My favorite beer man is high on this newly arrived Nebraska beer. Lucky Bucket may have been around for a while but it is new to Walt’s Wine and Spirits in Oakdale, Mn. This is my first Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Technically Belgian strong dark ales are similar to to Belgian dark ale with a higher alcohol content. This one weights in at 12.5% so be careful. What is interesting is the alcohol is hidden rather than in your face. Certified Evil is a nice example of a high alcohol dark ale that covers its power with a complex hop/malt mix. It pours an imperial stout dark color and minimal head. Although the color is predictable the aroma is not. Fruity, caramely, and notes of roasts and raisins make this very appealing. Orange comes through too. It lacks the heaviness of a imperial so you can anticipate refreshing rather than relaxing. The taste is similar to the smell but not nearly as prominent. Maybe a little disappointing at first. Get through the hops and the malt and you are greeted by a metallic, bitter punch! The bitterness tends to stay around for a while, lingering through the initial phase of drinking right from the cold fridge. I decided to wait until things warmed up a bit anticipating some changes. As it warmed I noticed a silky smooth mouthfeel and a going away from the cold metallic assault so I’d recommend you wait or start warm. As it got closer to room temp the complexity increased, the bitterness reduced, the metallic disappeared and the fruity, roasted grains and chocolates emerged. Drinking it cold I’d give it a B. Here’s my advise–DRINK THIS WARM and sloooowly!. You’ll get a much better beer, in fact a great beer. As a side note recently I’ve been reading about the collaboration between the grain and grape industry. This is my first experience where the wine people are impacting the beer people. This brew was aged in Cabernet barrels for one year which adds to the complexity and intrigue of a crafted beer. I wonder if the collaboration gives a more vibrant, smooth and elegant taste. Never thought I’d say elegant beer!
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