#OpenIt, Day 1
As you may remember, the weekend of Feb 24-26 is the totally-not-made-up event of OpenIt (or #OpenIt for those of you on Twitter), where we celebrate beer by cracking open some of those bottles we’ve been saving for a ‘special occasion’ – because there’s no time like the present! Plus, we all need to clear out our embarrasingly-large beer cellar a bit, right? Right? Or was that just me?
Anyway, first out is a bottle of Nebraska Brewing Company‘s Apricot au Poivre Saison (Barrel Aged Reserve Series), an innovatively-spiced saison that has been aged on Chardonnay barrels for six months. I bought this back in August at New Beer Distributors in New York.
Look: Clear golden yellow with a half-inch head that quickly subsides.
Nose: Zesty, woody, just a bit of yeast. Smells exactly as you would expect a barrel-aged saison to smell.
Mouth: Sour fruit, just a hint of apricot – may be apricot, may be unripe apples, may be peaches. Just a hint of pepper as well. Then the sourness melts together nicely with the oaky fruit from the Chardonnay barrels – the aging really comes out strong here, with lots of butteriness and fruit. I can see why they picked Chardonnay barrels as the natural acidity of Chardonnay complements the sourness of the saison. Still, from an Open It perspective I can’t help but think I saved this one for too long (I mean, saisons in general are meant to be drunk fresh, just like other “Farmhouse” style beers) – I’m sure the apricot and pepper flavours were more marked six months ago.
Still, a very nice beer – I’m partial to cask- and barrel-aged beers – and a good start to the OpenIt weekend. What have you opened so far, dear readers?