Nebraska Hop Anomaly

This is in a bottle that looks a lot like a wine bottle with a label that looks a lot like a wine label, but it has "hop" on the label pretty prominently. It doesn't even say on the label what style of beer this is - it only states that it was aged in chardonnay barrels. I used to dislike beers that were aged in bourbon barrels, but I have found some that changed my mind. Now, I think I'm open to liking a wine barrel beer. This may also be my first from Nebraska (the state and the brewer).

The very hazy orange-gold colored beer has a frothy head that leaves very nice lacing and a very agreeable cap on top. The aroma is of Belgian yeast and some citrus hops. There is a bit of bread in there to add a bit to the others to prop them up a bit. It smells pretty nice.

First sip is definite wine added to this beer. The very rich taste of the wine makes the rest of the beer feel thick and lethargic. The yeast isn't brett, but it is similarly strong and vibrant. It almost overshadows the citrus hops as both vie for a seat at the chardonnay table. Clearly, this is too much for a sip.

Tip-in is heavy yeast, citrus, and moderate carbonation burn. As the middle flows, it brings a solid caramel and citrus concoction with the wine calmly hanging in the background. The middle can only last so long, so it gives way to the finish with its hit of bitterness and a certain amount of dryness from the wine. Trail-off echoes the finish with dryness and bitterness.

Bottom Line: Not normally my cup of beer, but this does establish something a little different.



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