Friday, 8 November 2013

Nickel Brook Cuvée 2012

Nickel Brook Cuvée 2012 is billed as "Bourbon Barrel Aged Spiced Strong Ale" and as a reserve ale. This mouthful is brewed by Burlington, Ontario's Better Bitters Brewing Co.  It comes in pretty flashy 750mL bottles--wax sealed and featuring very attractive labels. Cuvée 2012 contains a cheeky  (read: strong ass) 8.5% alcohol and clocks in at 19 IBUs.

Cuvée 2012 has an impressive ingredients list which includes Demerara sugar, dried figs, cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla beans, and much more. All of that (plus more) is aged in bourbon casks. Looking at the label, I was worried that the brewers had just thrown everything and the kitchen sink into the kettle for this one.  However, I was wrong to doubt them. However with just a couple of sips, it became clear that this stuff was carefully crafted.

The grog pours a cloudy, even swampy brown, topped with a luxurious tawny head. It's very fragrant. The aroma combines strong fruit notes, sour malts, and a vigorous spice presence. You can practically taste something different in every sip of this beauty--citrus tang, boozy warmth, spicy intrigue, and a whisper of bourbon. It also features some red wine notes.

The label suggests laying this stuff down to age, but I just can't rest easy knowing that there is an interesting ale in the house ...

I really enjoyed this beer. Sweet, sour, and bitter are all amply represented. If you see it, you should buy it. And if you're more patient than me, please lay a bottle down and let me know what it's like in a couple years.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10.

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