Review: Great Lakes Beard of Zeus

This seemed like the natural first beer of 2015 since its makers forbade anyone to open it in 2014. This beer was a one-off Tank Ten production which came out of a homebrewing competition. More on this beer can be found in this Toronto Star Article.

Stats: 13% ABV, 28 IBUs. $9.95 / 650mL bomber (Best After Dec.31, 2014)

Appearance: Semi-opaque chestnut brown body with a small beige head. Low carbonation. More active than I suspected a beer 2 years from fermentation at this strength would be.

Aroma: Bourbon up the nose: vanilla, cinnamon, fresh carrots, carrot cake. Mild English Malt in the background when cold with notes of toffee and raisins. As beer warms notes turn to tawny port and oak becomes more apparent.

Taste: Again, bourbon is a big feature particularly when cold. But it is immediately followed by notes of chocolate, coffee, toffee and butterscotch. As the beer warms notes of sour cherries and candied fruit bring in elements of a Belgian quad. Finally, more bourbon notes of cashews and popcorn linger in the finish and give an overall impression something like a blended (un-peated) Scotch whisky.

Comments: This is seriously good stuff. A great sipper while retaining enough mouthfeel and body to remind one they are drinking a beer and not a liqueur. This reminds me somewhat of Weyerbacher’s Blasphemy (a bourbon aged Belgian quad) mid-palate. This beer is complex, expertly made and, to top it off, features some of my personal favourite flavours. Without a shadow of a doubt, this is a top-10 beer.

SCORE: 10 

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