Dec 1, 2016

Brooklyn Brewery and Thornbridge Serpent

To put in bluntly, Serpent is one hell of a unique beer. Thornbridge and Brooklyn breweries joined forces to create a beer like no other. Serpent started out as a Belgian-style strong golden ale before it was blended with cider lees from Oliver’s Cider and Perry. Then the beer was aged in Four Roses bourbon barrels for one to two years, depending on which source you believe — the bottle’s label states one while Brooklyn’s website implied two years. I can tell you that I do pick up old wood, but very little bourbon within this brew.

Beyond that singular component, Serpent is an outstanding beer. It comes across cider-like in terms of appearance and flavor, but also has a Chardonnay-like trait in terms of body and finish. Funky, wild, unique and layered, the 9.5% ABV brew carries elements of apple, old vine grapes, a soft tartness and honey notes. There’s a great deal going on within this beer mingle well with one another — no one element demands the spotlight more than the others.

A great deal of effort, ingenuity and time went into Serpent and you can tell in the end product. It’s one of the more interesting beers that I’ve popped open in 2016 and makes me wish I had picked up another bottle to set aside for a spell. I’m curious how the bottle-conditioning will affect the brew over time. It is an intriguing beer, that’s for sure.