Let’s do something a little different today and grab something a little vintage. It may be sacrilegious to willingly cellar and drink an IPA, but I assure you all that this beer is an IPA in very few ways. It is much more so a funky dry Brett beer, courtesy of the great folks at Anchorage Brewing. “Galaxy White IPA” is brewed with a plethora of ingredients, including peppercorns, kumquats and Galaxy hops. It is then aged and fermented with a Belgian Wit yeast strain in French Oak Foudres. Then finally it is bottle conditioned with wine yeast and Brettanomyces. Quite a lot going on.
This particular bottle is from Batch #5, July, 2013. So this has been funking away for nearly four years at this point. I have enjoyed this beer fresh numerous times, enjoying its juicy and dry hop notes, a great compilation of flavors from the Brett and adjuncts that just works so damn well. I have not had this one with age on it, so this will be a curious venture. I am more accustomed to some great Brett Sasions with age on them, but I am interested in seeing how the hops held up (if at all), and more importantly how the brett has evolved and shaped the beer.
A gorgeous looking bottle from Anchorage, as always. Let’s get into this one. I was looking forward to this one quite a bit, fortunately this particular bottle was anxious to be opened as well. I had pulled this out of the fridge, then left for dinner and came back home about two hours later, so the bottle had begun to warm to room temperature. As I uncapped the cage on the cork all was well until the last turn. At that point the cork and cage took a rather exciting journey across my kitchen, including the ceiling and top of the cabinets, finally landing on the floor nearest the front door. With that journey the bottle itself did not foam over too considerably, a little but for sure, but about what I’ve come to expect of almost any Brett beer. We’re off to an interesting start, let’s have a taste.
Beer — Galaxy White IPA (Batch #5)
ABV | IBU — 7.0% | 50
Appearance (3 | 3) — A nice looking beer with an incredibly large and voluminous head that rises high above the glass. A mostly clear pale yellow body of beer with an off white head leaving nice bits of lacing with each sip.
Aroma (7 | 12) — A sharply dry and funky note leaves no doubt that the Brettanomyces has taken center stage. There is a complimentary tannic white oak note that plays nicely. The hops are of course faded, but there is a hint of peppercorn and spice that remains in nice balance.
Flavor (14 | 20) — Initial notes of dry white wine and green grapes lead to a spicy, estery, funky, and dry finish. A bit sharp at first, but I quite like the way the green pepper notes balance with a dry and crisp white oak finish. Kumquats, and the signature juice box Galaxy hop have faded as expected, but this is still an intriguing Brett beer at this point.
Mouthfeel (4 | 5) — Medium bodied with ample carbonation. Minimal alcohol presence. A drying and slightly tangy finish.
Overall (7 | 10) — A very dry and funky beer at this point in its life, the Galaxy hops and Kumquats have faded. Still remains enjoyable with a crisp and dry white oak character balanced against a green and spicy pepper note. A changed, but very much still enjoyable beer, for me.
OVERALL — 35 | 50 — VERY GOOD