Pierre Ferrand Billionaire

No, he’s not some guy from upstate New York who won Powerball, it’s an English-style barleywine aged in Pierre Ferrand 30 year cognac barrels, courtesy of the folks at Mercury Brewing Company, Ipswich, MA.  That’s the closest I’ve ever been to cognac!  This deep ruby gem floats a generous beige head and produces some good, sticky lacing.  Pierre Ferrand Billionaire‘s sweet bouquet is rich with caramel malt and a touch of butterscotch.  Thick-bodied and substantial, the initial sweetness gives way fairly quickly to a bitter tinge.  Sweet indeed, but balanced in the end.  12% ABV makes the whole thing that much better.  Enjoy responsibly.


Image courtesy of Mercury Brewing CompanyPF_Billionaire


S’muttonator Doppelbock

Courtesy of Smuttynose Brewing Company

Here’s one from a brewery I have read a lot about in the trade magazines, but had yet to sample their wears.  Until now.  From Smuttynose Brewing Company of Portsmouth, NH, I give you S’muttonator Doppelbock.  It certainly pours yeasty, medium orange and hazy, kind of rusty water-like, with a fleeting head and no lacing to speak of.  The bouquet is sweet, with a honey quality.  It’s sweet tasting too, alcoholy, and hops only makes its presence known in the finish, in the form of some dry bitterness.  At 9.5% ABV it is definitely gut warming, and ear warming for that matter, and the roasted malt highlights make it a pleasant beer, although the overall sweetness is a bit cloying.

As this is not my favorite style of beer, I find it hard to give a really fair rating, but it is definitely good and a high quality brew.  So, I think an 80/100 doppelbock rating is fair.

Bourgogne des Flandres

Bourgogne des Flandres comes in a nicely printed bottle, and I can appreciate that, but it is confusing.  It is says it is brewed by Timmermann for John Martin or Anthony Martin, and the bottle also says something about 1763 Von Houtryve on the neck…  Guess what?  None of that matters to me at this point, I don’t want to think that hard, I just want to enjoy a beer.  This stuff is deep brown and slightly hazy with garnet highlights and a tightly packed beige head that is never very big, but is at least consistent from beginning to end.  It leaves a smattering of slowly sliding lace as well.  The bouquet is sweet, oaky and fruity.  The taste follows closely, but the sweetness is amplified and the fruitiness reveals itself to be very cherry.  It’s a drinkable 5.2% ABV brown ale, fairly light considering its abundance of flavor but the sweetness makes it a one bottle limit kind of beer.  I’d call it good, not great.  Maybe a good after dinner kind of beer to be sipped and considered.  71/100 Belgian Brown

Black Dog Ale

This brew from Spanish Peaks Brewing Company features a clear amber color with a spotty head.  The bouquet is sweet with a hint of floral.  It has a medium body, it’s sweet with a dry finish and a lingering sweet aftertaste. It’s smooth and drinkable, and just a bit above average for an amber ale.