Brett Noir

Connecticut
United States
Brett Noir, Area Two Experimental Brewing
Judges Ratings 
1 Review
88
Aroma:
21 / 24
Flavor:
37 / 40
Appearance:
5 / 6
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
17 / 20
Description 

This beer’s label may be mostly black and white, but its flavor is vivid color. Brett Noir is fermented with pinot noir grapes and Brett “B” yeast, and then aged nine months in red wine barrels sourced from a venerated Napa Valley vintner. The result of this blockbuster is a complex thriller with funky fruit and matured grape notes.

Profile

ABV: 
7.0%
Judges Review 
Jason Johnson's picture
Judges Rating:
88
Aroma:
21 / 24
Appearance:
5 / 6
Flavor:
37 / 40
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
17 / 20

Brett Noir by Area Two Experimental Brewing was judged as category 28A in the 2015 BJCP guidelines, Brett Beer. This is the catch-all category for beers fermented with Brettanomyces bruxellensis. It can be any style of beer, which in this case, would be fruit beer with what I assume is just a dark ale as the base.

The beer is clear and has a nice dark copper color. It pours a light fizzy, light tan head that dissipates almost immediately. There are no bubbles stuck to the side of the glass, and it appears almost still. However, putting it up to the nose and taking a drink proves otherwise. Initially once you hear the term “Brett” some may immediately jump to the conclusion that the beer will be heavy barnyard-like aroma or heavy on the earthy notes this yeast can be known for. But that’s not always the case with Brettanomyces bruxellensis, and in this case the Brett provides a light earthy aroma, but nothing heavy-handed. It’s light and noticeable, but not overpowering by any means. The use of pinot noir grapes does lend the beer a vinous character and works well with the very light oaky tones you can pick up as well. This is a beer, and there is malt evident and the blend between the fruity grape and malt is good pairing. The malt is lightly sweet and bready and seems content to take a back seat to the grapes. There is not anything in the way of hop aroma that I can find. Moving into the flavor is where the beer hits its stride. Up front you get do get a lot of complex flavors. The rough cut is traditional, slightly dry and earthy flavor from Brett, a hint of fresh oak and there is a tart cherry following closely behind from the grapes. The beer is lightly sweet and tart up front but finishes dry. Bitterness is moderately low, and balances the light tart character well. As you sip the beer and peel back the layers, you will notice very light chocolate notes as well as a fruity character that comes across like pomegranate. Hop flavor is light and herbal. The flavor is pleasantly complex and nothing is overwhelming, which makes this beer easily crushable. The mouthfeel falls solidly in the medium range with a low creamy texture, which is hindered by tartness. Carbonation is medium, so it’s not carbonic or overly fizzy, which is a problem with some wild ales in my opinion. You can get a very light astringency from the oak, but it’s not bad at all and pretty much expected.

Overall, the beer is quite good and an easy-drinker. For a wild or sour ale, it’s not going to be too offensive for people looking to spread their wings into the wild beer category, but it will not satisfy the hardcore sour heads. This beer is also going to be a good compromise to couples where one maybe enjoys wine and one enjoys beer. It will be a satisfying beverage to share between the both of you. But for me, it’s a bit too much wine and not enough beer. It comes down to the balance of the components more so than anything here for me. I would personally like to see a bit more hop and malt character to bring the beer forward instead of taking a back seat to the grapes. I wouldn’t want any more roasted grains added, but a bit more Two-Row or even wheat added would elevate the beer here, as well as an additional charge of Noble hops. Still, it's a very good beer. 

 

Brewery Introduction

Area Two is a sour, barrel-aging and experimental brewery from Two Roads Brewing Company situated on 10-acres in Stratford, CT. The 25,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility focuses on the wild and spontaneous.

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