Quoth The Raven, holy crap is this intense.
I have a soft spot for Gothic horror. I think deep down most people do, too. The first place everybody tends to start is Edgar Allan Poe, whom I enjoy. The Cask of Amontillado and The Tell-Tale Heart are two particular high points for me.
Do I find him as frightening as HP Lovecraft? Not really, but he’s still a great read. And, at this point, I’m pretty sure every single high schooler in the nation has read The Raven at least once.
Clearly Lake Tribe Brewing in Tallahassee has, which explains them taking one of their beers from their recent Wild Woods Project release and calling it The Raven (Wild Ale, 4.9% ABV).
For those of you unaware of this particularly wonderful pastime from Tallahassee, the Wild Woods project is a yearly event where the fine backwoods madmen at Lake Tribe take a few beers, shove wonderfully delicious and locally-sourced adjuncts inside, inoculate them with a wild yeast strain, and age them in a rather large collection of very impressive barrels.
With The Raven, this was an ale brewed with figs, plums, and cinnamon, then aged in a port barrel (what, you can’t find a barrel of Amontillado? Come on…).
This, as a wild ale, is beautiful. I enjoy wild ales because you get a drinking experience that is completely unlike anything else that I’ve tried. It’s got a sharp, ultra tangy bite that lingers quite a bit on the tongue. There are massive notes of lemon, raison, plum, and candied ginger. In terms of the bite, I think somewhere between pickled ginger and those tearjerker candies.
As for the adjuncts, the plum hit first and brings a solid right hook of dark, beefy sweetness. Behind that, lurking in the shadows, is the brown sugar quality of the figs. They tend to dance around a little bit and stay much longer on the palate. The cinnamon actually moves in with the rest of the bite from the yeast strain, sharpening it a bit and making things a little bit more focused and spicy.
It always bothers me that I’m not in Tallahassee when the Wild Woods Project bottles are released, because every single time every single beer sounds absolutely incredible and would be something I am dying to try. I have another bottle from this year’s Wild Woods, and I’m looking forward to cracking that open a little bit later. In the meantime, I think I have a date this evening with my big Poe collection. A visit to his written word is a bit overdue.
Next year, Lake Tribe, we’ll collaborate on an HP Lovecraft themed beer for the next volume in the Wild Woods project.
Drink Florida Craft,
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