Allagash Hive 56

Posted: May 28, 2017 in Allagash Brewing Company, American Wild Ale, Reviews

This morning’s beer is one from Allagash, a brewery that I tend to love.

hive56

ABV: 7.7%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Hive 56 is a dark sour ale aged with honey in an oak foudre for eighteen months. The beer is deep mahogany in color with aromas of strawberries, lemon, and tropical fruit; notes of dark chocolate, raspberries, and figs present themselves upon the first sip, followed by a lingering tartness. We brew this beer with a blend of dark Munich malt, chocolate wheat, midnight wheat, and roasted barley, and hop with Cascade and Northern Brewer. Hive 56 undergoes initial fermentation with our house yeast; we then transfer the beer to a foudre with Brettanomyces bruxellensis and fresh honey from our Allagash beehives. Over the course of the next 18 months, the Brettanomyces transforms the honey, resulting in a beer with bold, roasty flavors, and a hint of tropical fruit.”

Random: This beer should be consumed within a year of bottling.

The beer poured with a half a finger of off white head that dissipated slowly. It didn’t leave much lacing on the glass. The body was dark brown in color with no visible carbonation because of the color. The nose was filled with Brett, dark fruit which manifested specifically as cherries and red wine grapes with oak barrels. The taste also had significant Brett notes. I didn’t get tropical fruit, but cherries, dark chocolate and some smoke came through. There was a sweetness from the honey that paired well with the red wine grapes. The alcohol did not make an appearance in the taste. It had a light body with high carbonation. The finish was lengthy and tart and reminded me of a complex Balsamic vinegar. Despite how complicated this beer was, it wasn’t cheap. I paid $16.99 for the bottle, which came to $1.32 per ounce. This is a beer that is worth trying, but pop the bottle open on a special occasion.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

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