A Mile High Exclusive Beer
Funkwerks Solstice Barrel Aged Dark Saison Ale
By: André DiMattia
We have be busy with Bourbon barrels recently! Once again, we are happy and excited to have the opportunity to offer another Mile High Wine and Spirits exclusive beer. This time we partnered up with our friends at Funkwerks in Fort Collins for a Barrel Aged Dark Saison named Solstice.
Funkwerks has been turning heads with their fantastic farmhouse/saison styles of beer. Things have been going very well for them after walking away from last year's Great America Beer Festival with a Silver medal. Needless to say, we were ecstatic when they agreed to work with us on a project of this style. We sent them off with two freshly emptied Bourbon barrels (Buffalo Trace and Eagle Rare) that they quickly filled with a hefty Dark Sasion. The beer was spiked with a small amount of cocoa nibs to add a distinct coffee and roasted character against the woody aromas. After aging for a few months, the barrels were blended with a splash of the base beer to fill the seams and brighten the overall flavor of the beer. After mellowing in bottles, Solstice is finally ready to be offered.
On to the Tasting Notes:Solstice opens with obvious aromas of rich oak, toasted grains, mocha and candied fruit. The palate is smooth with flavors that unfold as the beer warms. Chocolate covered espresso beans, sticky toffee, dark fruits, black pepper and even a bit of smoke all fill the palate. The distinct yeasty flavors that many of Funkwerk's beers all share is here and really makes each glass expand with complexities. The barrel presence is focused with strength but again, there is no harmful heat of alcohol. Instead, the oak adds a creamy texture and a lovely weight to the liquid that lingers long into the drying finish.
Solstice is very limited and the overall batch yielded just under 650 bottles. The beer is a lovely candidate for aging up to 5 years in a cool, dark location. Bottles will only be sold here at Mile High and a small amount up at Funkwerks. We are very happy to be able to offer this great bottle of beer from this wonderful brewery.