If you’re at all a fan of wild beers (or even if you are not), you’re going to want to get in line for this one.
This Saturday, Jan. 24, Allagash Brewing Company will be hosting a beer release and event called the “Wild Beer Round Up” which will feature the release of Allagash’s newest beer, Emotional Honey.
Emotional Honey is a beer that’s been aged for two years in oak with two specialized “bugs” (pedicoccus and lactobacillus) to give it it’s sour characteristics. But Allagash didn’t stop there. After that, the beer was transferred into barrels that had previously aged mead (honey-based wine). Mead maker Atesano had used some Allagash barrels to age their own mead, and then sent the barrels back to Allagash to be re-used again. The beer then sat for eight more months until it was ready for release. The hope was that some of the sweet honey flavors would permeate and offset some of the inherent tartness.
If you are not well acquainted with sour beers, you may still want to try this one – for me, it hits all the right notes. It’s got a really great fruit and oak aroma, and doesn’t smell like some of the funkier brews that can seem a bit intimidating. Also, it’s beautiful.
The best thing about this brew, however, is it’s balance. While this does have some definite strong tartness to it (think the “zing” that you get from a good sour candy or tart vinegar), it’s layered with other flavors including fruity and savory notes. My favorite is towards the end of the sip, where a small peek of the honey flavor stays with you, like you just had a fleeting drop of it on your tongue.
It’s rather amazing to think that this beer started its journey to maturity almost three years ago, and is now ready for your glass.
Allagash will be opening at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 24 for the release of Emotional Honey, which will go on sale at 10 a.m. (limit 2 bottles/person). Allagash will also be bringing back a few from the “deep stash” including Old Hilt, Tiarna and my personal favorite, FV13.
The opening foyer to the brewery (just past the tasting room, where the tour officially begins) will be transformed and there will be several themed games for prizes, so it sounds like a good time is to be had at the Allagash “Saloon.”
(Photos courtesy of Allagash Brewing Company)