Style: Suffolk Dark Ale/English Farmhouse Stout/Stingo Ale?
Bottle Size: 750 ml
From: Chelsea, MA
Brewer’s Note: “Mystic Descendant is a beer descended from the cultural history of the Boston harbor area. A dry Irish stout meets an English porter and is then fermented in the fermentorium with our saison yeast with a touch of the ubiquitous ingredient from the area’s past: molasses. The result is a uniqe beer; it has more dark fruit than a porter and less roast than a traditional stout, while having a different ester profile than a Belgian stout. We thus dubbed our recipe a Suffolk Dark Ale, as an homage to our immigrant ancestors. If Mystic Saison is our local answer to white wine, Descendant is our red. The subtle molasses works with the saison yeast and dark malts to create a rich cherrywood flavor and aromatic finish. It can stand up to red meats or relax by the fire as the days get cooler and the leaves turn to welcome New England’s finest season.”
The beer’s label is similar in design to Saison Renaud’s label, and equally as beautiful and “art-nouveau-like” in style. I love the fonts, and it handles any crowding it might have perfectly. I love the tree roots splitting out from beneath the beer’s name, and I really just love the all-around class of this bottle. It is certainly worthy of the shelf and should be prominently displayed as it features modern artistic sensibility with medieval beauty. Keep this bottle.
The beer pours a molasses color and sits in the glass as mahogany brown with a massive head of light khaki-colored bubbles of all shapes and sizes, which takes its time in dissipating. The head leaves a ringed lacing of fat soapy bubbles on the glass. In body, the beer appears too dark for light to penetrate it, though it did seem clean as the beer was being poured. That being said, the folks at Mystic are the wizards of yeast, and they don’t filter their beers, so I’m willing to bet there are a few floaties hanging out in this beer. On the nose, the beer smells initially like a metallic pear, but not in a bad way. As you shove your nose in this beer it opens up into soft cocoa scents with touches of earthy espresso and dark fruity notes. The smell is soft and subtle on the nose, much like an Irish dry stout is, but this smell is also deeply complex and interesting with yeast esters. On the tongue, the beer tastes sweet and then tart, and then slightly bitter with roast. In flavor it begins like a classic stout with dry roasty chocolate and coffee flavors and even a touch of coffee, but this is then blanketed as the taste moves forward and yeast esters plunge onto the tongue to suggest funky dark fruit flavors with a slightly metallic twinge. Pear and even slight peach flavors can also be tasted in the esters. The beer finishes closer to a dry stout with bitter roast, but with a nice tart dark fruit kick that adds complexity to the finish. The aftertaste is fairly soft and sweet with light fruit flavors and a faint reminder of dried roast malt with a touch of smoke. In the mouth the beer feels fluffy with medium carbonation and a slight pucker from the acid. In body the beer feels just about medium, and after the beer leaves the mouth is left slightly dry but puckering. Overall, this is a fantastically bizarre beer. It’s not an Irish dry stout at all, though it does show some qualities of a dry stout. It has amazing funky esters, and could quite well be the start of a new style. A New England Dark Ale! Or a Suffolk Dark Ale if we must call it that… Whatever it is, it is super drinkable and tasty, with amazing and flavorful yeast character. Try this beer! It is bizarre and tasty!