Soaking Up the Suds with James Crane
OK, enough of the gourd. Thanks for sticking with me through my pumpkin beer season. It was fun while it lasted, but now it’s on to bigger and better things.
The nights are getting darker, and so it’s time for my beers to do the same. It’s time for my brews to be hazy and boozy, something that comes on like a warm blanket against the winter chill.
It’s also time for me to start my holiday shopping. There are a few people on my list bound to get a bottle. I’d like to say they made the “nice” portion of the list, but I also don’t want to be accused of lying. In any case, this is a yearly tradition of mine. As I pour over the shelves and shelves of beer, my holiday beer shopping needs tend to focus on a certain area: wood-aged beers.
There is something about wood and beer that makes a brew special. Maybe it’s the extra time it takes for the beer to pick up that smoky, wood flavor. Maybe they are just generally complex and delicious. Whatever the case, I love getting them as gifts. Their level of distinction says, “Hey, you’re worth something special and unique.” That’s a great thing for a gift to say.
While out shopping this week, I had to grab myself a gift as well. By way of a local store, B.O.M Brewing in Belgium provided me with Triporteur Full Moon 12, a Belgian strong dark ale that promises a beer brewed on the full moon and aged with oak. If anything about this sounds unappealing, I don’t know what it is. All those words describe exactly what I want in a beer right now.
The pour was quite dark, though not so much as a stout or porter. It was a dark amber, allowing one to almost see their own hand on the other side of the glass. There wasn’t much there in way of head. The slightest bit of foam topped the liquid, but only for a short moment. The syrupy pour of this one explains that. This wasn’t about to be a nice, light, effervescent brew. No, this was going to be more like liquid bread, the type of beer you want to chew your way through.
The scent was great, with dark fruits and cherries as well as sticky malt and wood. There also was something wine-like to the scent, like fermented grapes. The alcohol also was quite noticeable in the nose. This 10.2-percent ABV wasn’t interested in hiding from the world. It was proud of what it was.
The flavor followed suit. The dark fruit was in the forefront, like a sticky, sweet, drying plum. There also were tastes of wine tannins, tons of oak, a slight sweetness, smoke and booze. It all was quite bold but well-balanced. It had qualities of a woody barleywine, making it incredibly satisfying to quaff.
Thick and syrupy with just a little carbonation, Full Moon 12 was boozy, satisfying and toothsome. While I’m sure I have some friends who would have liked it, this one was for me. And I’ve been good enough that I might just have to get myself another.