Holy Mountain Brewing // Volume 12 Brouwer's Anniversary Ale // Seattle, WA // 5.5% ABV
Holy Mountain teamed up with Brouwer's Cafe to brew an anniversary ale in celebration of the Belgian beer hall's 12 years in existence. Volume 12 was brewed with pilsner malt and both unmalted and malted wheat, giving it a slight grainy taste and and attributing to the classic Belgian style of brewing. It was fermented in oak barrels with their house (now you know why Holy Mountain has such a distinct yeast profile) wild culture. It was then transferred to oak puncheons to age with black raspberries. And finally, the Volume 12 was re-fermented in the bottle with some brettanomyces for that extra sour punch.
I can't resist the vagueness of the style by Holy Mountain - it only adds to their elusive brand and mystical aesthetics. For these brewers, it's not about meeting a standard or brewing specific ales. They are a yeast-forward brewery that indulges in experimental beers - playing with wild yeasts, barrel aging, and funky fermentation. I suppose the Volume 12 could be attributed as a wild ale or a sour, but let's not give it a label - just drink it.
Color: A deep, royal maroon hue with a bubblegum pink head. Light sediment settles at the bottom. The gradient turns a bright cherry red has the bottle pours out.
Smell: Blackberries, sour wild yeast, oakey and woody, light pilsner malt.
Taste: Mellow and balanced for the amount of substance that went into this ale. A dry, medium body with a kiss of blackberry tartness at the end. A sweet, juicy note lingers on the palate after a sip. Only a slight barnyard funk of straw and milled soil.
Overall: A celebration of two beer companies that have helped shape the scene in modern day Seattle. A lot of dedication and collaboration went into this ale to make it complex with many layers while remaining extremely drinkable, not overwhelming, and incredibly unique.