We’ve been gone a little while, but as you can see, the results were well worth it. Virginia Brew Review has moved into the 2.0 era, with a new design for our 2nd year around. Besides the new look, we have a ton of flexibility to expand a lot of what we were doing and what we will be doing coming up.
But none of this stopped us from taking notes on some great beer around the state. Last weekend, we got our hands on a seasonal release from the Blue Mountain Barrel House Series and while we found one that was more than solid, the promise of this beer is outstanding.
Blue Reserve, Blue Mountain Brewery (Afton, VA)
Belgio-American Ale, ABV: 7.0%, IBU: 44
Presentation: Champagne bottle pour into pint glass. A 1973 commemorative Speedy Gonzales glass to be exact. Sometimes you use what you got.
Appearance: Straw yellow to yellow-orangish tint, very carbonated, white head two fingers, but not tight. Dissipates normally.
Smell: Citrus and hops up front with a decent Belgian must, slightly astringent.
Taste: Very comparable to a young farmhouse ale. Orange/lemon zest up front, slightly accented by the yeast through the middle, hops round out the taste towards the end.
ABV/IBU Mouthfeel: It is very tart and acidic but mellows slightly at the end. ABV very present even at 7%. Hops very slight feel, but mainly balance out the beer. Great use of local hops.
Overall: There is a lot going for this beer. Stylistic wise, the release window is perfect. It blends the crisp pale ale and Belgian yeast must with citrus notes from both, all of which plays this time of year. And it would be wrong of me to not mention that the Cascade hops used for this brew were grown onsite. But one very interesting thing I noticed was on the cork where it had a drink by date of mid-year 2016, which leads to an interesting question. What will this beer taste like a year from now? Obviously freshness is the key, but with a date like that, it is almost a challenge to shelve a bottle and see. Well I picked up 2 so I have something to look forward to this time next year.