2013 VINTAGE MONKS is our fifth BREWERY OF THE MONTH BrewView for Adelbert’s Brewery. We simply are blown away at the uniqueness and complexity of this beer! It won’t be the easiest to find outside of Texas (we were blessed by Adelbert’s Brewery to have them send us one to do a Brewview for!) I invited a very special “Brewviewer to sample Vintage Monks with me- (there is an audio / video of it below) We took almost an hour to enjoy this beer. We wanted the complex wood and wine aromas to fully express themselves! Wine and beer lovers rejoice…
BEER STYLE AND COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION FROM ADELBERT’S BREWERY
Style category: Barrel-Aged Belgian-Style Abbey Dubbel
THE ALE: Vintage Monks is a blend of our Trappist inspired ales which have spent up to two years aging in oak wine barrels. Each barrel imparts unique flavors of red wine, tart fruits and lovely funk. The blended result is a wonderfully complex ale that is beautifully balanced. Pairs well with tangy cheeses, rich meats, fried foods and fruit-based desserts.
OUR BREWVIEW OF ADELBERT’S 2013 VINTAGE MONKS
APPEARANCE / THE POUR:
9.1% ABV. Poured into a wide-mouthed Trappist goblet, and served at 50°F. Pours a murky dark amber color. It is bottle conditioned, and of course we poured the yeast sediment into the glass… The head easily poured a 2-finger height (we ensured this was a “Beer Clean” glass) but because of the acidity and alcohol content in the beer, it did collapse somewhat quickly. The head color is off white, and as the head collapses, it leaves low level Brussels lacing in the glass. The rim variation is a golden color, and the meniscus is medium to slow rising. If you stick your ear to the beer, you can hear the fizz of the carbonation. Later, we poured the yeast sediment in the glass and there was no longer any clarity, it was full on yeast haze. Even after 40 minutes, there was an 1/8″ head hanging on!
AROMA / BOUQUET:
Immediately you get red wine and oak in the nose, spice, cheery cordial, (boozy cherries), with slight funk. The level of funk aromas do not overpower the sweet malt aromas. The bready yeastiness gives off hints of marble rye. As the beer warms up, more of the wood aromas are expressed, pie cherry / cherry stone, apricot, and mature / bruised peach aromas develop. Barnyard / leather / sweaty horse saddle aromas also are expressed.
Right up front, there is red wine, oak. It has flavors similar to a Flemish Red or and Oud Bruin, but it’s not as sour as those. Boozy cherries, with a woody tart finish. As the beer warms up, you’ll get a faint Meyer lemon pith taste as well. However, there still are sweet malt flavors that remind you that this is still a Belgian-style Dubbel. The wood, the funk, the maltiness are in harmony- almost a trifecta of tastes.
MOUTHFEEL / PALATE:
It hits the front of the tongue, but then the sourness envelops the top and the back of the mouth. The carbonation level is medium-high. There is almost an umami character to it, but what that is most likely from, is the brothy mouthfeel.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Extra Sharp Cheddar, Goat Cheese, Stilton, Port Salut, Raw milk cheeses.
Bratwurst with fresh Sauerkraut, Aged Rib-Eye steak, Barbeque meats with rich sauces.
Chocolate Pots de Crème, Cherry cheesecake, or just a bowl of fresh tart cherries.
ADELBERT’S 2013 VINTAGE MONKS is a highly complex beer. Not for the faint of heart. It does not go too far out in any one direction, that would pull it away from a traditional Belgian-style Dubbel. Each component is equally balanced- the Brett does not overpower the oak. The malt profile does not overpower either. It is very refreshing for a Dubbel.
It’s a good food beer- meaning that it’s dry and tart enough that it will cleanse the palate, it’s not so sweet that it will make your food taste sour, it errs to the sour side that gives your food more umami, more sweetness and richness, at the same time will compliment and cleanse the palate. Vintage Monks would be a great beer to make sauces and marinades with.
This is a beer brewed with purpose. For those of you that are fans of barrel aged beers, sour funky beers, or Dubbels, you’ll enjoy this beer immensely! Take your time drinking this beer… if you do, you will be richly rewarded with the ever-changing aromas, tastes, and palate. Again- not for the faint of heart, this beer completely assaults the olfactory senses… Brewed with true artisan craftsmanship, we highly recommend this beer. If you can get it in your area, buy several bottles. Drink one right away, and lay the rest down, opening one up every year. It would be great to lay down and cellar up to 3-5 years. Seek this one out for sure… another winner from Adelbert’s Brewery!
AUDIO VIDEO BREWVIEW OF 2013 VINTAGE MONKS
This is our first audio Brewview, (Beer Review) and what a great beer to do the first one with- ADELBERT’S BREWERY 2013 VINTAGE MONKS DUBBEL!
The audio starts off with my interview of my guest Brewviewer, First Level Master Wine Sommelier, Alan Koziol. (See his bio below audio Brewview) Then we get into the business of reviewing the beer.
We look at these components:
APPEARANCE / THE POUR
AROMA / BOUQUET
MOUTHFEEL / PALATE
My guest brewviewer even teaches me a new trick (new to me) on how to get the most out of the aroma / bouquet by doing one simple thing… this trick really wakes up the olfactory senses!
The video is just a gnat’s butt under 30 minutes… but for those of you who want to learn more about sensory evaluation when it comes to tasting beer, it’s a worthwhile listen!
Belgian Beer Journal
Our guest BrewViewer, Alan Koziol, started his “Beverage Tasting Adventures” as a waitor at a local Holiday Inn in 1979. Studying more at a local wine shop through reading Decanter Magazines and books there, asking questions of the proprietor, began purchasing bottles of Bordeaux Rouge (Graves & Margeaux mostly), and things sort of evolved from there. Being in Washington State where Merchant du Vin had just started up, many imported beers became available at local markets as well, so great beer also became a passion.
He taught three Oenology courses through an extension program of Central Washington University from 1997 to 2002, in which he brought wine makers and grape growers from the Yakima Valley region as guest speakers.
He worked for three years as wine steward/beverage manager for Cost Plus – World Market in Redding, California from 2007-2010. Alan studied a great deal in several great, well-respected reference books to successfully pass the 1st Level of certification through the Court of Master Sommeliers in January of 2012.
He offered catered dinners and events since the mid 90’s and continues to do so. Planning meals and beverages, employing recipe development and pairing techniques to bring a high level of satisfaction to his clients.
Alan is currently forming a deductive tasting wine class in the Northern California region.