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Heretic Worry

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As it turns out, I'm in the path of a hurricane wrapped in a nor'easter topped with a smattering of kick ass. But this Frankenstorm doesn't have me worried. I've battened down the hatches, I've got plenty of potable liquids in the form of beer and whiskey, and I think I might even have a flashlight or something in case the power goes out. So maybe I'm being punished for all this heretical beer I've been drinking, but damn, it was worth it.

This beer is a Belgian-style golden pale ale that's been aged in French oak Chardonnay barrels. The only other beer I've had with a similar treatment is Russian River's Temptation, which is setting the bar rather high. Fortunately, Worry is distinct enough that it carves out an identity all its own. Big thanks to Jay from Beer Samizdat for slinging this stuff my way, as fancy small-batch barrel-aged west coast beer like this usually doesn't make it's way out here:

Heretic Worry

Heretic Worry - Pours a bright golden color with a finger of quickly disappearing white head. Smells of musty, bready yeast along with just a slight twang of earthy funk and maybe some white wine. Taste is very sweet, with very little of that Belgian yeast character, but plenty of oak and that vinous grape and pear character emerging in the middle and intensifying through the finish. There might be some natural fruity tartness to this, but nothing like the lactic acidity of Temptation, which is what makes this beer so distinct. Mouthfeel starts off well carbonated, but that gives way to a more wine-like, cidery finish. Deceptively easy to drink for such a big beer. Overall, a solid, intriguing beer, not quite like anything I've tasted before. B+

Beer Nerd Details: 9.8% ABV bottled (375 ml caged and corked). Drank out of a snifter on 10/19/12.

So I'm no longer in the shadow of the serpent riders, but I have a feeling that Heritic will be returning to this blog again at some point (either via distribution or trading, who cares which?) In the meantime, I'll have to make my peace with other wine-barrel aged monsters (which seem to be more common these days). And in all seriousness, I'm pretty well set for the Frankenstorm. I even have water.

Heretic Evil Twin

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Another beer from a tiny West Coast brewery, courtesy of Jay from the most excellent Beer Samizdat blog. I found out after drinking it that the guy behind the brewery is Jamil Zainasheff. Not exactly a household name, but definitely a big figure in the dorky world of homebrewing. He's got some well respected books on the subject and co-hosts the Brew Strong podcast. When listening to people give advice on homebrewing, there's always a part of my mind that's wondering whether or not I can trust what I'm hearing. I mean, these guys clearly have a lot of knowledge and brew a lot, but it's not like I've ever tasted their beer. So it's heartening to see someone like Jamil open his own brewery and put his stuff out there for all to consume. Good on him, and if this beer is any indication, I think Heresy will become acceptable:

Heretic Evil Twin

Heretic Evil Twin - Pours a dark amber ruby color with a finger of light head. Amazing nose on this thing. Tons of juicy citrus, pineapple, grapefruit, pine, the works. Unfortunately, I think that aroma may be writing checks the taste can't cash. Taste starts of with some big, sweet caramel and amber malts, coupled with a little citrus and pine hop character in the middle, and some hop bitterness finishing it off. This is in no way bad - it's actually really, really good, but it's a little more muted than the nose was leading me to believe. Mouthfeel is well carbonated, medium bodied, but easy to put down. Overall, a really nice hoppy red ale, certainly something I'd go out of my way for again. On the upper end of B+

Beer Nerd Details: 6.8% ABV bottled (22 oz. bomber). Drank out of a tulip glass on 9/22/12. Label sez: Bottled 05.14.12 X33

A nice first impression, and fortunately, Jay sent along another Heretical beer that I'm quite... Worried about (heh). Seriously though, super excited to try that other Heretic beer. In other news, I'm officially caught up on reviews (unless, uh, you consider the beer I drank tonight, which you'll be hearing about next week). Score. Also, it's getting cooler out, so that means homebrewing activities will resume en-force. First up: an Abbey Dubbel. Look for a recap on Sunday. After that... I'm thinking this imperial red ale style could be interesting. I'll have to start thinking up a recipe...

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Hi, my name is Mark, and I like beer.

You might also want to check out my generalist blog, where I blather on about lots of things, but mostly movies, books, and technology.

Email me at mciocco at gmail dot com.

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Heretic category.

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