Monday, March 4, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 64, Green's Gluten Free Tripel Blonde Ale

It's gluten free week and I fear that I am starting off with the best one in my collection called Green's Triple Blond Ale.  Like I have been doing as well, they are using gluten free adjuncts to brew the beer instead of wheat and barley.  This beer is made with sorghum, rice, millet, buckwheat, and yeast.  The sorghum is probably malted, like in my beers, and the other ingredients are probably boiled with the wort after being roasted and such.  With sorghum being the base of the beer it is almost necessary to have other ingredients because of the strange flavor of the sorghum.  In this case though, they are calling it a Tripel which alludes to the fact that they may have used up to three times the amount of ingredients than a normal beer of this Belgian style.  Hence the high alcohol content. For me I choose to use citrus-like ingredients to complement it.  I'm going to have to say that I think there are some other ingredients in this beer that they aren't mentioning like orange peel or lacto bacillus.  They may have fermented without a lid to get the lacto bacillus in there.  I haven't researched this one yet and forget the name of the category that this beer goes in, it's actually not considered a beer and more like mead, but this is probably one of the best that I have had yet and is, to me, beer!  Anyway, it's tasty so let me get to it.
This beer comes in an awesome 500 ml reusable bottle, so there are some big time homebrewer points!

It pours a clear golden straw, light amber color with a nice two finger sized off-white head of various sized bubbles that leaves a strange Klingon Bird of Prey pattern on the glass!  COOL!  Nerd Points!  the head remains a full beautiful cap throughout the drink as well!  Full points on appearance!

The aroma is kind of like like a malty sweet base that meets sour honey and bitter apple in a steel cage match.  I was surprised by that but instantly thought that they were going with a sour on this one. There may be a hint of grass-like hops in there, but it's very faint and might be bordering on my imagination.

The taste is quite like cider, but there is a caramel malt type sweetness lurking at it's base.  Above it on the surface is like a smooth sour apple with a little bitter on the back of the tounge and a champagne yeast type of ride along the way.  It's kind of weird as it starts off sweet and as it moves across the tongue there is a little sour and at the back of the tongue you get bitter (apple) just as how the tongue is set up with sweet at the tip, sour near the back and bitter at the very back. In the middle of the sip there is a creamy caramel-ness that I can't describe. All in all, it's really well balanced and at the very end there is a sense of black pepper and finally, hops!

Unlike other gluten free beers that I have had, this one has just a hint more than a medium mouthfeel, and considering it's peers, it's really full comparatively.  It's sweet, but the sour and the bitter do a fair bit of balancing that out, but it tips in the favor of sweet.  The carbonation is lively and I am going to go out on a limb and pontificate that the yeast is most likely a champagne yeast.  The head remains until the end.  If this were a zombie, you would lose because the head must be removed for them to die.

I'm going to go out on another yoga limb and stretch it and say that this is world class.  If it is not world class then it is VERY close, but I think it's getting a full score from me.  I can't find anything that I don't like about this beer!  It's 9% and yet sessionable!

5 out of 5!

Don't waste your time on big beer gluten free stuff either!  Life is too f@cking short for that crap!


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