Beer Reviews - Pere Jacques, Big Sky IPA

While shopping at Happy Harry's (one of the best bottle shops we've ever seen), we came across two brews that we hadn't previously tried, one of which we didn't know existed. The first is Goose Island's Pere Jacques. Named after the Abbot of a Belgium Trappist brewery toured by Goose Island brewmaster, Greg Hall, Pere Jacques is a big, malty, Belgian Strong Ale. The second is Big Sky Brewing Company's Big Sky I.P.A.. Big Sky Brewing Company is based out of Missoula, MT and produces Moose Drool, the best selling craft beer in Montana. Full review notes below.
The following review notes were compiled with the aid of the beer tasting guide outlined in Beach Brewings Tasting Brews blog post.

Pere Jacques - Goose Island Brewing Co.

Style: Belgian Style Abbey Ale
ABV: 8-9%
IBU: 26
Color: Amber and Caramel
Hops: Saaz
Malts: 2-Row, Wheat, Caramel, Rye Flakes, and Special B
Slightly cloudy while maintaining a good level of clarity. Pours with a thin creamy head about half a finger thick. Fairly poor lacing.
Slightly fruity with heavy malt tones. Low levels of hop bouquet.
Initially a medium thickness with the sense of becoming more full over time. The flavor is reminiscent of fig and dried apricot with very subtle anise tones. Yeast flavors come through initially and then fade quickly. A fairly high alcohol burn on the back end, although it is covered up by lingering maltiness. Warming sensation (9% ABV) as it goes down.
The Skinny:
All in all this is a very Delicious beer with big, robust maltiness. While Belgian Strong Ales are not our specialty, I would rank this up there with some of the better Belgian Ales we've tried including Tripels and Dubbels. While fairly heavy and full of flavor, Pere Jacques is very drinkable. Even though it is highly drinkable, at roughly 9% ABV, Pere Jacques does eventually lead to misspelled words and shortness of attention span.


Big Sky I.P.A. - Big Sky Brewing Co.

Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 6.2%
IBU: 65
Color: Light Amber
Hops: Simcoe
Malts: unknown
Pours very clear. Thin creamy head less than half a finger width thick. Poor lacing.

Light malt aroma. Citrus and pine are prevalent while remaining separate from the malt tones.

Wow. This I.P.A. has a complex flavor with medium body. Big Sky I.P.A, while very hoppy, does have a light maltiness that shines through to balance out the bitterness of Simcoe. Initially the flavor is very slightly reminiscent of the smell of a sea breeze with a hint of saltiness (in a good way). Sounds odd but that is the only thing that comes to mind right away. A more traditional grapefruit juice flavor comes next with a bitter rind flavor following that. Finally, a subtle juniper, piney flavor lingers on the tongue long after swallowing. Little to no alcohol burn is present.

The Skinny:
Being a hops powerhouse, Big Sky I.P.A., still has an accessible flavor that is refreshing and crisp. This medium bodied I.P.A. is moderately high in ABV but is very drinkable and ranks up there with some of the higher rated names on the market. Although very delicious, this complex beer should be consumed moderately as the hops start to overwhelm your taste buds (in the most flavorful way possible).


1 comment:

  1. I don't think that is Simcoe in the Big Sky IPA unless it is used as a bittering hop. I have had quite a few simcoe hopped beers and the Big Sky IPA I had last night has none of the simcoe characteristics I am accustomed to. I think it is pretty heavy on the C hops.