Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Two Turtle Doves

I had a bottle of The Bruery's Two Turtle Doves as a post-Christmas restorative. Two Turtle Doves, a Belgian-style quadruple ale, was full of flavor and complexity. This beer was like a Russian Nesting Doll (or Matryoshka doll), it kept opening new flavors and changing character over the nearly four hours I spent drinking the bottle. By the end, it did not even taste like the same beer I had started.

Two Turtle Doves poured a dark, deep brown, almost black, with a moderate, sand-colored foam that quickly dissipated. The abv was a whopping 12.5%, and it had a full mouthful to match its massive abv. The alcohol, while present throughout, was restrained and lingered in the background, which was amazing given such a high abv. The first few drinks were sweet and tasted of chocolate, and it immediately struck me as a dessert beer. As it warmed, the chocolate subsided and the taste of dark berries emerged, and Two Turtle Doves showed its quad qualities. After several hours, and as I approached the bottom of the bottle, the roasted pecans made their grand entrance. Their presence at the finish was so pronounced that I found it hard to believe I did not detect them earlier. The malt was present throughout and the beer was bitter early, although I am not sure whether the bitterness was from hops or the chocolate, the bitterness waned as ale warmed.

This was the first time I was able to discern all the ingredients in a The Bruery beer. It took me several hours to finally taste them all. Taking this long to drink this mammoth beer helped nullify the 12.5% abv. This beer was better when left out to warm towards room temperature, and it tasted better by itself than with food. This is the second of The Bruery's planned twelve-beer series based on the Christmas carol The Twelve Days of Christmas. I wanted to like last year's first offering, Partridge in a Pear Tree, more than I did. The same cannot be said of Two Turtle Doves, as this was an excellent beer.

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