Thursday, June 16, 2011

Two Brothers - Domaine DuPage

Another brew from my fine home state of IL!  Two Brothers is a fine craft brewery in the western Chicago suburb of Warrenville.  Now I had this beer on tap last night in a German themed restaurant called the Bier Stube in Moline, IL.  It was the first time I had drank Domaine DuPage and it was a little shocking.  It arrived to our table with no head, a gorgeous color, but was a sour, tart and overall unpleasant "exbeerience."  Knowing Two Brothers' knack for excellent beer, I assumed this was a bad keg (or end thereof), notified the staff, and promptly moved on to the next pint.  Today, I was going to review a different Two Brothers beer, but then found this bottle of Domaine DuPage in my beer fridge.  No better way to find out if the keg was off, right?  Let's pour!

Picture is my own.  Bottle art image used without permission for educational uses only.
Aroma 10/12
This is an earthy, grain-laden smell with some fun stuff going on behind it.  The mellow whole wheat smell is infused with some interesting fruit notes.  It starts out as almost an apple or white grapes, though it leans toward the apple by including just a hint of a dull sour.  As the beer warms, the caramel sweetness takes more of a starring role and the fruit smells are joined by some sweet, flowery fragrance.  This lack of intensity and combination of warm, natural smells make this beer almost relaxing to sniff.

Appearance 3/3
Perfect.  It pours a midwest sunset into my glass.  For those looking for a more specific color, it is pretty much a dead ringer for the color orange on the bottom of the bottle.  However, to paint this beer's appearance in such a monotone way is a discredit to the gorgeous colors.  You'll find the sunset description much more accurate.  The head is adequate in size and settles like a lumpy marshmallow.  Very little lacing, but the retention is excellent.

Picture is my own.
Flavor 17/20
It starts out with rich cream in both flavor and mouthfeel.  Gradually caramel and roast notes fade in, take over and never let go.  Toward the end they are joined by a lightly spiced earthy tone, but this newcomer never comes close to overtaking the primary flavors.  Slurping this beer revives the intense creaminess, but does not help bring out (at all) any of the esters from the aroma.  This would be a disappointment if the beer were not so fantastically balanced.  This beer prioritizes its malts, but not at the expense of a rounded, wonderfully balanced beer.  The finish brings about some more of the caramel/toffee sweetness, but then immediately finishes clean.  There is a faint hop bitter with an even fainter note of hop citrus that help the clean finish, but they do not come into play at any other part in the flavor.  Aftertaste is a light bitter combined with the toasty malt and none of the beer's prior sweetness.  No super-intense flavors, just an extremely tasty, balanced, refreshing, technically superb, drinkable beer.

Mouthfeel 5/5
Wow is this creamy!  Though it is only a medium-bodied beer, the creaminess helps makes this a substantial offering.  Also, because it still only has a medium body, it remains very drinkable.  There is moderate carbonation that falls to fairly low levels as the pint finishes.  No warmth.

Overall Impression 8/10
This is a very good beer.  Its balance, marvelous mouthfeel, and simplicity make it a winner.  It is a caramelly, roasted treat that deserves a spot in your glass.  Period.

Total 43/50 (Excellent)
Very pleased about this bottle, though it comes as little surprise given Two Brothers ever-growing reputation as an excellent brewer.  With every bottle of theirs I have, my respect grows in leaps and this one is no exception.  This beer is like a perfect woman: darker complexion, sweet, colorful, bubbly, and a little alcohol in it.  Today's review is to commemorate my first trip to their brewery this upcoming weekend to attend their Hop Juice Festival.  Hopefully, after the festival I will be bringing back some great beers from Two Brothers, their guest taps, and anything else that I can get my hands on in the larger market of the Chicago suburbs.  Gratuitous amounts of pictures to follow.  Prost!

No comments:

Post a Comment