Friday, November 25, 2011

Terrapin Beer & Left Hand Brewing: Peaotch

Peaotch is the forth in a series of collaborations between Terrapin Beer and Left Hand Brewing. Terrapin's brewmaster and co-founder Spike Buckowski along with Left Hand brewmaster Ro Gunzel, spent some time together on one of Gunzel's trips to Georgia. During the visit their conversations on beer went long into the night. The result was the idea for a collaborative series of single-batch, limited edition beers which would come to be known as the "Midnight Project". Midnight Project dates back to 2008 with the creation of "Terra-Rye’ZD Black Rye Lager".  The breweries went on to produce "Depth Charged Espresso Milk Stout" in '09, Oxymoron in '10, and now "Peaotch". The concept for this beer was to brew a fruit ale using fresh peaches from both Georgia and Colorado. Their selection of malts is 2-Row Pale, Munich, Victory, Wheat, Aromatic, Acidulated & Pilsner. For the hops they chose Willamette & Cascade. As for the numbers, Peaotch is mild at  25 IBU's and  modest at 7.2% ABV. The beer pours a deep orange color with a thin white, quickly dissipating head. The aroma is "peachy" but not overpowering and the hops were almost non-existent to the nose. The mouth feel was light in body with mild carbonation. Very similar to that of a cask or real ale. I'm not normally a fruit beer drinker, but I do enjoy the Samuel Smith's line of organic fruit ales. I moved on to the  flavor and was absolutely surprised at the lack of peach presence in the beer. It was so mild that I almost had to remind myself what peaches actually taste like, in order to gain a point of reference. I guess my expectation was that a beer, which touts it's peach character so prominently, would want to have a dominant peach flavor right up-front. The lack of hop presence is understandable. You would likely have a serious sensory clash if both the hop and peach were battling for control of your pallet. For me, the minimal  peach flavor is what really made this beer less than stellar and nothing more just an average mild ale. Because I always want to be fair and am a huge fan of Terrapin Beer,  I will gladly give it a second chance.   As I noted earlier, Peaotch is a limited single-batch release, in 22oz bottles. If you want to try it, I'd say get it now. It has been on the market for about two and a half months and may be disappearing soon. Cheers!

Terrapin Beer & Left Hand Brewing's "Midnight Project"


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