Beer Review 0433: Epic Brainless On Peaches Belgian-Style Ale

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Epic Brewing Company hails out of Salt Lake City, Utah, and they primarily focus on high alcohol content beer. Operations started in 2008, when Utah modified its state laws and higher ABV (alcohol by volume) beers could be produced — the founders are David Cole and Peter Erickson, both of whom shared a longtime dream of opening a microbrewery.

The company divides its offerings into three different series: Classic, Elevated, and Exponential. As you might expect, the offerings get more extreme and creative with each jump of series; today’s review, Brainless on Peaches, belongs squarely in the Exponential series.

It should be noted before I get into the review exactly how Epic produce some of their brews: they brew by batch, and each batch might be different than previous editions. Each batch is limited to a certain number of bottles; the batch number for this review is #24, which was bottled March 26, 2013. Brewed with 100% pure peach puree, this beer undergoes a secondary fermentation in Chardonnay casks with Champagne yeast added. The ABV is 10.3%.

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The pour produced a small, fizzy, quickly diminishing head that was mainly composed of large bubbles. The color was light golden, with a hazy but not cloudy body, and the beer had no particles or sediment. Lacing was only fair, leaving behind just a few very small sudsy pods of foam.

On the nose, we’ve got a traditional Belgian-style ale, hitting all the expected points of banana, clove, and bubblegum, along with some sweet grain and a doughy yeast. Added are peaches, both sweet and tart, and a heavy white wine character, which adds in complexity and appeal. This is a very pleasant and inviting aroma that makes you want to dive in and sip the brew…

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And sip, we must. Honestly, I was expecting this to be kind of subdued in flavor, and the opening moments held up that theory with just some tart peaches and cereal grain, but Brainless on Peaches really opens up in the middle, and when I say really, I mean REALLY! The Chardonnay cask characters really come to the front, melding well with banana, clove, and bubblegum, adding a predominant flavor of vanilla. And in the middle, the peaches turn very sweet; the finish comes on and brings out…cookie dough! However, the finish is quite sweet and does get a tad cloying, drying out the palate with syrupy sweetness. This beer is medium-bodied, with a thin, creamy mouthfeel.

I thought the cask aging really added something special to this beer, but half a glass is about enough. The sweetness really starts to take over and the drink becomes cloying — however, it’s good enough that this is certainly worthy of a try. Perfect for sharing, Brainless on Peaches offers a range of flavors and would be a worthy beer to take to a gathering of wine connoisseurs. Tasty.

Epic Brainless On Peaches Belgian-Style Ale, 91 points. Price: $13.49 US for one 22 oz. bomber size bottle.

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