Fallen Apple (Night Shift Brewing)

Style: Fruit Ale/ Golden Ale brewed with fresh MA apple cider, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, and allspice; aged in rum and brandy barrels

8.3% ABV

Bottled on: 11/7/13

Batch #2

From: Everett, MA

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Brewer’s Notes: “A golden ale, warmed with holiday spices, fermented with the cider of autumn’s fresh apples. We poured it into oak barrels of rum and brandy, and aged it as the leaves turned. Frosty weather now upon us, Fallen Apple kindles the tongue with flavors of caramel, baked apple, and spicy oak.”

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This label is the same as all of the other standard Night Shift labels. Love the food pairing options, etc… You can read my reviews of it on other Night Shift beers.

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The beer pours a dark, ruby orange color with a sudsy head of off-white bubbles that sit about a courter of a finger’s width above the glass.  The blending of cider gives the beer some hazy golden hues, but the body is quite cloudy and opaque, with just the slightest hint of the other side of the glass coming through. On the nose the beer brings a rich complexity of scents, marrying the spices, the rum and brandy barrels, and the cider into a fascinating smell. Rich oak scent mingles with a touch of boozy rum and the sweet and caramelly apples. Cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, and allspice each add a gentle spice to the nose. The spices and the oak, in fact, blend perfectly together and give the beer a rich “holiday-feel.” On the tongue, the beer tastes boozy with a nearly sickly-sweetness that just barely manages to be tasty. Strong bitter tannins cause a slight astringency on the finish. The spices also give a slight spiciness (surprise, surprise). Fruity apple notes are light with a dryer finish. In flavor, the beer begins as rich, boozy rum with a touch of brandy. The flavors move towards slightly oxidized cider with a mulled quality that turns spicy as the various spices assert themselves. Strong oak flavors add touches of vanilla and toast as the tannins give an herbal bitterness to the back of the sip.  There is a hint of savory flavors just before the finish, which I am having trouble describing at the moment. In the mouth, the beer feels medium in body with a fuller finish. The carbonation is light in the mouth, but the beer carries a light astringency that helps in drying out the tongue. After the beer leaves the mouth, the tongue is sticky dry and the mouth continues to smack with a light astringency, especially with the tannins. Overall, I’m a little underwhelmed with this beer. I fear I was looking for a little more apple and spice character, but in the end I got a ton of barrel character and booze from this beer. There is also a bizarre flavor that develops in the mid-sip and is a little stale, almost like the malts trying to assert themselves. This was an interesting sipper, but not a beer I will be revisiting.

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3.75/5, 33/50 BJCP, Unknown Style

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