MacFannyBawNovember 22, 2014
Against the Grain Brewery
Aged in Angel’s Envy Bourbon barrels, this rauchbier features Munich malt as a base with copious amounts of beechwood and peat-smoked malt, as well as alderwood-smoked salt.
ORIGINAL GRAVITY: 1067
AVAILABLE: Denmark, KY, IL, IN, NY, UK
Right out of the gate (or bottle), this rauchbier comes across more like an aged Scotch than a beer. It’s even close in color to a certain liquid-gold nectar from Scotland. And the aromas are peatier than a Scotsman’s kilt after a big day o’ drinkin’. A touch of bourbon from the barrels gives Mac a slightly Southern twang and mingles well with a sweet base beer. Interestingly, the decidedly Scottish accent comes not from peat but from alderwood- smoked salt, which contributes to its smooth, rounded body. The smoke keeps the finish dry, and there’s just a kiss of saline at the end.
- Lisa Morrison
Showing a hazy light honey color, the beer raises a thin white head. The nose reminds me of some sort of click bait—“you’ll never guess what happens next!” I certainly didn’t. How to describe it? Burning paper, the innards of a raw pumpkin, maybe a faint hint of coal. A jack-o’-lantern with a candle in it? The palate confounds again, sweet up front, gently balanced by just enough bitterness, a full round vegetal center, a clean finish signing off with smoke signals. Do I like it? It’s hard to say. I want to keep drinking it to find out. And then have it with seared venison for dinner.
- Garrett Oliver
Lisa Morrison, aka the Beer Goddess, talks beer every day at her beer store and taproom, Belmont Station, and on a weekly radio show in her hometown of Portland, OR.
Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of The Brooklyn Brewery, the Editor-in-Chief of The Oxford Companion to Beer, the author of The Brewmaster’s Table, and the veteran host of more than 900 beer dinners in 15 countries.