Allagash continues to experiment with beer recipes, creating innovative brews that sometimes provide new takes on traditional styles and other times go in bold new directions (for recent examples, look here, here, here, and here). The beer we’re reviewing today, Brett, is a new take on IPA. For this beer, Allagash once again used Brettanomyces, a type of wild yeast, and coupled it with a variety of hops. Allagash previously employed this yeast for its Little Brett (reviewed here), but for the “big” Brett, the brewery brought a range of hops to bear and pushed the flavor and alcohol content from session beer to full throttle IPA.
Poured aggressively into a glass, Brett presents a small white head that quickly dissipates. The beer is golden in color and has medium carbonation. The bottle provides a description of the beer, and it’s spot on: “Tropical fruit and citrusy hop notes.” The nose on Brett fairly bursts out of the glass with bold mango, pineapple, and orange notes as well as a sweet, yeasty funkiness that resembles Smarties candies. The flavor follows suit on all three counts, but there’s no cloying sweetness at the end. Instead, there is some wild, yeasty funkiness followed by a light, crisp, hoppy bitterness. Brett IPA is all at once bright, fruity, funky, refreshing, and dry. It offers an exciting, brash blend of farmhouse ale and IPA and should be sought out by those who enjoy both. Be careful with this one however: the high alcohol content is very well hidden, and it is easy to reach for another without realizing how strong the beer actually is.
A- / $14 per 4 pack / allagash.com