Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mellow Mischief

J. Rhode posted a comment on my previous post that he'd detected a flaw in the bottled version of Mischief, the The Bruery's new Belgian-style golden strong ale.   I drank a bottle of Mischief tonight and tried to detect the flaw.  Maybe it was a little too smooth and approachable for The Bruery's typical, aggressive interpretation on beer styles?  Maybe it did not have as distinct a Belgian yeast taste, or was not as fruity as other golden strong ales?  Or maybe it was that the alcohol was barely detectable until Mischief warmed up?  I didn't find the flaw, but if the bottled version had one, the draft version must be amazing.

Mischief poured a light orange and didn't have much foam, but had decent carbonation.  What struck me about Mischief was its restraint.  Its yeast spoke Belgium, but did not dominate the beer.  It had a slight fruity taste but it was not prominent.  The hops were there, but again blending in with other flavors and not standing out.  I think the name Mischief must come its drinkability and lack of strong alcohol presence in this sneaky-big, 8.5% abv beer.

In short, everything worked well in this beer.  It is sublime.  Is it possible to have the Beer of the Year in January?  Of course it is!  I will just keep drinking Mischief throughout the year to remind myself of its elegance.


J.Rhode said...

Split a bottle into two Duvel glasses. Foamed up nicely on initial pour. Sipped glass over the course of 1/2 hour allowing some time to warm up to more appropriate temp. Great flavors. Dry hopping pushes this beer into Belgian IPA category? Sculpin with Belgian yeast? Anyway, my nitpick was that it seemed nearly flat by the time I finished my glass. Bottle conditioned, so I might leave bottles at room temp to see if a little more carbonation develops.

Rational Realist said...

I did not notice the beer being flat. I would agree that this beer could pass as a Belgian IPA. I have not had enough of either style to know all their subtleties, because they seem pretty close, to me. I need to try another Mischief, and maybe a Damnation, Lost Abbey's Inferno and La Chouffe's IPA to compare. Interesting few weeks. Either way, I liked Mischief.