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Judge's Review: 92 Rating - Westland Whiskey Barrel Aged Metamorphic Flanders Style Red w/Raspberry and Cherry by Bozeman Brewing Co.

February, 2020
Judges Rating: 
21 / 24
6 / 6
36 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

Westland Whiskey Barrel Aged Metamorphic Flanders Style Red w/Raspberry and Cherry by Bozeman Brewing Co. is a fruited and barrel-aged Flanders Red Ale and is being evaluated as a Mixed-style Beer (category 34B in the 2015 BJCP Beer Style Guidelines). Mixed-style beers are beers that are a combination of styles that are not already covered by a style category in the BJCP Style Guidelines. In this case, the base beer is a Flanders Red (category 23B) with raspberries and cherries (category 29A Fruit Beer) and aged in Westland Whiskey barrels (category 33A Wood-Aged Beer). Flanders Reds are sour Belgian ales that are noted for their intense red-fruit flavors that give this style a red wine-like character. For both Fruit Beers and Wood-Aged Beers, the fruit, barrel, and spirit should complement and not overwhelm the base style. This 2019 version of Metamorphic was aged in French and American oak for 42 months with the fruit added late in the fermentation and aged for a final five months in whiskey barrels.

Metamorphic pours amber in color with a very slight haze and a small off-white head that fades quickly. The aroma is moderate wild characters of barnyard and horse blanket with rich fruit of plums, currants and cherries. The flavor is an evenly balanced sweet-and-sour with moderate currant and cherry fruits with raspberry at a lighter level. The beer finishes lightly bitter with a sour-over-sweet balance with evenly balanced cherry and raspberry fruit flavors.

The beer is a very well-done fruited Flanders Red. The beer has rich red fruits of a complex red wine and both fruits come through well and complement the base style. The level of sourness is perfect and the balance between the sourness and sweetness adds to the complexity of the flavors. The only downside to this beer is that the whiskey barrel character is not strong enough to be perceived. Regardless, seek out this special beer.