Collaboration Time III (Maine Beer Company and Nogne-O)

Style: Hoppy American Farmhouse Ale

5.6% ABV

O.G.: 1.048

Malt: Belgian Pilsner, Danko Rye, Warthog Wheat

Hops: Saaz, Falconer’s Flight, Cascade

Brewed On: 7/15/13

From: Freeport, ME

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Brewer’s Note: “Brewed with a new friend, Kjetil Jikiun, founder and brewer at Nogne-O.  Our aim was to brew a delicate, sessionable beer incorporating elements of the saison and hoppy American ale styles.  We used a blend of our house ale and saison yeast strains.  The result, an ale, golden in color, generously hopped, with background notes of saison funk accented by soft rye and wheat flavors.”

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The beer’s label is a little more cluttered than the normal MBC labels, but that is mostly due to Nogne-O’s label also being on the bottle.  I love the red and black clock, and I love the simplicity of the bottle, but the red font for just the number 3 looks a little off to me on this bottle.  Still it’s a pretty and simplistic label that is worthy of scrapbooking for sure.

DSCN4503The beer pours bronzing orange with a huge, rocky head of creamy, yellow bubbles.  The head sits at about a fingers width and lasts for a while, leaving a lacing of fuzzy curtains on the side of the glass.  In body the beer is a murky haze, practically opaque with just light smudges of the other side of the glass coming through.  The body is free of particles, but it is quite murky.  On the nose, the beer displays its “pale ale parts,” bursting with juicy, citric hop aromas and a nice funky yeast background that gives the beer a little pop.  Oranges, tangerines, pineapples, and candied lemons all come to mind as you stick your nose in the beer.  Light, yet clean pepper and funk notes come from the funk, but they are not glooping on the nose like they sometimes do.  This is a crisp and fresh smelling beer.  On the tongue, the beer tastes different from the smell. Initial citrus moves into a quite dry finish with a light, tart pop from the yeast and a nice spiciness from the rye.  In flavor, the beer begins as light orange juice, which builds into beautifully bright citric flavors, mostly staying true to and orange juice flavor.  In the middle of the swallow, this is shouldered lightly aside by spicy rye flavors that dry out the tongue and suggest light cereal graininess that lingers into the aftertaste.  The finish is a marriage of the rye spice and the citric flavors, with light hints of creamy funk as the only proof of the saison yeast in this beer.  As the beer warms, however, light bubblegum flavors do start to come out.  In the mouth, the beer feels on the light side of medium or the heavy side of light in body, with a big fluffy carbonation that provides a light bite on the tongue, but mostly just carpets it with smoothness.  The mouthfeel is a little slick, and slightly chewy, which is odd but not disconcerting.   The mouth is left nicely dry with light saliva working on the sides off the mouth to counteract the beer’s acids.  Overall, this is a really nice, flavorful beer.  I’m not quite sure what to refer to it as in terms of style, since it lacks a lot of the strong flavors that a saison or farmhouse ale might offer, and it most certainly is not a pale ale.  It does have some very complex rye and hop flavors, however, which have me coming back for more sips.  This beer is another success from Maine Beer Company, though the price tag does give me pause.

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