Cape May The KeelOctober 26, 2016
Tangy aroma suggestive of red wine vinegar and tart raspberries. Sour cherries on the nose, minerally carbonation. Very deep down there’s a sweet note of dried fruit. Soft tannins: like well-worn leather. Carbonation is moderately high, so that becomes a notable attribute in the mouth. Earthy note: dark, loamy soil. On the palate there’s just enough sweetness to provide balance. The tartness never goes away, but it does take short breaks where the sweeter fruit attributes come to the fore. Just a touch of bitterness on the finish to prevent all that fruitiness from becoming cloying. Tart and dry, complex. Great with a tikka masala flatbread.Ray Daniels is the founder and director of the Cicerone Certification Program and the author, editor or publisher of more than two dozen books on beer and brewing. Follow him on Twitter @Cicerone_org.
Chocolate funk greets me as I eagerly take the first sip, which reveals a light wood character mixed with a puckering wine grape tannin assertiveness. There’s a caramel sweetness that serves as a steady bass line in the background, while letting the other flavors—a lactic bite, earthy pepper and dried red stone fruit—step forward. And maybe it’s just because of where the beer was made, but there’s a perceived saltiness, like that first breath of sea air in the morning down the shore. Pair with a good French triple crème cheese.John Holl is the editor of All About Beer Magazine.