Black is the new WitMarch 3, 2015
Terrapin Beer Co. and New Belgium Brewing Co.
Type of Beer: It’s Complicated
The beer world is now firmly in the era where one style is mashed up with another. Once upon a time we simply had India pale ales, now we have them in all manner of colors and flavors(black, white, red, green, etc). Grain bills typically associated with one style of beers are going into another. Black saison, anyone? How about a golden stout?
If there are any purists left, this is the time to complain. However, these new styles, or mashups, or whatever we’re going to call them, often bring new flavors to the table, and certainly showcase the creativity and ability of brewers.
Which brings us to Black is the new Wit—a collaboration between Georgia’s Terrapin Beer Co. and Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing Co. It is, according to the brewers a “wood aged imperial black rye wit spiced ale.”
That’s quite the mouthful to say, and it’s quite something on the senses as well.
Anise and coriander aromas emerge from the glass, and with the first sip there is a symphony of flavors: slight pepper spice, some sweet roast brown sugar, a touch of coffee and a tart berry bite. This helps hide the 8.2%.
Here’s where things get interesting. As those flavors settle in, citrus flavors, especially lemon and fresh, tart lime blossom. Slightly aged orange peel plays a background note.
The body is slightly thin. The wood helps it finish somewhat dry. Hold it on the tongue and there’s a slightly numbing sensation that occurs. It’s one of the most intriguing parts of this ale, because it’s so different and almost demands follow up sips, until the glass is empty.
Black is the new wit, is a conversation beer. Pour it with friends and everyone will likely have a different experience, and taste portfolio. Share accordingly.
And as we settle in to enjoy this, the latest in beer collaborations, it’s hard not to wonder, what will be the new black is the new wit?