Elevation Beer Company - Elevated PSA
Serving Temperature:53–60° F
Suggested Glassware:Snifter, Mini Nonic, Tulip, or Bordeaux Glass
Ah, the sweet-sweet feel of a Rare Beer Club exclusive. We’re excited to bring our Rare Beer Club members an exclusive offering from Elevation Beer Co., brewed to support our good friends at the awareness campaign Pints for Prostates. This wheat wine’s messing around in no manner whatsoever: massive, generous, carefully integrated with its barrel notes. Superb.
This pours a deep golden-orange color (heading in the direction of amber-brown) with off-white foam. The wheat-wine character expands into directions of ripe tree fruits and notes of vanilla and vinous alcohol—actually (and admittedly unintentionally) serving as a perfect foil for our other featured selection this month: the Van Steenberge De Garre. The latter’s also hugely influenced by apricot, pepper, and vanilla, with Elevation Elevated PSA landing in similar territory but going in a whole different direction courtesy of the barrel treatment. Aromatics are beyond generous, leading with dried apricots, white wine grapes and pepper.
Overall, we’re particularly impressed that this is one of the most nimble-feeling wheat wines we’ve ever crossed paths with, by a long shot. Bubbles add lift to an already lean midsection of dried caramel, apricot and assorted tree fruit, and intricate grape- and oak-like qualities via the barrel aging add a whole other level here: herbaceous, with plenty of vanilla and almonds and light toast. The alcohol stays generally tucked away throughout, though we found a bit in the aromatics. For how densely packed this beer is, it manages to stay light and effortless. Its barrel-aged qualities emerge further as this warms, hitting hints of char and deeper flame.
We expect this one to age just fine for the foreseeable future. The 10.5% ABV and Elevation’s experience with potent, age-worthy beers suggests you can feel comfortable tossing a few of these in the cellar. We see the core notes going well with various dessert courses, especially: baked apple pie perhaps (with that vanilla and subtle wood), or creamy vanilla-bean custard.
We first featured Elevation Beer Company in The Rare Beer Club in late 2012, which is right around the time they first opened. We knew a good thing when we tasted it, and the smoked doppelbock (known as Prostator) that we featured was in support of the Pints for Prostates project, which seeks to raise prostate-cancer awareness through the shared language of beer. That smoked doppelbock was a big hit with our members, so much so that we made sure to get four more Elevation beers offered together for a special offer early that next year: Signal de Botrange (a farmhouse ale aged in Napa Valley Chardonnay barrels), Apis IV (reminding us of a honeyed Belgian quad), Oil Man (their potent but highly drinkable barrel-aged impy stout), and Señorita (an imperial porter with just the right amount of vanilla and cinnamon).
At the time of the original smoked doppelbock feature, we included a quote from the Head Brewer and Co-founder at Elevation, Christian Koch: “Our plan is to build a reputation for brewing rare artisan beers. We are going to focus on adventurous specialty beers and barrel-aged seasonals that will appeal to craft beer fans like us.” Looking back, it didn’t take them very much time to get there. The brewery’s been growing in leaps and bounds, with multiple incremental expansions to try to craft enough Elevation beer for a thirsty public.
They’ve been running at full capacity for a while now, and we were grateful to (once again!) be able to snag a special, exclusive offering from these folks for our thirsty Rare Beer Club members, in support of Pints for Prostates: this time, a wheat wine with Cascade and Simcoe hops, aged in Sauvignon Blanc oak barrels. Even following all of the fanfare and excitement (including a number of major international beer awards, and countless top-scoring listings at your online beer review site of choice), Elevation remains the shared vision of friends who, over a backyard barbecue and beers, decided they should build something together. As with countless small, up-and-coming breweries we’ve featured over the years in The Rare Beer Club, it’s been an absolute pleasure to support a producer dedicated to world-class beers.
This month you’re in for a particular treat, and, frankly, one especially suitable for the cooler weather that’s soon approaching. Elevation Beer Company’s Elevated PSA weighs in over 10% ABV and is one of the more potent beers we’ve featured lately. Alcohol in itself isn’t all that interesting—and it generally will take something special for us to choose anything that clocks in over 10%, as we’ve had so many extreme-y beer examples that arguably were not worth the incurred buzz. Despite its alcoholic heft, Elevation’s Elevated PSA brings us back around to what we originally found so endearing about this Colorado brewery: it’s a highly drinkable creation (which we encourage sharing!), with excellent contributions from those Sauvignon Blanc barrels. A portion of the proceeds from this beer go to support Pints for Prostates (founded by our friend, beer writer and prostate cancer survivor Rick Lyke), which encourages regular health screenings and raises awareness through the language of beer.
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