Oak and smoke

3 05 2011

About a month ago I churned out a post concerning the Fed Square Microbreweries Showcase in which I waffled on with praise about 3 Ravens Dark, a delicious yet easy-drinking smoky beer with a remarkable but subtle bacon-like finish. Perhaps a very distant relative of something like Ardbeg Uigeadail. Anyway, I was delighted to find some bottles of the brand-spanking-new (but limited) 3 Ravens Double Ale Noir at Slowbeer not too long ago, a barrel-aged version of the Dark. Here’s a blurb/description from The Crafty Pint:

The latest limited release (very limited release) from 3 Ravens has undergone quite a journey. It takes the concept of last year’s first Ale Noir (a Geelong Pinot Noir barrel-aged take on their Dark smoke beer) and adds another dimension. The barrel that was used last time around was refilled with Dark beer which spent ten months maturing. A second batch of Dark was placed into a fresh Pinot barrel for six weeks and then the two were blended. The result is a 6.5% beer that brewer Dave Brough says has “a big oaky, vanilla and earthy phenolic nose”. There’s a thinner body than last year’s as there was less malt to “fatten it up”, he says, which along with the slightly acidic notes and long, dry finish give it a vinous character. As for the palate, it’s “a full bodied Pinot spiced with subtle malt sweetness and peated Scotch notes”. There’s only the tiniest handful of kegs so keep your eyes peeled for where they turn up.

6 Ravens Quadruple Ale Noir Noir.

For some reason I was expecting a ramped-up version of the Dark, but the casking appears to have softened it quite a lot. I can probably agree with the aforementioned “vinous” characteristic though, you can tell there’s something a little different about this beer from the rest of the 3 Ravens offerings.

I still have one of those bottles sitting in the cupboard, I may break it out in the future for a side-by-side with the standard Dark.

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