Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mystic Brewery

Mystic Brewery of Chelsea, MA seemed to be one of the first in what has become a wave of new breweries in the Boston area. I first heard about them about a year ago and became interested in what they had in the works.

I tried the first batch of their Saison in early September and was very pleased with the results.

It poured a turbid, orange-yellow with a fluffy head of white foam. Hints of peppery spiciness in the aroma, some citrusy, grassy hops and hints of mild banana-like fruitiness. The flavor exhibited more of the peppery spiciness found in the aroma with a very mild fruitiness (again, mild banana). Hops balance things out quite nicely with some minty, grassy hops. Semi-dry finish with a lingering of grain and yeast.

It was a perfect compliment to the late summer day.

Since then I’ve been as equally impressed with their other offerings including Descendant, what they call Suffolk Dark Ale and what I’ve deemed a Belgian Porter. A dark ale brewed with molasses and their house yeast strain, Descendant was light and drinkable with hints of cocoa and yeasty spiciness.

But my favorite has to be their Sauvignon Blanc barrel-aged Saison. With many of the same attributes as their standard Saison, this beer benefits wonderfully from aging in the barrel. Anyone who is familiar with Sauvignon Blanc will recognize the citrusy, grapefruit-like notes immediately as they mingle with hints of wood and the flavors of the beer. I guess it doesn’t hurt that the base beer used here was excellent to begin with, but there is something remarkable about the combination that just sets this beer apart.

I have yet to pick up Mystic’s most recent releases, a Cabernet barrel-aged and Bourbon barrel-aged version of Descendent, but here’s to hopping they’re as intriguing and delicious as their other creations.

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