And the hits from NCAA pool keep rolling in! I received a nice package the other day from two New York LOSERS.** Hey, if they are sending me beer, they lost. One Vice Blog reader from New York and the Vice Blogger himself pooled their resources and sent me their beers in one delicious package. Sticking with the NCAA Pool theme, I would categorize the two beers as Bracket Busters. They are both based on traditional styles, but they are both so different from those styles that they end up being unique.
The first bottle I cracked open was the Captain Lawrence Birra DeCicco. This is brewed in collaboration with DeCicco’s Market, a local Italian specialty shop, and is a rare one. I have never seen it in my local beer emporium, and they carry damn near every beer imaginable, including several offerings from Captain Lawrence. In fact, it is so rare that I could not find any mention of it on the Captain Lawrence website. According to the label, the beer is “[f]ermented with our house Belgian-style Ale strain to impart the classic fruity and spicy flavors of a traditional abbey ale. Infused with imported Italian chestnut honey and jam to create rich and smoky undertones. Re-fermented in the bottle using even more Italian chestnut honey to give the beer its lively carbonation.”
That description sums up this beer. Beer Advocate describes it as a Dubbel, but it is not like any Dubbel I have had before. This was an interesting drink, earthy and spicy, with the honey flavor more prominent than the chestnut flavor, though that was in there as well. It poured a very dark ruby color, with a decent head. It is sweet and malty, and the Belgian yeast gives it a funky edge, which I bet will only improve with age. If I can track down another bottle, I am going to stick it in the cellar for at least a few months and let the funk rise. Fresh from the brewery, it gets an 8/10.
Next up was the Southampton Cuvee de Fleurs, a saison brewed with a variety of edible flowers. I opened this, poured some into a glass, when my phone rang. I took the call in the other room. When I came back, the kitchen was filled with the flowery aroma of this beer. This has more perfume than a French knocking shop, more flowers than a Mafia funeral, more bouquets than Princess Di’s Wedding, more scents than the perfume counter at Bloomies, more … you get the idea.
The Cuvee deFleurs poured a golden orange, with a fluffy head and nice lacing. The aforementioned floral aroma permeates the taste as well, with some black pepper spiciness to balance it. I would offer this to someone who thinks that beer is not as complex as wine. There is a lot going on in the glass. It is a saison, but it is not like any saison I have come across, and I have tried many. I don’t think I would enjoy drinking more than one bottle of this at a sitting, but that one bottle is to be savored. Great beer, 9/10.
**I am an insufferable asshole when I win anything. God help all of you if and when any sports team I root for wins a championship. I was a complete and total prick during the Cowboys dynasty with the Triplets. Sweet Jeebus, I was a douche when Jason Kidd and the Nets made the NBA Finals in back to back years, and they never won the championship!