Review: American Solera Man-made Earthquake

American Solera has decided to release a heavy one for the fall and winter, a barrel aged, 15% alcohol tripel. This brew was aged for 18 months in whiskey and cognac barrels and then bottle conditioned for an additional 12 months. Limited to 200 cases, but there may be a few still available. I’m ready to crack into American Solera’s biggest brew yet.

Company: American Solera

Location: Tulsa, OK

ABV: 15% ABV

Style/Description: Tripel Ale aged in whiskey and cognac barrels

Price: $16.00 per 500 mL

Appearance: Translucent but slightly cloudy copper pour, robust fizzy head with persistent sticky lace. Bubbles continued to rise throughout the drinking session.

Nose: Boozy aroma, I can really detect the cognac barreling on the nose. Some dusty fruity esters as well, but the cedar trees just opened up and so my nose is not really in top form this week.

Taste: Plenty of barrel character here, with oak, vanilla and warming alcohol dominating the flavor. The whiskey barrel is most evident in the mouth, where I really got the cognac notes on the nose. Some of the Belgian tripel flavors manage to slip through as the beer warms and opens up and the booze mellows the tiniest bit. Some vanilla and spicy herbal notes are present, coriander and black pepper, as well as some dark fruits like raisins, dates or prunes. The mouth is light and very dry as one might expect from a 15% tripel.

Finish: The finish is rather dry, with some sticky prune tones and long, warming alcohol on the way down.

Overall: When I saw the description for this beer Kris and I planned our American Solera trip around its release. I’ve always been a fan of tripels. I’m also a fan of cognac barrel aged beers, which are exceedingly rare. While this guy is a little hot at the moment, with the booze and barrel character dominating the beer, I think it could really turn into something great with 6-12 months of age to cool off.

Rating: 3.5/5



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