Advent Beer – Gajes & Geteisem

I’ve been wanting to try this bottle ever since I first saw it on the shelf in the Bacchanalia. There was just something about a barrel aged Cherry Brett Stout that called to me, I’m not sure why. I was hoping it wasn’t going to be a bottle bomb, as there’s been too many of them from De Molen this year

It poured an almost jet back, but just like the BrewDog Old World Russian Imperial Stout, it was just a really, really, really, really dark brown. There wasn’t really any noise when the cork came out of the bottle and it was obvious immediately that it started to fall into the glass, that there was a serious lack of condition. Even pouring it from quite a height didn’t get much of a head forming, at least not a head that lasted any length of time.

When I initially poured, I thought I could definitely smell both the cherry and the brett. After it had been sitting in the glass for a while though, the main notes were those very boozy malty ones you get in massive stouts, without the cherry or the brett. There was also quite a bit of woody character as well, so as you can imagine, it was fairly complex.

It was pretty flat and lifeless in the mouth, which was a real disappointment, as it really needed a bit of carbonation to lift all the flavours and give a bit of spark. Without the carbonation to lift it and give that spark, it just felt a bit of a muddled mess. There was quite a lot of fusel alcohol, I’m not sure if this was from the Wild Turkey barrel, or just from the rather large ABV. Flavour wise it was huge, with massive chocolaty malt notes and a really woody after taste. I didn’t get much cherry flavour, but considering the final gravity was a dry 1007, I’m assuming that a lot of the sweetness was from them.

As for the brett, I couldn’t really detect it, there may have been a bit of barnyard at the backend, fleeting around the edges, but there was nothing standing up shouting brett. I’m assuming this was due to the lack of carbonation, as if the flavours had been separated a bit by the spark this would have delivered, it might have been detectable. This particular bottle was bottled on the second of December last year, so it’s had just over a year to mature, it might very well have just been a duff bottle, so your mileage may vary.

I had a similarly flat nip bottle of Hel & Verdoemenis 666 a while back and while it was a bit of a chore to drink, the flavours were all still in balance. The lack of carbonation in this bottle meant that as I got through it, I really began to dislike all the boozy, woody bourbon flavours. I know I’m not a fan of bourbon, but in the end it was just too much and I ended up ditching the last quarter of the bottle.

I was really, really looking forward to this and it was a massive let down, I should really stop letting my expectations run away with themselves.

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