Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale/Super Ale
From: Chelsea, MA
Brewery’s Note: “Uncarbonated “still” ale, fermented with three strains of yeast and aged in American oak./ A Mystic Brewery original, Mystic Entropy defies categorization. A true high-gravity creation… Whatever you may call it, a barley port, imperial Belgian, a triplequadruple, or a “Boston Cognac”, Entropy is a rare epicurean experience that pairs beautifully with rich, vanilla based desserts.”
This epicurean treat burbles from the glass as thick syrup. Full and port-like, it oozes with clear girth, sitting in the glass the color of Grade A Dark Amber maple syrup, or perhaps the brick coloring of a well-aged red wine. The beer is flat, still, yet regal and full. It leaves legs of oozy alcohol and sugar along the glasses edge as it goes. On the nose, this behemoth of barley is a heady breathe of barrel slats coated in malt syrup. Oxidized sherry caramel gives way to stale raisins, and oak wood slats with subtle booze spice, turned with fresh cut pears slices, and more. The scent is full and succulent, yet oak-forward and not saccharine. On the tongue, the beer tastes caramel sweet, blending oxidized vanilla, honey, slight maple syrup, and plum juice with a middle drying of bitter oak tannin that tampers, yet never overcomes the beer’s sugars. Booze moves in nicely with spice and bite, first at the start of the sip and then again on the finish, playing alongside the tannic structure to really temper the sweetness, and then warmly buzzing as it passes through the gullet. The sweetness blends dark fruit with rich brown sugar malt and then deep sherry oxidation somewhere in the honey-vanilla-caramel range. The taste is decadent, but not to a point of utter excess. I could drink a larger glass of this than say, Smuttynose Apple Brandy Barrel Aged Gravitation. The booze and heavy oak really temper and play with the lovely sweetness of the beer and bring great depth. On the tongue, the beer feels full, silky, and luxurious, yet with a svelte flourish on the end, which helps to keep its saccharine nature tampered. It’s flat and languid, but that works with its thick, chewy/smooth mouthfeel to really make you slow sip and enjoy. When the beer leaves, the mouth feels tingly dry, with a boozy quench while dry spittle wells out from the pouches and the tongue tingles lightly with a spittle stream. Overall, I love the slow drinkability of this beer. It’s boozy, full, and rich, falling closest to Apple Brandy Barrel Aged Gravitation in my review repertoire, but with much better integration (and an overall amount) of alcohol and barrel dryness, and far less saccharine caramel sickliness. Mystic has been making this sipper for a few years now, and I’ve had small glasses on a number of different occasions, but finally took the plunge on a bottle. I think the sweetness has come a little more into play than in past vintages, which further presses the deliciousness of this beer. I’m excited to see where future vintages will take this. Many refer to this as the “poor man’s Utopias,” but I’ve admittedly never felt like shelling out for even a taste of Sam’s pinnacle brew, but Entropy is brilliant. From the funky bottle and regal label down to its appearance in the glass and its smooth drinkability, this is a superb sipping beer that continues the Wizards of Yeast’s reign of success for me. Call me a Mystic fan boy, this beer is awesome.