Bride Maker (Jack’s Abby Brewing Company)

Style: Lager Wine

13% ABV

From: Framingham, MA

Brewery’s Note: “We aged this beer in bourbon barrelspreviously used for our Barrel-Aged Framinghammer Baltic Porter. Lengthy aging
allows the 13% ABV beer to mellow and develop a deep vanilla, almost honey-like
sweetness and plum-like dark fruit flavors. This beer is a sipper. You’ve been
warned!”

The beer pours out like thin maple syrup, auburn and clear,
yet clearly with some weight. Its sits in the glass as a deep mahogany with a
head of off white bubbles that are slowly turning to the color of white sand. The
head fades to a scrim, leaving slick lacing that leaves tiny colonies as it
slides down the glass. The beer’s legs are quite thick and shimmering, leaving
wet stains and distortions on the glass. In body, the beer is clear, but hazy,
and damn near opaque, which speaks to the barrels and behemoth that the beer
is. On the nose, I can smell candied bourbon from a distance away from the
glass, but up close it blends dark fruits, pomegranate juice, brown sugar,
bread crust, and a gentle kiss of bourbony booze. It actually reminds me a lot
of the smell of Raison
D’Extra
from Dogfish Head, too, with that extra kick of bourbon added. There
is even a touch of maple syrup in the nose. It’s decadent and fruity, but with
some bourbon barrel must and fresh leather scents to tang things up. On the
tongue it tastes sweet and boozy, with a mellow bitterness that moves from
herbal to leathery, with whispers of tannin along the way. The sweetness is, of
course, quite powerful and multifaceted, moving from dark fruits, to caramel, to
bread, to pudding, etc…The booze burns brightest at the end of the sip, bringing
somewhat of a balance to the saccharine goodness of the beer. Without the
booze, it would be far too sweet, but with that kick at the end, Bride Maker
becomes a refined dessert drink. It tastes decadently of the ‘betus, with
cherry pie blending to raisins, moving to brown sugar and bread crust, moving
to bourbon, moving to pudding, moving to bread pudding, and finishing with oaky
bourbon, and some relief from sweetness. This is a small sipper for sure, as
just a few sips are liable to weigh at the stomach, but it makes a decadent digestif
sip, and would pair wonderfully with darker desserts. In the mouth, if feels
heavy in body, with nearly flat carbonation, and a thick, luxurious, and
drizzling mouthfeel, quite nearly syrupy save for the snap of crispness at the
finish, which is honestly what separates this from a barleywine for me. It
drops off the back of the palate beautifully, and still has a luxurious and
properly lasting finish. When it leaves, the mouth is left damp, but the roof
of the mouth is dry and sticky. Overall, this is a digestif. Some beers have
versatility in when you drink them, but outside of dessert and after-dinner-life-contemplation
this beer is far too large and sweet. It’s also too heavy to drink by yourself,
for sure, so if you get it, get some friends! I’d been hearing a lot about how
overly sweet it was, but to me I think it hits a nice dessert level. It’s too
sweet for everything else, but it has the perfect balance of booze and
sweetness to put it after dinner and be pleased with yourself. I’m not sure how
I feel about this versus Baby
Maker
, as I’m having trouble properly remembering Baby Maker… sorry.
Suffice to say, this one’s good too, just make sure to make this dessert. Make
sure to take a small glass though, as mine was too large (common problem for me…)
and finishing it was a bit too sweet.

 

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