Saturday, October 26, 2013

AleSmith Grand Cru

The wave of Southern California/San Diego-area breweries continues to crash into our Northland shores. In the case of Alesmith, however, it doesn't come close enough. I had to travel to Wisconsin to get some, but was I ever glad I brought them back. My first taste of their 10% ABV Belgian-style strong dark ale, Grand Cru, was nine years ago, back in October of 2004. I took one down last night and it was still as tasty as it was then:

The looks of it: rich ruby hue, opaque, slim, beigish sliver of foam.
The smell of it: port wine meets cognac, dark fruits meets a mature, well-mannered alcohol burn, sophisticated and almost sublime, a jammy medley of berries and booze.
The taste of it: surprisingly mellow and light on entering the tongue, satisfactorily full on the palate, merrily leaving it's tracks all over the mouth, tingling the senses from the start. Very snappy, this, brimming over with tasty, cherry brandy flavor, figgy, bready, grapey. Sits prettily on the palate, spilling over with juicy, boozy goodness.
The sum of it:This is a late-night relaxer kind of beer, a swirl-it-in-the snifter during quiet ruminations, and complex contemplation kind of beer...the kind I need right now.


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