Having recently done a little post on New Jersey beer brewers, I’m more keen to look out for locally crafted beers. Back in October, I really enjoyed Oktoberfish – Flying Fish’s Oktoberfest-styled ale, and so when I saw the Flying Fish Grand Cru Winter Reserve – I thought ‘why not?’ Plus, this marks our maiden post of the 2009 Winter Beer season!
This 7.2% ABV is only available from Octoberish to Februaryish, and I’m not sure what makes it a Winter ‘style’, but I’ve learned from the Flying Fish website what’s in it and why its so good!
Check this out… “Flying Fish Grand Cru is fermented at a higher temperature than our other beers adding an undercurrent of fruitiness and clove (although there is no fruit or spice in the beer). Very lightly filtered, the Grand Cru exhibits complex mouthfeel, strong malt flavors, a spicy hop presence and a soothing alcohol warmth, followed by a clean, dry finish.”
Sounds good, right? Well it is.
The beer pours a clear golden color as one might expect. There isn’t too much carbonation or head that forms, (unlike some of the heads that a Duvel can create) – there wasn’t much activity in the glass, but that’s OK. even so, this brew left some decent lacing on the glass all the way to the finish. Its a great looking beer I think.
The smell is very close to what the little blurb above states. There is that very recognizable spicy-sweet aroma that Belgian golden ales seem to have. Perhaps its the sugar used, I don’t know, but its common to the style I think. Again, if you’ve had Duvel, you know what I mean.
Considering this has a 7.2%ABV as mentioned, I think the alcohol flavor is masked well, and it didn’t taste like a strong alcohol beer at all.
Overall, I thought this beer was very drinkable, and very enjoyable. I would definitely get it again, and after having it I’m inclined to try more beers of this style! I liked it! The Flying Fish Grand Cru Winter Reserve might not be Duvel per-se, but that’s OK. Its a great local version of a classic Belgian ale which is good enough for me!