As I mentioned in my review of the Forgotten Coast Belgian Tripel, Grasslands Brewing Co. has experimented with the base recipe and created two different variations of the original brew. Today, I will be conducting a side-by-side analysis of each beer and share how they compare to each other and the base brew. Grasslands plans to release one or all of these beers as seasonal/special releases. So, naturally, I'm extremely excited to crack 'em open and give each a try!
|Forgotten Coast infused with San Sebastian Port (2011)|
I will start with the Belgian that's been infused with San Sebastian Vineyard's 2011 Port. Spices and alcohol are very prevalent on the nose, more so than in the base version of this beer. The flavors closely resemble the original with one exception: everything seems to be stronger. I get a lot more booze and spices in this one--not sure if that's due directly to the Port wine, or if it's a matter of prolonged fermentation. Either way, I quite enjoy it!
|Forgotten Coast infused with Gargiulo blend (2006)|
Next up, we have the Forgotten Coast Belgian infused with Gargiulo Vineyards Aprile Super Oakville Blend (2006). The blend is a mixture of Cabernet and Sangiovese. As I put the glass to my nose, there is one immediate distinction here: sugar. Unlike the original version and the Port, I pick up a ton of sweetness on the nose that actually masks the Belgian spices. The flavors are milder. I taste caramel, grapes, figs, bready yeasts, and mild booze. The finish is crisp, clean, and dry. Unlike the Belgian infused with the Port, the Gargiulo seems to add a lot of flavor complexities and sugars that might make for a solid aging beer.
This was a really fun tasting. It's not often I get to taste three different variations of the same beer. The good news for Grasslands is that all three beers are uniquely enjoyable. Each offers a different tasting experience. The original Forgotten Coast packs a punch of spices, dark fruits, and toasted malts. The Port infused version is high on the alcohol flavors and will appeal to those looking for Imperial qualities. And lastly, the Gargiulo version is sweet, pleasant, and crisp; it's probably the most sessionable of the three.
I want to send a huge thanks to Gabe Grass for sharing his experiments with me so that I can share them with you all! Be sure to check out Grasslands' website and sign up to be a Grasshopper so that you, too, can try these awesome and unique beers!
Interested in becoming a Grasshopper?
If you're interested in getting your hands on any of Grasslands' brews before they open, register for their Grasshoppers Club which is your ticket in to getting exclusive releases from the brewery before they open. As a Grasshopper, you'll be eligible to enter the monthly lottery drawings to sample beer and provide critical feedback that may contribute to the final product. You can also check out Grasslands on Twitter and Facebook for more information.