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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013

New Beer Report: Adelbert's Barrel-aged Dancin' Monks 

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Adelbert's barrel-aged Dancin' Monks photo
The latest beer in the brewery's Vintage Series is a barrel-aged version of the Dubbel Ale.

By Emma Janzen

Adelbert's brewery released the latest beer in their annual Vintage Series of barrel-aged beers a few weeks ago.  

The new beer is a barrel-aged version of their regular Dancin' Monks Dubbel Ale. About 350 cases and a bundle of slim kegs should be available at retail outlets and bars across the state now. A keg has also been set aside for the Texas Craft Brewers Festival, which takes place on September 28 this year. 

The regular Dancin' monks is a 7.2% Dubbel style Ale. The brewery describes it as "a clean, complex malty ale with nutty flavor and plum fruity aroma." The barrel-aged version comes in at a stronger 9.1%. 

It's been two years since the barrel-aged version of this particular brew was bottled and sold (the last one released in the series was barrel-aged Naked Nun). Each beer in the series is aged anywhere from nine months to over a year in red wine barrels that are typically a combination of French and American oak. Each barrel has a unique toast level and previously aged various styles of red wine, a trait that Sarah Zomper from the brewery says creates an array of different outcomes. 

"When we taste the individual barrels each one is unique. One could have a strong merlot nose and taste, while another would have more sour funkiness to it, some were super oaky or fruity, etc. That's what is fun about blending them and seeing how all the flavors meld together."

The barrel-aged Dancin' Monks rested in barrels for a full year, and spent another four weeks in the bottle before the brewery shipped it out to accounts. 

Zomper says that since the beer is bottle-conditioned, bottles can be stored for up to a few years and still mature in a favorable fashion. The brewery recommends buying one bottle to taste fresh, and then store another one and crack it open again in the future to see how it has matured over time. 

Sarah from the brewery gave me a sample to try. 

The first thing that struck me was the bountiful aroma. If I didn't know any better putting my nose into the glass, I would have said the beer landed in the sour family. Flavor-wise, there is definitely some funky sourness to the beer, but it comes across as more tangy and fruity than tart or astringent. Overall, it has a big, bright flavor with moments of dry tannin from the oak weaving throughout. Personally, I felt like the beer could use more time in the bottle (or barrel) to mellow out and mature. I didn't feel like there was as much depth as I had expected from a 9.1% beer, but with more time to age, I can see a ton of potential for it to evolve into a rounded, balanced brew. 

The brewery suggests pairing with fried foods, fruit-based desserts, tangy cheeses and rich meats. 

Emma Janzen

About Emma Janzen

Emma Janzen's role at the Statesman is twofold. When the multimedia producer isn't shooting and editing videos or updating the website and building databases, she is bringing you in-depth beer, wine, spirits and cocktail news on Liquid Austin.

Connect with Emma Janzen on:Twitter

Send Emma Janzen an email.

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