12 January 2007
Broad Ripple Brewpub's Wee Alec Heavy (Chris' Review)
Along with the other changes hoosierbeergeek.com is going through, we're also trying out a new format for posting our reviews. Instead of waiting for everyone to submit a review and compiling it into one large post, each Knight will individually post his or her review for your consumption, Dear Reader. We're also now adding labels to our posts. I honestly don't understand what that does, but Jason tells me to do it, so I do it (I bet my wife wishes I followed her commands as easily, without questioning).
The Knights of the Beer Roundtable (all 5 of us, plus extra special guest Keith "Tiny" M. of Anderson), trekked to the Broad Ripple Brewpub last evening to meet with brewmaster Kevin, and taste some of his suds. Tiny likes a variety of beers, but hadn't before delved into reviewing them. At first, he looked at us like we were kinda wierd when we stuck our noses into the beer, but by the end of the night, he had some foam on his nose, too! We're glad you joined us, Tiny!
Kevin is a very good host, and he is a damn good brewmaster. Both my warm-up (ESB, or Extra Special Bitter) and my reviewed beer (Wee Alec Heavy) were outstanding beers. Kevin even gave us a preview taste of his upcoming barleywine (w/out the dry hops), which I will definitely be going back for when it's finished. We very much appreciated Kevin taking some time out to talk with us about his products.
I paid particular attention to the Wee Alec Heavy, which had been brewed for the holidays. The Wee Alec is a cask ale, meaning that it is unfiltered & unpastuerized, and it is stored in a metal cask instead of a keg. Though Wee, Alec packs a big man's punch, coming in at a hefty 7.7% ABV.
Wee Alec is a very dark, virtually opaque beer (think Optimator - and now you can probably guess where my review is going). If you don't like dark beer - and I love it - this beer probably isn't for you.
While the nose isn't strong and overpowering, I could definitely discern hints of chocolate, coffee, and caramel. But the smells blend well together.
As with cask ales, the Wee Alec has very little carbonation. Kevin explained most of his beers are that way, and people think its an error. But as Kevin likes to point out, the brewmaster gets to make beers that the brewmaster likes, and in this case, the brewmaster doesn't like much carbonation.
This was a very smooth, medium-bodied beer. There isn't much of a bite, and I didn't think much of an aftertaste was left, either. The caramel and heavy malt flavors blend very well together, producing a well-balanced beer.
I highly recommend trying this beer before it runs out. As a seasonal that's past its season, it isn't going to last too much longer. I give it 4.5 Mugs, and only withhold the last half-mug because I, personally, like a little more carbonation in my beer. But my compliments to the brewmaster for a very fine, delicious offering!