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John C. Tull's picture

Judge's Review: 94 Rating - Bailey’s Taproom 10th by pFriem Family Brewers

February, 2018
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
38 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

Bailey's Taproom 10th by pFriem Family Brewers was judged as a Wood-Aged Beer (33A), and the underlying beer style was considered to be a Brett Beer (28A).

The underlying funk of Brett is apparent with a touch of that classic barnyard and damp straw character. A touch of sweet fruit, hinting at peach, though more pithy than fleshy, is also detectable. An oak wood scent is also noticeable. This beer is slightly hazy, light golden, with an effervescence that continues to stream up leaving a healthy off-white head.

The flavor has strong Brettanomyces character: Earthy, slightly herbal and spicy, and a bit fruity (again, hinting at peach and quite pithy). Some oak character is also present as simply “woody” in the flavor, not vanilla-like at all. The base grain seems to be quite simple, yet enjoyable, probably consisting of wheat and two-row malt. The palate is quite pleasant as this beer provides a creaminess that is nicely offset by the carbonation, Brett, and wood character to make it a touch astringent without being at all sour. The mouthfeel has the sensation of fullness, although there is not a residual sweetness from malts.

Overall, this is quite a solid Brettanomyces-fermented beer with just a hint of woodiness that simply adds a little more complexity. Perhaps the fermentation is entirely done in wood with a healthy Brett supply. What really makes this beer worth seeking out is how different it is from the more common wild fermented beers these days that tend to be exceptionally sour or tart with little else. Instead, this expresses all the great flavor that Brett can produce without taking away from the subtlety of the malt. I highly recommend trying this if you are looking for something that stands out without relying on gimmicky hops or malts.