Style: Dark Stock Ale aged in American Oak/Saison Porter aged in Sam Adams Utopias Barrels
OG: 16° Plato
Brewer’s Note: “Amais is a tavern ale aged in American oak barrels in the tradition of a brewery’s ‘keeping ale’ or stock ale. It is named after Amais Maverick, wife of the colonist who settled the land on which the beer was brewed./ The barrel influence and aging of stock ales would transform them from straight forward tavern ales into deeper richer flavored beers sometimes blended back into weaker beers to give them character.”
The beer’s label is sexy and sleek. It looks a lot like other Barrel Program releases from Mystic.
The beer pours a dark, molasses brown, with a big fat head of medium-sized, creamy bubbles the color of a sand dune. The head forms to over three finger’s widths and sticks around, leaving a fat sheath of fluffy lacing on the sides of the glass. On the nose, the beer smells roasty with a meaty substance behind it. Suggestions of oak, vanilla, soft metal, and pears hover on the tip of the nose while a nice mellow, roast malt takes center stage. The smell is subtle yet nuanced. On the tongue, the beer tastes richly sweet with a distinct umami meatiness, soft acidity does wet the mouth while the bitters are mild and herbal, helping to keep the beer in nice balance. Tannic bitters do enter on the finish of the beer, and provide a nice touch of the barrel to the beer, though they are a tad too much for my personal tastes. In flavor, the beer begins as rich, creamy maple syrup but only for the briefest of seconds before roast malt, and then the funky yeast take hold and throw fruity pear, light metal, and roast chocolate into the mix. The finish is nicely oak-flavored, with soft vanilla and middling herbal tannins that last into the aftertaste. The taste is subtle, but vastly complex, unfurling on the tongue in many layers. At its base, this beer is Mystic’s Descendant saison porter, and the Descendant definitely comes through on the taste with its unique esters, but the barrel works to add rich nuances, and the Utopias that was initially in the barrels helps to add a richness to the beer. There is even a soft heat on the finish as you feel the beer move down your gullet. In the mouth, the beer feels medium plus in body, with a chewy mouthfeel and velvety carbonation that helps deliver a soft and soothing coating over the tongue. After the beer leaves, the mouth is left wet and slightly sticky with a slight pucker on the sides of the cheeks from the tannin. Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. The barrel aging is subtler than in some beers we see today, but it adds a nice layer of complexity that makes for a superb sipper. The tannin is a bit heavy, but overall this is an interesting sipper, and a great bottle to share with friends. This is a beer to try.
4.05, 39/50 BJCP, Unknown Style