When I was much younger some friends and I got together to make beer look like wine buy drinking a 40oz of OE (Olde English 800) down to the top of the label and adding vodka back to the top of the bottle and added package of unsweetened cherry Kool-Aid – it looked like bad wine and tasted like hell, we all got sick and I do not advise anyone try this.
How about a beer that tastes a little like wine? Deschutes Brewery did just that with their recent release of Pinot Suave in limited 22 oz. bottles and draft. According to the menu, this is a strong Belgian ale that was aged in Oregon Pinot barrels that were filled with Pinot grape must.
Pinot Suave pours a beautiful dark ruby red with minimal head – this beer looks great with direct sunlight hitting the glass. The carbonation is appropriately high.
I haven’t tasted anything like this beer; it is very unique, very drinkable and a fantastic beer that keeps suggesting wine. I imagine one would do a double take of the label should this be your very late night tipple.
There are a myriad of berry flavors, dried cherry and raspberry shine through. Lingering further back on the palate is a hint of pipe tobacco. The light maltyness is a perfect complement to the dry tart finish.
While I did not pair this with food I certainly want to. I realize this is not the first beer brewed with grape must, but it is the first I have tried and highly recommend this to all adventurous beer AND wine drinkers.
Canal MacWhaler was born and raised on an island in the northern pacific, a town where British accents are common as are British style ales. At a very young age he started imbibing on stouts, English IPA and browns. Then came the craft beer revolution. Instead of joining the revolution he joined his band, pillowfight. But it was only for a few minutes before he joined the craft beer revolution too, Pabst could only get the band so far. Now Canal is a self-awarding wining home brewer fighting for the craft beer revolution one beer and one song (about beer) at a time. Canal can be followed on Twitter at @halfbipolar.