Century Ale (Allagash Brewing Company)

Style: Mixed Fermentation Saison (Brettanomyces & Saccharomyces)

8.0% ABV

Brewery’s Note: “Century Ale is golden in color and has aromas of toasted crackers, passion fruit and citrus. Complex flavors of biscuit and fruit are followed by a dry, slightly tart finish. We brew this beer with Pilsner, raw wheat and Biscuit malt. It is then fermented for 2 years in stainless steel with a blend of a traditional Saison yeast and Brettanomyces. Prior to bottling, we dry hop with a blend of German and American experimental hops. Please enjoy this beer fresh.”

[My camera was stupid and these pictures didn’t come out. Instead let my words paint a picture of this beer for you… yeah, sorry.]

The beer pours a brilliant, cloudy straw color. It forms a head of minute, pristinely white bubbles that last as a healthy cap above the ale. In body, the beer is cloudy, but translucent and clean, with a brilliant bright coloring that looks great in the glass. On the nose, the beer smells of stone fruits. Light peach blending with apricots, and brief burst of nectarine, all entranced in a glaze of musky brett. It’s fresh, with touches of mango, pineapple, along with rough hay, leather, and barnyard that give it a more classic tweak. On the tongue, the beer tastes beautifully rustic, blending a building acidity that never is the key player, but is definitely in a prime role and helps to pop the tastes buds. Bitterness builds in an herbal touch in the middle of the sip, and turns slightly tannic on the finish, which is odd since there was no barrel in this beer, but it’s nice. The finish dries up nicely, but towards the start of the sip is citric sweetness along with a dying wisp of bready wheat. There might be hint of warmness in the finish from alcohol, but it is so well hidden that it really has to be dug for. In flavor, the tastes of grass, pineapple juice, peaches, apricots, a touch of leather, and a barnyard herbal dryness that I swear hints at lightly toasted virgin oak. The sip is complex, yet endlessly refreshing, and the fact that this is 8% does not show up anywhere in the experience. In the mouth, the beer is crisp and drinkable, with a higher carb that gives a good frothing to the tongue. Its medium bodied, perhaps even medium plus, but that never really settles on the palate till your glass is nearly empty. When the beer leaves, the mouth is left dry, slightly sticky, and with a nice pool of saliva running from the cheek pouches and the roof of the mouth. Overall, this is a delicious drink that I would love to regularly enjoy with a meal, or end a day with. It’s not too musky with brett, and it’s not too light with it either, instead finding a perfect balance for drinkablity’s sake. This beer is delicious, and another entry in Allagash’s ever burgeoning repertoire of delicious funky ales.

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