Art #18 (Night Shift Brewing)

Style: American Wild Ale blend

6.3% ABV

Bottled on: 3/10/14

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Brewer’s Note: “Night Shift “Art” is a series of experimental, test-batch beers and beer-blends that are thoughtful expressions of our current creative process. Some might become larger production batches, some will fade into the night. The goal is unique, artistic beer experimentation. [Art #18 is made of an]Oak aged blend of Berliner Weisse beers & brett beers. 25% raspberry berliner (Art 5.5), 25% Somer Weisse, 50 % brett ale, 100% barrel aged. Sour, fruity and citrusy!”

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The beer pours a hazy amber/copper/slightly pink, with a small head of eggshell white and miniscule bubbles with very little retention. In body, the beer is very murky, but still slightly translucent, with a thick cloudiness veiling the beer. No particles seem to be present in the beer, but overall it is not the prettiest thing to look at. On the nose, the beer smells funky yet mild. Oak, vinegar, slight tart yogurt, and even a little fruity syrupiness cross the nose. The smell is subtle, yet endearing in its soft complexity. On the tongue, the beer begins as puckeringly tart and stays nicely sour through the sip. Fruity sweetness blends in early on, and the finish of the beer brings in soft tannic bitters and citrus along with a little bit of wheat malt sweetness.  In flavor the beer begins sour raspberry syrup and generic citrus juice. Subtle pineapple can be sensed towards the middle of the sip, and eventually soft oak, vanilla, wheat flake, yogurt, and very faint lemon flavors cross the palate. The finish gives a nice kick of wheat malt balance. As a whole, I see each bit of the barrel aging, but I don’t feel that the blend worked as well as was hoped. The flavors are all subdued and subtle, but none of them fully mesh with each other to bring forward new complexity. In the mouth, the beer feels on the light side of medium in body with a prickly fierce carbonation that tickles across the tongue. Mouthfeel is thinly syrupy, with a gelling feel in the middle of the tongue. Overall, the beer was a nice subtle wild, but was a bit restrained and a bit muddled in terms of the beers used in the blend. This is not a horrible wild ale, it’s just muddled in terms of the components that went in.

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