Beer: Gift of the Magi Ale
Brewery: Port Brewing Company
Style: Biere de Garde
Serving Style: Bottle
Drinking Establishment: Chez Wood
Primary Consumer: Kerensa
Sight: Hazy auburn body with a medium-sized beige frothy head.
Smell: It has quite a complex nose: there’s an overall tanginess that is complemented with some sweet caramel malts, yeast, tangerine, and spice aromas.
Flavor: Despite the sweet nose, it is a hop bitterness that defines the character of this beer. There are notes of earthy hops, straw, grain, and basement mustiness.
Feel: Medium body with some carbonation.
Concluding Remark: The Gift of the Magi is a dry-hopped Biere de Garde that is bottle conditioned with Brettanomyces yeast–or “Brett”–known for its “barnyard,” “damp wool,” “sweaty saddle,” or “horse blanket” flavors and aromas. Brett is appropriately used, given that this beer was created to commemorate the three Magi and the camels that transported them on their historic journey.
Biere de Gardes are known for being well-balanced with some toasted malts and hops, and have the added bonus of being pretty musty. So how does Gift of the Magi live up to its style? Well, I would say that the hops dominate the flavor profile, so it’s NOT well-balanced. However, the use of Brett renders this beer a little tangy, funky, and tart, giving it an overall musty flavor that is typical of the style.
While it’s a fine alternative to whatever beer you were going to drink today, I will say that it’s prohibitively expense ($10). While interesting enough to finish, it’s not interesting enough to ever buy again. Though, I have to give it up to Port Brewing for using Frankinscense bark and Myrrh, which add to the authenticity of the beer. If only authenticity translated into THIS IS THE BEST BEER EVER…