Saturday, February 16, 2013
Black Diamond Brandy Barrel Aged Grand Cru (8/10)
Black Diamond Brewing Company created this Brandy Barrel Aged Grand Cru in 2011. The label reports that 75% of the contents consist of ale brewed with fruit with vanilla beans added, and 25% is ale aged in brandy barrels.
It pours a slightly cloudy copper color with a persistent beige head.
The aroma has a very strong vanilla note to it, accompanied by fruit and grain. On balance, it reminds me of a warm fruit muffin, like a cranberry or blueberry one.
The flavor, on the other hand, is nothing like a fruit muffin. It starts with a creamy vanilla, backed with a balance of hops bitterness, fruit sweetness, and toasted grain. It's a complex flavor with several distinct stages to it. As you hold it in your mouth tasting it, the taste changes from one flavor to another. I got some brandy, some cream, and a finishing note of hops.
Beer Advocate visitors call it just "average" and rate it 79/100. I think they're being a little harsh. I'm saying it's above average but giving it a very similar 8/10. It's not a beer I'd want to drink all the time (like Gulden Draak or Ommegang Three Philosophers) but I'd certainly have it again.
My rating: 8/10