Ding Points: 88.50
Pour: 80.00, Nose: 90.00, Palate: 90.00, Mouth: 90.00, Global: 90.00
Thanks go out to @lnashsig for the chance to try this one. bottle-conditioned, 07.18.12, Batch 001. Here’s the official word from Ranger Creek Brewing. My first interaction with them.
Intrigued by the presentation with the 375 mL bottle, capped and black waxed.
Opens with a decent pop. The carbonation is initially very high. It produces close to 12 oz of foam before clearing to a much more sensible situation. Given the head is initially so high, the retention is not great, and the lace positively disappointing. Mid-amber color.
Nose offers some really clean, acid fruit lines.
Tastes are a but wacky! There is a distinct smoke element. This is off-putting to a degree, since smoke is not something one would anticipate in the style, but it actually works quite well. There are plenty of apple based cider elements in there too.
It’s a tiny bit funky and finishes with a slight tartness. The finish is less tart than one might be expecting, and is also pretty dry with plenty of white wine character. All the time the initial smoke recedes and the beer takes on increasing Sauvignon Blanc elements.
I’m a pretty big fan of white wine elements in beer, and of course the style we are dealing with here works really nicely with such character, so the package is very pleasing. The fruitiness manifests itself throughout the beer as well – very nice.
The mouthfeel is rich and creamy, and works well.
All in all a bit of an outlier, but I enjoyed it. I’m less convinced about reaching for this on multiple occasions, but as a one-off in such a series it does a nice job.
Other: 7.7% ABV, Saison/Farmhouse Ale.