Jan 12, 2018

The Bruery 10 Lords-A-Leaping

I’ve been a big fan of The Bruery’s Twelve Beers of Christmas series ever since crossing paths with Five Golden Rings so many years ago. Each release since has presented seasonally appropriate flavors and experiences — some better than others. I’m also a big fan of keeping it simple. Which The Bruery does not do with 10 Lords-A-Leaping. Sometimes, it’s best not to include every seasonal spice available in your recipe.

I applaud the company’s effort in creating a wheat-based Belgian-style strong dark ale. Or is this an imperial dark witbier? Regardless, that’s not typically used as the base for a holiday-themed release. The problem with Lords-A-Leaping isn’t the wheat or the Belgian yeast (I particularly enjoyed that aspect of the brew). It’s the slew of spices added in — coriander, orange peel, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, mace, anise, dried apples and cloves — that’s the issue here.

There’s just so much going on spice-wise within this big beer that, once it hits the tastebuds, the array of flavors starts to become muddled. It’s just too much, as least for my neanderthal-like cerebral cortex, to decipher. A few items like the orange peel, cinnamon and coriander stand out on the nose, but once everything comes together, it’s impossible to pick out any one influence, resulting in an “everything is just sort of there” experience.

A beer like this could have gone two ways with all of those spices. It could have been a potpourri bomb or, in Lords-A-Leaping’s case, a bit of a muddled mess. I’m hoping that this is one of those beers that needs some cellaring to sort things out, but I’m not sure that I want to shell out hard-earned dollars to find out. Maybe in a couple of years one of you fine readers will fill us in.