Just last week we released a second blend of Late Harvest, a brew we like to call a provision beer because while it’s quaffable now, is bottled with the intention of cellaring for up to 3 years. This batch uses the Six as a base. It’s a blend of 4 former pinot noir barrels: one with chocolate syrup from Alma here in Portland, two with different forms of black pepper and one straight up, each filled at different times ranging from as little as several weeks to nearly a year ago. The peppercorns, long pepper and Tasmanian peppercorn, are very aromatic, the first being remarkably fruity and bright while the latter are earthy and intense while also lending a numbing sensation to the mouthfeel. The finished beer is very tart and dry with lots of bite from the pepper as well as some from the rye and hops. That bite will mellow with age and the beer will round out with more chocolate and oak flavors coming through down the road.
Late Harvest is establishing itself as a beer we like to change up with every release, the only commonality is that it's always barrel aged, 7% abv, brown in color and brewed with spices of some sort. Expect to see it annually from here on out around the tail end of summer. For the third release, we'll be brewing a new recipe employing a much more simple grist than the previous two batches and using a mix of long pepper, coriander, and a special bitter orange peel that is unlike most varieties brewers use - this one is more dark, oily and burnt tasting, in a good way of course!
On a subject quite unrelated to beer, I'd like to write a small plug for a friend who recently put out his first batch of a great new bittersweet vermouth called Imbue. It's wonderful and worth seeking out for people with adventurous palates, a crowd I suspect reads this blog. Here's a recipe for a refreshing cocktail I came up with that can be served two different ways:
1 oz Imbue
1 oz gin
1 oz Galliano
Shake with plenty of ice and a bit of lime peel, serve with a dash of lime juice
Optional - top off with some soda or mineral water to turn it from sipper to slammer