I was incredibly lucky to sample Allagash Brewing’s FV13, this past weekend thanks to my good friend Dale, who brought this home from a trip to the East Coast. It was easily one of the best Belgian-style wild ales I’ve had in awhile. I read that this beer is Allagash’s first foudre beer, meaning it has been aged in a giant oak tank, and has been there for four years! The outcome is definitely worth the wait. It has a beautiful copper color, with notes of tart fruits (like cherries), with a nice caramel finish. The oak adds complexity to the beer, to create a nice sweet and sour lingering flavor.
In addition, K and I brought a bottle of Anchorage Brewing Co’s Bitter Monk. It is an excellent Belgian IPA, containing plenty of fresh Belgian yeast notes, and a sour bite thanks to my favorite kind, Bretta. Along with the funky flavors that the yeast brings, it is also aged in an oak barrel. This one is specifically in a French chardonnay oak barrel, and you can taste the dry, tart flavours that are present in those kinds of white wines. The Simcoe, Citra, and Apollo hops also compliment the dry flavors with an extra citrus zest. Its incredibly smooth, and is a great introduction into Bretta beers, but also, Belgian-style IPAs.
I originally intended this post to be about Belgian-styles, but as I did research on these two incredible beers, the trend of oak barrel aging perked my interest. I will have to do more research on beers that use this method for brewing. What oak-aged beers do you love?