Style: Herbed/Spiced Beer
Brewed with: barley, honey, white muscat grapes & saffron
From: Milton, Delaware
Brewer’s Note: “This was the first beer in our Ancient Ales series. This sweet yet dry beer is made with ingredients found in 2,700-year-old drinking vessels from the tomb of King Midas. Somewhere between wine and mead, Midas will please the chardonnay and beer drinker alike.”
The beer’s label is funky and awesome. I love the text used for the beer’s title, and I love the funky golden finger print graphic. Other than those two things there is very little on this label, and I like that a lot. The purple background color is awesome. The neck decoration is a little weird though, and puts a weird twist on the style. This bottle is worthy of the shelf for sure, or for scrapbooking if you don’t have room on the shelf.
The beer pours a fiery orange-yellow that sits in the glass close to copper in color with a huge army of bubbles racing through the beer constantly to replenish the head. The head sits nicely atop the beer as a creamy off-white color, with the bubbles holding to a size just below medium. The beer’s body is murky and full of chunky particles floating in the glass. It looks like swamp water with algae in it. On the nose, the beer smells raisiny sweet, with some definite candied grape/raisin notes and strong currents of sweet candied wine. I presume the saffron is one of the fruity candied smells I am detecting but I can’t be sure as I have never taken the time to pick out the smell of saffron before… Honey is also very prevalent in the nose, giving it a gooey sweet feel in the nostrils. On the tongue, the beer tastes very sweet with some light acidity and a touch of bitter on the sides of the tongue. The flavor begins as sweet caramelly barley, slowly working its way towards a sweet muscato wine with lovely nuances of mead and very slight bread from the barley. The finish is a medium in length, tingling with sweet wine flavors and a touch of sweet honey. As I drink more of the beer, and it warms in my hands, I also begin to detect a strong earthy sweet bitter spice on the middle of the palate that has some lasting power. The aftertaste rings with the cloying aftereffects of the wine and honey flavors. On the mouth, the beer feels medium thick in body, but the carbonation is quite strong and prickly, actually working to scrub some of the cloying nature of the beer off the tongue before it becomes unpleasant. The mouth is left neutral with a slight sticky sweet astringency to the tongue. Overall, this is an interesting beer. I totally dig everything that the ancient ales project represents and I think it is awesome to try ancient styles of beer/wine/mead-hybrids, but overall this drink is a little too sweet for me. I’m also noticing a little bit of heat from the alcohol in the back of my throat, especially after the beer has passed through. This is an interesting beer that is worthy of a try, but certainly not one you could chug, and not really a return worthy beer for me.