Spring Snows Yield Great Treasure

Posted by Jim on Mar 16th, 2012
Mar 16

The transition from February to March brought a rather significant snow storm to much of Maine. As a dedicated beer fan, particularly when it concerns Maine beers and especially when it is the first ever limited bottle release from Maine Beer Company, I ventured out into the snow early that Thursday morning to ensure I got myself a bottle of Thank You Allan. Two weeks later, I’ve decided it is time to try this ale that I risked my safety for.

Maine Beer Company Thank You Allan
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
This is bottle #9, it has been in my cellar since the release two weeks ago. As I tried to open the bottle, the twist tab on the cage broke—something that has never happened to me before. I was able to remove the rest of the cage with a butter knife and then pop the cork. I’m pouring it into a Maine Beer Company glass.

The beer is golden and clear, with highlights of orange. Lots of carbonation was clinging to the walls of the glass initially, but it dissipated. There is still plenty of carbonation rising from the bottom. The head was a finger thick layer of pure white bubbles. It has settled to a lacy skim.

The nose has a distinct funk to it. It is more lambic-like than something one would find in a farmhouse ale. There are also aspects of white wine, giving it the overall aroma of white grapes. A slight sweetness, reminding me of powered sugar, lingers in the back.

The flavor has a great mixture of hoppy bitterness and wild yeast sourness. At first it is a slightly sweet pale ale flavor, but wild yeast’s flavors quickly make themselves known. Like the nose, traits of white grapes abound. Fruity hops are mostly tasted in the finish. The beer doesn’t taste as hopped as Lunch, Peeper or MO, but if my memory is correct, it is hoppier than Mean Old Tom. Mild bitterness and a slight musty flavor linger on after swallowing.

This beer provides plenty of tingling sensations. Well after I’ve swallowed, my tongue still feels the ghosts of the carbonation bubbles. I’m sure the sensations are heightened by the sourness of the beer. The body is of medium strength…perhaps slightly fuller than I expected. Carbonation is at above average levels. A slight feeling of a coat is on my lips, but not real physical coat remains inside my mouth.

I like this beer. It’s an interesting wild ale with plenty of hops and not too much sourness. I’m glad I opened the bottle while the hops were still fresh and strong, but I imagine the other flavors would still be quite enjoyable with some time on them. This beer has probably sold out and its unlikely many people will get to try it, but hopefully MBC keeps this barrel-aging program up. I know that I would risk another drive out to the industrial park in a snowstorm for their next special release.

A second, bonus review…

Peak Organic IPA

look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Cellar temp bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Translucent copper orange body with little rising carbonation but a good sized head of light brown bubbles. Good lacing.

S: Big grapefruit hops make up the aroma. There is some earthiness and mustiness mixed in as well.

T: Lots of hops in the flavor profile. Begins grassy, gets piney and ends up oily and bitter. Tastes like there is a fairly high IBU count to this beer, but perhaps it’s just because the malts are minor compared to the hops. Either way, I like it.

M: My lips are left slightly sticky, and there is a decent mouthcoat that has bitter flavors.

O: I like this beer a lot; it’s probably my favorite beer Peak makes. Too bad it isn’t available year-round. I’ll have to seek it out again next time spring rolls around.