A Treat From the Cellar

Hello, Beer Blog!

My recent absenteeism, I will explain in one sentence:

I’m back in graduate school, pursuing a doctorate (DMA) degree.

Deal with it.  The blog is still here. The blog will be here when I’m officially Dr. Perm.

Being in school does present opportunities for celebration, such as finishing one’s first semester; getting an “A” on a major research paper, getting a 105% on one’s first final exam in 6 1/2 years (and, I believe, first 105% on a final exam EVER); getting straight A’s.

Thus, we search the cellar for an appropriate celebratory brew.  And this is what we find: a true gem.

Nørrebro Bryghus Old Odense Ale, brewed as a one-offer in 2007 in collaboration with Dogfish Head brewmaster Sam Calagione.  It’s based on a 15th-century recipe, in the tradition of gruit beers, and is brewed with oats, dark malt, fir bark and branches, hyssop, wood sage, woodruff, star anise, blackthorn berries, and maple syrup from the Calagione family farm.  Here’s a news release from 2008.  I purchased two bottles in 2008 upon its release; drank the first within 6 months of purchase and cellared the second.  Perm is sometimes a negligent Perm: in this case, I took no notes upon tasting the first bottle, remembering only that it was Good.

Here is what the Dogfish Head website has to say about the brew:

The beer has a bright copper color with a very sparse and fragile head. The aroma is extremely complex and spicy, with notes of anise, tobacco, brettanomyces, leather and dried fruits. The body is rich and with a delicate sweetness that balances the sour tartness, making it far more accessible than a Belgian lambic, which would be the only well known style to which one could possible remotely compare Old Odense Ale.

I would concur; my 3-year plus cellared bottled exhibited the following characteristics:

Pours (into an Allagash footed goblet) a rich solera-sherry colour; thin antique white foam rings the glass. Nose is rich in herbs and floral notes; roses predominate, along with sour cherry and maple sugar. The taste is pleasantly and complexly sour with a sweet twist. Figs, plums, rose oil, and biscuits with dark molasses or treacle come to mind.

Impossibly smooth and almost smoky, this is a great winter brew and I’m sad that I don’t have any more in my cellar. Great with tapas/antipasti and would work well with fruit desserts also.

Appearance: 5
Smell: 5
Taste: 4.5
Mouthfeel: 5
Overall: 4.5

If you ever come across any of these, snatch them up! Perm will pay you good money for a bottle.

Highly recommended, IF you can find it!  Obviously, cellars well indefinitely.

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