In case you missed my musings on Brune in Part 1, please be sure to catch up here. Otherwise, you’ll be a bit lost.
Allow me to apologize that such a long period of time has passed since the initial excursion. The first edition was produced on a perfect Sunday night. I was all alone in my cellar dwelling with nowhere to be and no one to distract me. I was warm and blanketed in glorious sounds, scents, tastes and visions. I had been craving Belgian ales so deeply, and I needed a calming escape from the rigors of life. I found it that night, and it felt amazing. I wanted to recreate the night for Part 2, but the stars really have to align just so for a true recreation. It took a few weeks, but here I am, blissful as before.
I figured that I should, again, offer a score to the experience. Last time saw a pairing with an undeniable founder of the long standing shoegaze movement. Cocteau Twins’ Robin Guthrie is a master of distortion, and some of the world’s most highly revered albums, namely My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, would not have existed where it not for him. Tonight, I again attempt to pair my mind meltingly complex Belgian ale with equally profound sounds. Though The Campfire Headphase is no Music Has the Right to Children, it’s never-the-less a pillar in the world of IDM, ambient, and downtempo. It pairs perfectly well with relaxation, and even better with transcendence of mind and palate.
Triple Imperiale fills the glass with aquarium like wonderment. To gaze upon this brown, highly carbonated, viscous mess in my glass is much like what it would be to open your eyes beneath the goopy confines of a hot bayou. The waters are muddy brown, but life thrives. Bubbles rise from the depths… something stirs on the floor of this slimy hotbed. Amidst the uncomfortable submersion, to see only briefly is unmasking evidence that there swims near endless translucent organisms, weaving in and out of every nook and cranny of the body. Are these wiggling jellyfish with stingers at the ready, or may they be amoeba like microorganisms, mutated far from any micro precursor?
We need not contemplate these things, for a blind man would surely find endless delight here. May the scents, sounds and flavors guide us tonight.
Triple Imperiale has all the complexity of nose that the world’s greatest ales possess. It’s staggering. It’s challenging… to the writer part of my brain, but completely delightful to the rest. This beer is not too different from the Brune that I last reviewed in odor. I wouldn’t say that it has a cherry tartness to it, but the esters power through the brown sugar and caramel and deep, slightly browned pie crust fumes at the forefront. There’s more of a prune and date and robust red wine scent. It smells wood aged in many ways. There is a mustiness deep within, vanilla notes, caramelized, charing, with subtly bubblegum, taffy and cotton candy. Good gracious! Again, there must be a crucially long boil with this brew to cook the sugars so fully, and a yeast strain that could go toe to toe with the very best of them. Brilliant.
I feared that the flavor could never rival the scent, and that’s mostly true, but the music and the candle light in my room and the ominous crackling of the needle against the vinyl and the Belgian masterpiece before me… this is just all too much for me right now. What a night!
The flavor is very wine like in it’s fruitiness and heat. With the glaring exception of a malty-er-than-thou finish, this is a seriously vinous, estery, fruitscapade of a beer. But beer it is. The malty, baker’s chocolatey dry finish is profound, but long before the aftertaste, all that fruit lies upon breads and cookies and pie crusts and cakes…all slightly overcooked and crusted. But like Momma used to say, the crust is the best part. All the sugars are crystallized at the edge. The peripheral is often the most exciting place to be.
This shit is super sweet, and I’m not speaking in colloquialism, but I could be. The typical Belgian candy sugar meets Belgian yeast reaction in bubblegum is present, but it’s possibly closer to creme brulee, as was Brune. Blue hot scorching of soft sugars. Male vs. female. Power vs. subtlety. Pro-fun-dity.
***This Notes of a Beer Nerd was originally published on December 30, 2009. As I am preparing for my trip to The Bruery’s tasting room in Placentia, CA next weekend, I thought it was a great time to do some research on one of the brewery’s finest. That – and this write up is sexy.***
Enjoyed on: 12/13/2009
Brewery: The Bruery
Location: Placentia, CA
Presentation: 750 ML – Brown Glass Bottle
Style: Julebryg / Dark Rye Ale
Malt: 3 types of Rye
Recommended Serving Temp: 50 degrees
Notes from the bottle: A deep auburn colored robust Danish-style ale with spicy rye, and caramelly, bready malts. Rugbrod Rye Ale is suitable for aging up to 2 years when cellared properly, around 55 F (13 C) in a dark place. Best served at 50 F (10 C). Pour carefully, leaving the yeast sediment behind in the bottle. Best served in a tulip or wine glass. For proper pronunciation, chef recommended food pairings and recipes, please visit our website.
Food Pairings: Pork, lamb
Cheese Pairings: Monterey, Pepper Jack
Beer Advocate: B+
Rate Beer: 89 (3.58)
What the hell is Rugbrod? Good question, I didn’t know either. As is turns out, Rugbrod means “rye bread” in Danish. What the hell is a Julebryg? Good question, I didn’t know either. As it turns out, Julebryg is a Scandinavian term for a winter warmer. Tis’ the season. Now that we have crossed the language barrier, let’s see what this unique brew offers.
This one is unfiltered and bottle conditioned. A subtle, inquisitive pour brings a glass full of head. It takes several minutes and a lot of patience to get a tulip full of beer. A dark auburn fluid eventually settles out from the luscious tan head. The scent is so warm and cozy I wish I was enjoying this by a fire in a remote European village. Understandably Danish, it’s Belgium that comes to mind when i put my nose to it. So bready! Croissants and ryes and pumpernickel. A faint fruitiness lends the Belgium thoughts.
Despite the big head there is not a lot of carbonation feel to the liquid. The mouthfeel is pleasantly smooth and some alcohol comes through as it warms.
The flavors are more of yeast with mild fruitcake notes. A drying aftertaste is present, like I just swallowed a mouthful of absorbent, porous bread. Bread, bread, bread… so much bread here. Rye beers are not extremely common, yes, but I have no doubt had my share, and none have tasted quite so much like the bread.
I’ve always had a great appreciation for bread, in its many forms. Some subtle, even bland, other deep and flavorful. It seems like such a simple food, something that has always fed man. Sustenance for the most poor, a simple pleasure for the most rich. The process of baking bread and its ingredients make it a similar product to beer in many ways, and it is surely a great accompaniment as well. Throw some cheese in the mix and I think I’d have all I ever need for a happy life.
Some chocolaty, caramelly flavors come through well after the swallow reminiscent of Werther’s Original Caramels. The Bruery really made something special here. Unique, intriguing, historic, delicious. My hat’s off to the Family Rue.
If you like Rugbrod, good luck finding something similar. If you like rye you should try, or buy:
Bear Republic Brewery’s Hop Rod Rye; Two Brothers Brewing’s Cane & Ebel; Left Hand Brewing Co.’s Terra-Rye’ZD
Disclaimer: This beer was purchased on my own with my own hard earned money at a local bottle shop .