The second appearance for what is to be the Woodend brewery's annual Easter release, this year's Devil's Whatsits is a different beast to last year insofar as rather than basing it on an existing Holgate beer, it's a whole new recipe, one that includes masses of candi sugar as the brewers set about creating a Belgian-style Quadrupel. At 12%, it's designed to age. And at $60-plus a bottle, it's designed to be a special occasion beer too. But what of it now - just released from the brewery, where it spent several months aging in Pinot Noir barrels from Curly Flat? Well, three thumbs up from the impromptu Crafty tasting panel for a beer that belies its youth. Some initial sweetness on the nose gives way to pinot and oak in a beer that pours a dense, cloudy deep chestnut with a tan head that clings to the glass. It's one that deserves to be savoured as the experience changes over time, with the different layers of malt and rich dark fruit characters revealing themselves as it warms. The considerable alcohol level only really shows itself on the nose once it's approaching room temperature in a beer that will surely continue to develop complexity as it ages.
Published May 1, 2011 2011-05-01 00:00:00