Coolship Resurgam (Allagash Brewing Company)

Style: Blended Spontaneous Fermented Beer/ American Gueuze

6.0% ABV

From: Portland, ME

Brewer’s Note: “In the summer of 2008, we decided to build a coolship at our brewery. A coolship is a large shallow pan used to cool wort overnight using outside air temperature. During the cooling process, naturally occurring yeast from the air inoculates the wort. In the morning, the cooled wort is transferred into barrels where the fermentation process begins. The beer is then aged for an undetermined amount of time, until we deem it “ready”./ Coolship Resurgam is a blend of both old and young unfruited spontaneous beer. The name comes from the motto of our fair city, Portland, Me. It means “I shall rise again”. Coolship Resurgam won a Silver medal at the 2010 GABF.”

The beer pours a pale orange, like a sunrise through soft mist. The pour ignites a champagne bubble head of spritzy white bubbles that fizzle away quite quickly, leaving a ring of tiny white bubbles. In body the beer is clean, yet hazy with a light murk to it and some particulate floating. On the nose, this beer is a gueuzey godsend. Horse blanket, with all its grittiness and barnyard glory, splashes fresh across the nose, followed by pineapple juice, subtle cherries and fruit leather, aged cheese, yogurt, and subtle hints of strawberry jam as it warms. The horse blanket has a definite grassiness to it, which I remember being harsher in the Coolship Red (POST LINK) I had last year. What a beautiful nose on this beer! It seems to have a bit more lacto character than what I remember from Old World gueuzes I’ve tried (I think it’s been a year since I had one so I could be pulling that out of my ass…). On the tongue, the beer tastes sharply tart, which mellows and then is balanced by a sweet funk and big tannic oak bitters on the finish. The beer begins as tart, lemony yogurt. Cherry pie and light horse blanket move into the lemon flavor, tangoing with funky sweet cheese and pineapple juice with sharp citrus lemon. Then the oak comes in as a big bitter bruiser with herbal tannin that blends with the grassy funk in the citrus. The tannin becomes a little overpowering as you continue to sip and it builds in the mouth, which makes me think that maybe the fresh barrel was what I didn’t enjoy in the Coolship Red… The funky cheese rind flavor comes out more as the beer warms, and does mellow the oak a touch, while adding subtle metallic flavors to the edges of the taste. In the mouth, the beer feels medium bodied with a fierce, sharp carbonation and mouthfeel that does leave the tongue a little ‘sliced.’ When the beer leaves, the mouth is left slightly wet, with the tongue burned from carbonation scrub, and a funky spittle linger in the mouth. Overall, this is a lovely American Wild/American Gueuze/Spontaneously Fermented Beer with great cheesiness, and wonderfully bright citrus. The oak is a little bit of a bruiser on the finish of the beer, but I can see that mellowing as the beer ages. The carbonation is also a touch on the fierce side, without the effervescence and champagne-like mouthfeel that I desire in the style. This is nit-picking for a fairly new project that will surely grow and better itself with every new vintage. Allagash has done a lovely thing with this beer and I can’t wait to see where it goes in the future.

 

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