Odell Brewing Amuste
Over the past two years, Colorado’s Odell Brewing has been experimenting, tweaking and playing with the concept of marrying beer and wine. I’m not entirely sure how long it took them to come up with this winning combination but if a recent tweet from the brewery is any indication, they went through more than a few batches in the process.
In the end, though, we are presented with Amuste, a 9.3% ABV Imperial Porter. This, however, isn’t just any old porter. The company crafted a big, robust porter accented with Tempranillo grape juice before aging the beer for an unknown amount of time in red wine barrels.
The result of all this is an intriguing and unique flavor profile that captures the roasty character of the porter and a vinous, fruity component that teases and at times challenges the palate. Amuste isn’t going to be a beer that you sling back while watching a game on TV. This is an intricately crafter beer that requires your full attention and if you decide to give it that focus, you will be fully rewarded.
Amuste certainly pours like a porter — opaque and dark, dark brown with a dense, creamy head that was light mocha in color.
It’s definitely got an interesting aroma as roast malt, light coffee, a solid helping of vinous grape juice and distant woody notes. At this point, I am both excited and nervous.
And this is where the fun begins. Amuste starts off with the tell-tale character of a robust porter with roasted malt, coffee and subtle cocoa before a smooth amount of vinous grape juice flows in quickly as the beer fades gently to a dry finish with a lingering woody character. The combination of the roasted malt and barrel aging gives the beer a distant campfire smoke in the background while the grapes bring a soft tingle of tartness. This brew has the full body of a big porter and, at the elevated level of alcohol, it has a slightly boozy and warming glow after each sip.
This is no small beer. It’s got big flavors and a big character. Initially, my tastebuds were a bit confused by what I was being presented, but as the beer warmed in the glass, the flavors started to come out more and balance each other out nicely. Amuste is not a beer to be taken lightly as there is a good deal going on within its dark depths. If you give the beer the attention it deserves, you will be rewarded with a unique profile of flavors that prove to win out by the time the bottle is empty.
This is a review of a promotional sample from the brewery.