Monday, July 4, 2011

Brooklyn Local 2

Since yesterday's beer review fell flat I decided to shoot another review to celebrate the 4th of July holiday. This is a much bigger and better beer! I've actually had this bottle of Brooklyn Local 2 in my fridge since JANUARY! I bought it this winter when Seth Wright and I agreed to do a skype collab review of a Brooklyn beer and he wasn't sure which one he could get, so I bought both as a "just in case." It's a hot summer afternoon, asbolutely PERFECT for the 4th of July and I decided to finally break out this beer because I've been hoarding it for far too long. What better way to celebrate "Insurrection Day" (as I call it) than drinking an American take on a traditional Belgian style? LOL

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (630) - Albany, USA - JUL 4, 2011
I poured a 750ml bottle into a Trappist chalice.

Appearance: Slightly hazy dark purple/blood red color. Forms a large, foamy/soapy off-white head. It fizzles almost completely away but does retain somewhat and even leaves some lacing on the glass.

Smell: Very similar to a Trappist quad or a higher-end Belgian strong dark ale, only muted. Dark fruits, candy, a hint of chocolate and biscuity malt smells all are identifying in the nose here. No alcohol presence, which is fine.

Taste: From the look, feel, and initial taste, Brooklyn Local 2 does a great job of replicating an authentic Belgian strong dark ale. The first few sips are reminiscent of Chimay Blue and a laundry list of similar Belgian beers. It’s a mildly sweet, authentic-tasting melange of fruits and fruit-flavored candy. Plum, raisin, black cherry and confectionary sweetness emerge right away. The middle is a bit more bitter with a biscuity malt taste and slight dryness. The end finishes where it began, but instead of tasting like fruits, it’s more akin to candy.

The taste here is very pleasing and the complexity makes for an interesting drink. There’s nothing overtly "American" about this beer, other than the fact the robustness seems to be a bit dialed-down. Compared to a Belgian brew of the same style, this seems to have all the same components, but with a little less energy.

Mouthfeel: Soft and gentle with only medium thickness. Much less fizzy across the tongue than an actual Belgian strong dark ale.

Drinkability: This beer weighs in at 9% ABV and comes in a 750ml bottle. When brewers package beers like this it’s their way of implying such a beer should be shared, but I had absolutely no problem handling the entire thing over the course of 60+ minutes. The potency is technically heavy, but the beer never tastes or feels like a heavy hitter. The alcohol is non-existent in the smell and taste, and didn’t overwhelm me after the fact. What’s interesting is that as soft as the mouthfeel is and as smooth as it goes down, Brooklyn Local 2 is highly carbonated and the gas tends to get stuck in the throat and we all know what that leads to.

Overall, this is a very good beer and quite an accurate adaptation of a Belgian beer, only with less chutzpah. I think it’s a perfect introductory or gateway beer for mainstream drinkers looking to get into the style.

Grade: 8/10

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