Oak-aged, cellar-worthy, in 750 milliliter bottles with corks — we have to give some beers credit for delivering wine-like experiences, and for being delicious in their own rights.
Saison Dupont, a Belgian farmhouse ale, is a “Champagne” among beers. With a spicy citrus nose and a dry, crisp taste, it drinks like “Extra Brut” Blue Moon. A more exotic option is Lindemans Gueuze Cuvée René, a Belgian lambic beer with an earthy nose, a tangy green apple palate, and plenty of carbonation.
Our “sauvignon blanc” of beers is Froach Heather Ale. Based on a Gaelic recipe from 2000 BC, this Scottish brew has a grassy, citrus nose. It drinks smoothly with mild white fruit and floral flavors, and finishes like a dry white wine.
The J.W. Lees Harvest Ales are cellar-worthy English barleywines aged in calvados, Sherry, whiskey, or Port casks. On the 2008 Port cask variety, the nose approximates steaming sweet-n-sour chicken. It is our “zinfandel” of beers for its big fruit flavors and rum-like spices.
For a “dessert wine,” try Trappiste Rocheforte 10. This creamy Belgian “quadruple” has a dark fruit nose, roasted malt and baking spice flavors, and a long finish. It tastes like the brewer spiked wine with dark beer—and did it just right.