Sunday, September 23, 2012

Hopped and Bothered; North Coast Grand Cru

North Coast -- Grand Cru
Alcohol content 12.5% Pours like liquid golden straw. This specific bottle has been on our (Bevmo's) shelf for a long time, since before I started working there in August of 2011. The appearance is akin to apple cider. Thin, wispy and it exudes wafts of apple and sugar. I am not pleased, as this was for a good friend and it cost about as much as the alcohol content.

Well, my friend and I take our first sip. We enjoy it. Carbonated apple cider with a lot of oak and agave, with a hefty alcohol burn. Then it hits us. The beer becomes thicker upon oxidation. Almost like a nectar. It needed time. And boy did things improve from there.

Apple. Agave. Oak. Vanilla. Bourbon. Malt. Yeast. Very strong flavors that all coalesce together nicely, moving beyond the uneven beginning. Very syrupy and slick between your teeth, but the thicker it gets, the more interesting it becomes.

Almost like a champagne, with the body of a milk shake. The finish is firm, bubbly and viscous. Sweet and the scent of apples still lingers.

Buy if: you feel like trying something pricey and a bit on the unique side.

Overall: after a pretty uninteresting (and boring) beginning, this Grand Cru becomes flat out awesome. Give it time, and enjoy it slowly. Reminds me of The Avengers. Lousy beginning, epic middle and finale.

3.5 out of 5.

--Nick

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