Friday, October 3, 2014

Green Wolf Abbey Gargoyle

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (1191) - Albany, New York, USA - OCT 3, 2014
If you’re an American startup brewery and you’re going to make a Belgian-style beer you’d better make it exactly to spec or else do something experimental to make it interesting. Green Wolf’s “Abbey Gargoyle” is a Belgian-style dubbel, but it is not to spec. That being said, it’s still a solid beer that could be much better with a few improvements.

I poured a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. There was no freshness date and it cost $9 ($0.41 per ounce).

Appearance: Raspberry tea complexion of a reddish/brown hue over and opaque body. Pours to a small, off-white, foamy head which laces and retains fairly well.

Smell: Mild nose but standard Belgian aroma of banana and clove.

Taste: I am genuinely impressed, and surprised, by the malt flavor that comes through in this palette. A sweetness of dark grain that’s accentuated by the Belgian yeast character. A mélange of dark fruit is noticeable throughout the first half, though no individual, distinct flavors seem to jump out other than a slight cherry note. The second half is much better, though, as the esters begin to take over. There’s a noticeably banana taste along with a general spicy/smoky character (usually this indicates yeast stress). The problem is, this all fades away quickly, which is a shame because it’s rather enjoyable. While not exactly a to-spec dubbel, this beer makes a decent effort at least.

Drinkability: When I drink an 8.5% ABV beer, I expect complexity and robustness and I hope for easy drinkability. Green Wolf Abbey Gargoyle is at least easy to drink, but lacks the body that ought to come with a beer of its size. The mouthfeel is rather thin and under carbonated, though not flat and watery per se. It’s actually rather refreshing while it crosses the tongue, though there’s a dry bitter sensation that lingers (but it’s not bothersome). For what it’s worth, I had no problem drinking the entire bottle myself. 
Grade: 6/10

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