Do you like oak in your beer?
I mean, do you REALLY REALLY like oak? I mean, do you fancy the thought of oak splinters in your beer or wine?
Have I got a beer for YOU.
Grand Cru up at Belvedere Market is currently pouring from one of its taps a devastating oaked ale from Avery, a super-strong (they list it as 15.5%, other sources online are calling it 14.9% in bottle) powerhouse of a beer. You'll find lots of tasting notes online with a simple internet search; this is likely a beer to either love or hate, but everyone that considers themselves a serious beer connoisseur should at least try it. The closest I can come to it in general character is White Marsh Brewing's epic Batch 1000.
On draft, to boot.
Notes from the brewery's website:
Beer Style: Oak Aged English Strong Ale
Hop Variety: Columbus, Fuggels
Malt Variety: Two-row barley, caramel 150L
OG: 1.140 ABV: 14.5 IBUs: 41
Samael’s Ale is a super-caramelly, oak aged English-style strong ale. Perhaps the least hoppy (sacrilege here at Avery!!) beer we’ve brewed, to accentuate the malt. The oak is very apparent in this rich and high gravity ale, adding additional depth and complexity with a woody and cask-like nose and a pronounced vanilla flavor on the palate. Notes for 2007 - With the addition of an additional roasted malt, Samael's now delivers subtle bitterness to add balance to the natural sweetness.
Let me know your thoughts. Tell Charlie I sent you.
UPDATE: Casey Hard says he is putting this beer on at Max's Taphouse tonight (Thursday) as a last-minute substitution in the Rare & Obscure event.......