Sometimes the best and most unique beers come from some of the most unexpected breweries. Like in the small town of Poncha Springs, Colorado where in 2012 Elevation Beer Company opened their doors, and in doing so they created a great series of craft beers. Included in this series is the Double Black Diamond Series which are their seasonal barrel aged beers. The first of these beers was introduced to the masses in the Summer of 2012 as a Farmhouse Ale aged n Napa Valley Chardonnay Barrels, and was named after the highest point in Belgium, the Signal de Botrange. After first tasting this beer at their tap room in October of 2012, we have been holding on to our bottle until March of 2013. Here are our tasting notes of this fantastic beer.
Even though this is a barrel aged beer the root of it is a traditional Belgian ale, so only a tulip glass was fitting to enjoy this out of. A hard pour allowed the dark golden color to come to life and the off white color head to be as thick as possible. The aroma was a complex variety of both wine and beer. The prominent aroma was the wine with the strong grape notes, and the subtle hints of oak from the barrels. However underneath the grapes and oaks lies a very faint floral aroma from the hops. The aroma had a lot going on, and the flavor followed through with the same qualities.
After the first sip of this beer, it was obvious that this beer is very traditional to the Belgian style. The light body, strong effervescence, and subtle yeast flavor remind the drinker what country this beer represents. The barrel aging adds so much extra flavor that it brings this beer to a whole new level of farmhouse ales. The first obvious flavor in this beer is a strong tartness that is quickly followed by the wine notes and grape flavor from the chardonnay barrels. This is all complimented by the subtle taste of oak and vanilla which is another direct result from the aging process. What made this beer so unique is that through the entire barrel aging the integrity and flavors of the beer were not last. The sweetness from the malts and floral notes from the hops were still visible and it made this beer very well rounded as hit the tongue.
The aftertaste of this beer had a slight lingering note to it but it faded away quickly so it did not overpower enjoying another sip, but this was the one moment where the beer aspect faded away. The rich, butter taste that chardonnay is so famous for was replicated after swallowing a sip of this beer. Complimented by the oak barrels this ale had a strong wine finish, but faded away so quickly that it made each consecutive sip that much more enjoyable. Even though this beer has been around slightly longer than some of the other barrel aged beers in Colorado it still remains one of the best. With all the complexities and flavor profiles it will please both fans of beer and wine on an equal level. For such a new brewery to produce such a strong beer as its original barrel aged product it can only excite the masses of what they will think up next.
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