Saturday, June 6, 2009

De Proef Collaboration/Signature Ale

De Proef Brouwerij's Brewmaster's Collaboration: Signature Ale (with Tomme Arthur of Port Brewing). 750ml 8.5%

This is an interesting bottle - a collaboration between the American Port Brewing Company and The Belgian brewers De Proef. The goal was to make an ale with American hops and Belgian yeast. The result is a hybrid with Amarillo, UK Phoenix and German Brewer's Gold hops, fermented with traditional yeast as well as brettanomyces (funky, wild stuff).

The ale pours a nice light coppery brown...pretty hazy. Big fluffy head that punches down pretty quickly, but leaves some nice lacing.

The smell is big sweet cotton candy, some malt, apples, a little bit of brett mustiness. Not at all what I was expecting. It smells like dessert.

I'm ready to get hit by some major saison-like funkiness in the taste, but it's far from it. Pretty well-tempered, fairly sweet at first, with some strong carbonation. There's a little bit of bready-ness, some yeast fruity/spiciness...followed by some pretty assertive earthy hops in the aftertaste ("Yuck, too much!" says Cari - I disagree.). Halfway through the glass, there's some alcohol warmth, but it remains pretty drinkable. It's kind of an interesting ride from sweet to earthy on the tongue. The finish is very dry.
Very tasty, but at about $16 a bottle, it's a little pricey. Still, a very interesting experiment.

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