Jul 29, 2013

Mother Earth Brewing Window Pane Series Blackberries

This bottle of Mother Earth’s Window Pane Series Blackberries is the last of a package I brought home with me from the Outer Banks several weeks ago. It was the one I believe that I was most looking forward to as I don’t believe that I’ve had any sort of barrel aged witbier before, let alone an “imperial” version — the beer weighs in at a hefty 9% ABV.

Beyond the aspect of the barrel aging (3 months in retired pinot noir barrels) on this beer, I was also looking forward to the “vast quantities” of blackberries that this release in the Window Pane series was brewed with. Unfortunately, I think my definition of vast is far different from the brewers as I didn’t really pick up much of a blackberry influence beyond a light hinting. Regardless, the beer still has plenty offer.


A small, off-white head fades quickly atop the amber colored brew.


The pinot noir barrel aging comes through immediately with hints of wood, vanilla and vinous notes. There’s a latent grapey tartness in the background as well as a decent bit of wheat and grain. Unfortunately, I don’t get much of a blackberry presence here. It’s subtle at best. There is also a touch of alcohol present.


The wood and vinous character brought on by the barrel aging dominates the palate as the strongest influence here. Wheat and grains are present as well, but I still just pick up a hint of blackberry. It’s a bit more pronounced here, but just barely as the wine character pushes it to the background. There’s a decent amount of Belgian yeastiness and spices with a moderate glowing warmth on the backend. A light sweetness lingers.


This is an interesting beer to say the least. I don’t believe I’ve had an imperial witbier, let alone one that was then barrel aged. I liked the influence that the aging had on this beer (though it probably was a bit too domineering for the style) and I would have loved to have encountered more blackberry. There is potential with this beer. Perhaps on my next trip down I’ll get lucky and find another bottle or two.

Rating: 3.75/5

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