January 23rd marked the one year anniversary of my favorite Seattle brewery's taproom. Holy Mountain is consistently pushing the boundaries of how PNW beer should be brewed. You're never going to find a typical IPA on tap here. There's never been a beer by them that I haven't LOVED. Not to mention, their taproom is my happy place. An elusive spot with an esoteric neon sign, high ceilings, minimal aesthetics, with a white and pine palate.
With many an ambrosia to choose from, I decided to review just two. And as January is barrel aged beer season, you know I had to go for those.
Holy Mountain // Clarette Barrel Aged Sour // Seattle, WA // 5%
Color: Grapefruit, tangerine, deep coral, the sunrise of your dreams.
Smell: Ripe cherries and raspberries, mild funk.
Taste: Mildly sour, followed quickly by the cherry and raspberry, but finishes dry.
Overall: While there are a lot of flavors going on, it's never too dominated by one aspect. An even flow of tartness, sourness, and funk. By barrel aging, the wild yeast is allowed to slowly sour the beer, giving it a more refined flavor. I'm new to the world of sours but holy shit could I drink this all day.
Holy Mountain // Cherry Bourbon King's Head // Seattle, WA // 9.5%
Color: Black with a creamy, parchment paper head.
Smell: Chocolate covered cherries, boozy bourbon.
Taste: Rich bourbon, chocolate, light fruit, with an earthy, oak finish.
Overall: The King's Head is a regular favorite at Holy Mountain (especially on nitro - HM does nitro like no one else). But add cherries and bourbon and you have me melting into the floor. It's a romantic winter evening.
The brewers at Holy Mountain has incredible talent and make sure all of their beers are well balanced. Even with adventurous takes on classics and barrel aging brews, they always produce harmonious, heavenly beers. I was glad to be able to celebrate such an amazing local brewery.