Thursday, February 10, 2011

454. Jeffrey McElfresh Belgian Specialty Ale Orval clone

Stop. No really. Stop. Stop right there. Cease and desist. Back it up. Back it up, I said. Little bit more. Daaaaaaamn. Jeffrey, I know you’re not gonna be able to stop drinking this beer, but I’m here to tell you, you need to sack some of it away, like right now, because it is gonna get better. A whole lot better. Sure, it is good now. Really good. Really really good. But when George Clinton puts his hands all the way into this one, it’s gonna make panties fall off. So you better listen. Because if you’re down to your last bottle, and I hear any of that “Oh, I wish I’d saved more of this,” or “Why does it only get good when it is all gone?,” I’m gonna punch you right in the stomach. Straight up. And then I’ll tell you I told you so. Yes, potential disrespect for this beer is prone to create threats of and/or actual acts of violence from yours truly. And you’re gonna need to call me when that funk drops all the way in, because I’m not sure you can handle that much funk. Because it will blow your mind. Boom. There it goes.

World’s Creepiest Mustache

So where to start. Sure, this beer has color. And yes, there is head retention and lacing and all that other whatnot. But the nose. Damn, that nose is bewitching. Slight spicy with a touch of citrus, earthiness, and just the beginnings of some barnyard funk—that minerally, hay-like, estery, tongue-drying spritziness that is just creeping into the picture at this point. But creeping in enough to whisper seductively in my ear. And to tell me of things to come. The body finishes off what the nose started. There is just a tang more funkiness in the body than in the nose—having led me down the dark path, it is making sure it is going to guide my destiny. Spicy earthy and loamy flavors at the front before moving into a drier and more minerally middle. There is still a touch of dark fruit and raisin with the dryness, and the skin flavor of the raisin lingers on into the finish—it is almost a rum raisin effect with a slight tannic bite. The finish is lightly tart and bright which, coupled with the carbonation, gives a spritzy and zesty feel to the finish. It tingles on the back of throat on the way down, for crying-out-loud. A light alcohol warmth emerges out of the zesty tingle, creating a pleasant balance between the two. After that, all I’m left with is a light lingering dry mineral funkiness in the back of my mouth—the same one that was initially offering portents of things to come. Currently, Smokey Brown gets the nod for your best beer, but in six months this beer is gonna own Smokey Brown. Own it and make it do bad illegal things. For money.

If you don’t give me another bottle of this, Jeffrey, I’m erasing all my posts about your beer.


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