three-fourths ratio with the freshly brewed double IPA to create...a blend of the traditional and the new, presenting a variety of diverse flavors that coalesce into something more unique than any one beer

The beer poured cloudy and apricot-colored, and contained a mild hop bitterness. Coming in a 9.5% ABV, and with the use of wine/tequila barrels, boozy notes were pretty prominent, along with even some straight-up alcohol flavors. In addition, lots of fruit and red wine notes were present. I had a 22oz bottle of this, and really enjoyed about the first half, but the second half of the bottle became a bit of chore to drink. That's just me.

As one last note, I also had a draft of Sam Adams' Cold Snap winter seasonal, but I think there might have been something wrong with the keg or the system. I might just need to stop trying to judge drafts from this particular local watering hole. I will try to give it one more chance before the spring beers come in, but we'll see.