Goose Island – Pepe Nero 2011 (aged 3 years): Is a Belgian dark farmhouse ale that has been aged for 3 years (bottle date was Mar 4, 2011) and is brewed in Chicago, IL at a strength of 6% and was enjoyed at home in a snifter glass.
Aroma and Appearance: It pours a dark brown with about a half inch of tan foam and some small observable bubbles. The aroma is chocolate, coffee with lots of dark fruits like plums and cherries with some molasses and a bit of clove or star anise.
Flavour: There is a carbonated mouth feel that I noticed right away, yet it is still a bit thick and hits you with sweet malt, dark fruity plums, some balanced rye like malt in the middle and a mild spicy finish that has some molasses and is rather sensual like a fine wine. As it warms a bit of smoke appears and the fruit really shines in this one.
Overall Impression: wow, never ever had a farmhouse ale like this. Lots of character and balance in this one from the aging really helps you pick out and appreciate all the different flavours.
Rating: I give it an outstanding rating of 10/10 it ages well and can sit another 2 years (hello bottle #2 I will cellar you longer). This 2011 vintage can be found in Lynnwood at Total Wine & More for around $8 a bottle which is a steal really.
Food Pairing: don’t, although if you must a good prosciutto would do well, otherwise just sit sip and enjoy this one.
Goose Island 22 oz vintage bottles have been some of the best beers I have ever had in my life (see the 2011 Pepe Jacques here). I hope I can find more someday!