- Style: Belgian Dubbel brewed with black raspberries
- ABV: 10%
- Ease to locate: Still pretty easy to find at Chicago craft and liquor stores. Pipeworks is also making it's way to more & more Chicago suburbs lately. Here's a link to their Beer Menu page My batch was #279-288 (as you can see, that's a lot of batches!)
- Color: Black red liquid, slightly hazy.
- Head: Pink. That was.... unexpected. One finger of loose foam that falls almost immediately into a ring. Delicate spotty lacing. Pink lacing.
- Aroma: Huge nose. They could have called it Cyrano for the size. Lots of tart, clean black raspberry notes, and a puckering,quality of fermented grape (hello Brother Nelson Sauvin!). A bit of spice and a slight herbal character under it all.
- Mouthfeel: Medium body that coats the tongue lightly. Mild carbonation
- Finish: Long with juicy fruit and grape notes upfront that slide to a lightly spiced end.
- Food friendly?: Yes. Since this beer has a bit of a wine identity crisis due to it's hop profile, use it to your advantage. Roasted chicken, pork tenderloin, a nicely grilled steak. Pair it with sharp cheddar cheese or a baked brie. This would be a great beer to serve with a charcuterie plate.
My Brother Nelson Razbeardo poured a blackish, deeply scarlet opaque liquid. Since it was technically a Belgian inspired Dubbel, I suppose my first expectation was to see a brownish red liquid or at least one not so darkly tinted. It was ever so slightly hazy, which added to the juiciness of its appearance. And as I mentioned earlier, the pink head threw me for a loop. How was I to know Brother Nelson would turn out to be a Ginger? Anyway, the one finger head fell to a tight foamy ring in less than a minute. Spotty, large bubble lacing was present. The nose was huge. My very first thought was that it reminded me of a big, California Caberet. Nelson Sauvin hops are from New Zealand and are famous for their fermented grape, wine influenced aroma. I didn't actually know this when I cracked this bottle open (welcome to the power of the internet!). There was an abundance of crisply tart black raspberry notes that transported me back to a warm July afternoon. A bit of spice and a light herbal note rounded out the nose. The beer tasted exactly as it smelled. It was extremely juicy, a bit mouth puckering with a clean finish. Extremely enjoyable. A medium body coated my tongue lightly. There wasn't much in the way of carbonation, it was there but only mildly so. A long, fruity finish greeted me, starting with the clean taste of black raspberries and fermented grapes, sliding gracefully into the spicy/herbal note on the tail. For an ale registering a 10% ABV, I detected very little heat on the swallow.