Lost Abbey Brewing Co – Inferno Ale

As with a lot of other beer bloggers and craft beer consumers, we used our time stuck indoors with hurricane Sandy to enjoy a good craft beer or two.  As with everyone else, I was stuck inside all day with the storm raging on outside; however, I was considering all day what I’ve wanted to drink for my beer review.  Unlike a lot of other school teachers affected by the storm, I didn’t just have the day off for the hurricane.  I actually had a lot of grading to do, and since we had a death in the family leading up to this past weekend, I didn’t have the chance to be ready with my grades in advance.  So I spent a lot of my hurricane day grading papers and projects.  Thankfully I got all of my grades in before the deadline, so I quickly got to doing some reviewing.

I wanted to do a review involving a beer that seemed appropriate for the mayhem that was taking place outside.  So, after a full day of grading, I went straight to the fridge to figure out what I was drinking.  It was much easier to pass up a few pumpkin ales, and I didn’t think a few other beers fit the craziness, so I ultimately landed on my bottle of Inferno ale.  Being from Lost Abbey, I knew the beer would have some type of Belgian quality to it, but I was hopping it would be a little darker and richer to fit the scary dark quality going on outside.  Ultimately I thought Inferno had to fit the straight up mayhem of the situation.

Lost Abbey seems to have an interesting idea for their production of their beer.  The last beer I reviewed was from a brewery that loved beer and ska.  Lost Abbey, however, seems to focus more on a battle between good and evil.  They play off the battle between good and evil that stems all the way back to Adam and Eve.  They state that starting way back then, man has attempted to battle evil, and they are attempting to combat the evils of bad beer.  Quite theological! Reading the description of Inferno Ale makes me feel slightly nervous to drink it.  According to their site, Inferno is the type of beer Satan is brewing and serving in hell.  While I’m unsure of how they would be aware of this, I’m kind of thinking there has to be a problem if it’s the beer they’re serving in hell.

This one pours out a bright golden yellow color.  It has that straw appearance to it.  If there is anything you should notice from the picture it is the massive amount of head that develops on the pour.  The head has a very ample sudsy bubbly appearance to it.  It takes a little while to let the head die down, but once it finally does diminish, you’ll find that it has some light lacing and fairly decent sticky residue.  You don’t see a whole lot of liquid right away, but once the bubbles calm down, you can see the slight hazy quality to the beer.  There don’t seem to be any carbonation bubbles in the glass, but the haze may be hiding it.

There are a few very noticeable aspects to the aroma of the beer.  The first really big aspect is the ample citrus smell that comes off the beer.  The citrus combines with a ton of brett aroma as well.  Brett, once again, throws up a major red flag for me.  I opened this beer because it seemed to suggest a certain doomsday persona in its name, but the aroma and color seem to suggest light citrusy fields of grain.  Not exactly the hurricane beer I was thinking of.  There is some light clove scents that come through as well, and you get some of that straw and grass scent that is suggested by the color of the beer.  Light hops and light sweet malts help make the beer seem rather well balanced on the nose.  It’s that brett that is dominating everything else.

There are some nice sweet malts that kick off the flavor profile.  Tons of ample citrus flavors combine with the sweet malts for a summery beginning.  Like I said, I’m not sure it’s appropriate for a hurricane, but it is still quite delicious.  Some very dominant brett flavors mix in with some nice light clove notes.  I personally would have enjoyed more clove than brett, but it’s still tasty.  There are some interesting fruit flavors that follow the brett.  You get some nice ample citrus and pineapple notes that match quite well with the brett.  A certain grassy straw quality that continues throughout the entire brew.  You get a little light tang towards the end that is probably due to the hops, and you get a little light citrusy finish on the end as well.

There is one really big piece of advice I’ll give on the mouthfeel, let the beer rest before you drink it.  My typical way of drinking has me examining the liquid, smell, and taste before I go back to the mouth.  This means that I get to see what the mouth is like after the beer has sat and with a fresh pour.  The fresh pour on this one is a carbonation bomb.  You have to let it sit a few minutes to even let it be drinkable.  After it has time to rest, you can taste a little syrup that accompanies the big amount of carb.  The brett is a little overwhelming; however, it does have a pretty fresh taste to it.  The beer finishes kind of dry, but it’s a really nice mix of flavors.

I’m not sure this beer was perfect for the storm, but in the end any old drink while your stuck in the house can’t be bad.  Brett beers walk a fairly fine line for me; however, I thought this one wasn’t too bad.  I really don’t seek out Brett beers, but I seem to happen on them quite often.  If you’re into brett this is a great beer, and if you’re not, then I doubt you’ll really like this.  This one basically comes down to personal taste.

Teacher Grade: B-

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