Your Father Smelt of Elderberries
Stone Brewing Company
Medieval-style ale brewed with Elderberries
I haven't been a fan of Stone's Stochasticity series thus far, but I picked up this latest offering from Greg Koch and company largely, if not completely because of the Monty Python connection. Even if the beer stinks, it's still a pretty cool bottle to put on display, right? However, friends, trust me when I say that this brew is over the top, shout it from the mountains, doing cartwheels in the Wise Guys bomber aisle-fantastic!
Let's get to it!
I'll be honest, there's nothing in the aroma that would lead you to believe that 'Your Father Smelt of Elderberries' is going to be a home run. Notes of funky yeast, toffee, dark fruits, and a hint of jam are most prevalent, but not blatantly noticeable. The magic really happens upon the first sip. So, forget about the smell and take one!
A strong presence of elderberries, or what could be described as being a flavor similar to blackberries, leads on the palate while strong notes of a sweet raspberry and strawberry jam combination linger on the finish. Yes, this brew can compete with just about any fruit beers out there, New Glarus included. If you're into this flavor profile, be sure to keep your bottle in the fridge between pours. The closer to room temperature this brew gets, the more you begin to lose the fruit flavors and begin venturing into barleywine-esque territory where sweet malts and booziness becomes very apparent. And nothing against barleywines. In fact, they're great when done well. Nevertheless, 'Your Father Smelt of Elderberries' really shines when you can pick up those jammy fruit flavors that remind you of a great breakfast with strawberry spreaded toast. Hey, watch the drool!
My advice, keep it cold and pick up two. One for now and one to cellar for a later tasting, as suggested by Stone. My guess is that this brew will only improve over time.