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Beer Review: Odell Brewing Company’s Shenanigans

   May 3, 2012

I’ve been getting press releases from Odell for some time now, usually highlighting some new brew, so I finally asked if they ever send review samples.  They obliged by sending me a bottle of their Shenanigans. Here is a description of Odell Shenanigans from their website:

Our spirited brewers diligently cultivate recipes on our pilot brewing playground. Sometimes, things don’t turn out as planned…they turn out better. Destined for another adventure, this delightful crimson ale is aged in oak with just a touch of Brettanomyces. The subtle Brett tartness balances the rich amber malt with hints of dried fruit and light citrus. Our ode to the happy accident, Shenanigans was just too good not to share. 9.1% Alc. by Vol.

Sounds interesting and tasty…let’s just see…

The Pour
This poured (perhaps I poured too vigorously) with a massive three finger thick, pillowy caramel colored head smothering a very hazy reddish orange beer.   That ended up being about the softest, creamiest, fluffiest head I’ve had in some time! (Wow, that sounds dirty)

The Nose
Tart cherry and a good sourness were most present upfront, with some malt sweetness present as well as a slight hoppy note.  An oak presence was definitely observed as well, as kind of a woody hint hiding in the shadows.

The Taste
This is a good, oaky beer with a slight sourness to it…a sourness I wanted to be turned up a notch.  There was a slight sweetness to it as well, balancing out the tart nature of it. This beer is medium-bodied, with a slight lean towards full-bodied, with a slightly creamy mouthfeel.  I also seemed to notice peppery notes on the finish as it warmed.  There was also a slight citrusy tinge to it all. It’s funny to say, but if I didn’t know it was higher ABV, I wouldn’t have known it was higher ABV. (You didn’t notice the alcohol is what I mean.)

Scoring Breakdown

Appearance: The head was quite voluminous. 9 points out of 10

Nose: A good nose to be sure, very upfront about the tastes to come . 13 out of 15

Taste: This was an intriguing, sour beer with good complexity. 48 out of 55

Style: I don’t know quite what style to compare this beer to.  BeerAdvocate calls a similarly aged crimson ale from Odell an “American Strong Ale”.  Since this part of the scoring is intended to help offset my personal opinion of the taste of the beer, I’ll give it a decent 17 out of 20

Total rating: 87 points out of 100.

In a nutshell: A little more tartness to it would have, in my opinion, made this a better beer, but this is very tasty and intriguing regardless.

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One comment

  1. I genuinely enjoy Odell’s IPA’s, but haven’t had the best luck with their other beers. I’ll have to look for this one…

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