Mikkeller (at De Proef Brouwerij) - Nelson Sauvin Brut (Chardonnay Barrels!)
- ABV: 9%
- Serving Temperature: 50–57° F
- Suggested Glassware: Tulip, Goblet, Chalice or Chardonnay Glass
Our final beer in this Rare Beer Club special offer is an extra-special limited release from the folks at Mikkeller: a Chardonnay-barrel-aged wild ale that takes things in an entirely different direction from these three other saison-ish offerings. A similar version of this beer came out as Mikkeller’s Tenth Anniversary beer, and this Chardonnay-barrel version is our favorite of all the Nelson Sauvins. About 100 full cases of it have been allocated for the U.S. market.
This pours the darkest of the group, a bright amber-orange color that seems to glow like the majority of these selections. A light-tan head forms proudly on top, with solid retention and web-like lacing that sticks around. The aromatics here are far more savory, getting to leather and softly goaty funk from the wild yeasts, lambic-like in certain ways but very much its own profile. Vibrantly tart berries, tree fruit, and sherry-like notes appear throughout this beer, as a medium-volume acidity and softly integrated carbonation provide lift in the mouthfeel. As this warms up, that red-berry fruitiness seems to amplify, and a subtle thread of fruity vinous alcohol helps keep this feeling lean. A massively complex beer that’s well worth exploring.
The potent ABV should keep this safe for a year or more of cellaring, but keep an eye on it to ensure the yeast character’s still shifting in a direction you enjoy. For pairings, we would be inclined to pop this one with Cambridge’s The Brett Conspiracy and a slew of cheeses.
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