Deep Ellum Brewing Company Wealth and Taste Golden Ale - 9.5% ABV
The trend to ferment beers inside repurposed booze casks continues to grow. Whiskey, bourbon, wine, pickles ... maybe not pickles, not yet, are used to add complexity to beer with variable results. For the most part, in my opinion, beers aged in wine barrels are misguided perversions, kind of like a Liger, with the fruitiness of the grapes overpowering the subtleties of flavors that grain provides. Every once in a while you get one that you can really appreciate, and here 'tis.
Wealth and Taste is based on a Belgian style strong ale. Yeasts provide Belgian beers with their unique flavor and add a certain fruitiness, mostly bananas, and spice, which the averge beer connaisseur either loves or hates. Very few beer drinkers are indifferent. DEBC mixed 3 different Belgian yeasts to achieve their creation. They then age the beer, brewed with Muscat grape juice, in Chardonnay barrels. These barrels have not been used to age the wine for as long as is typical. What this means is that the wine had not saturated the wood so much. So with less wine in the wood of the barrels there is less of their flavor imparted into the beer, making a sublte undertone of wine flavors rather than overpowering flavors. But that was not enough for these mad scientists, oh no, they also added rose hips, chamomile flower and grapefruit peels.
The color is a hazy orange-gold with the smell being of yeasts, grapes and vanillla from the oak barrels. The flavor is extremely complex with the earthy goodness from the yeasts arriving first, quickly followed by the grapes. The dryness and balance surprised me a bit and there was very little evidence of hops. My friends, this is a really good beer that deserves your attention. As it is seasonal you may have a bit of difficulty finding it, but find it you must.
Deep Ellum Brewing Company
2823 St. Louis Street
Dallas, TX 75226