Here’s one thing I have learned of late: Colorado is excellent at curating and furtively sipping solid fermented joints in private. Content to keep things within the mile high terrain, not involving Fedex, they get high on their own supply. We see it happen with Casey, Royal Oil, more recently with the absolutely ridiculous Black Project and now we have this newcomer Amalgam presenting a focused approach and dropping solid wilds and saisons in a state just flooded with quality wares.
Ascension is their “flagship” beer it seems and it is in the high-good to low-great end of the spectrum akin to a notch above the likes of Prairie Golden or what’s likely the best of your local offerings. It is tart but not overly drying, like your libertarian uncle who is respectful and doesn’t go too hard in the paint about Gary Johnson at family gatherings. The oak interplay is fantastic and almost give a silky acidic sheet cake type of thing, vanilla and lemon, orange pith and a lingering Squirt type of swallow. It’s a touch too sour for an extended 750ml stay but, like some of the Almanac gems of late, the small format makes it flawlessly approachable. No palate buckling cankersores, and it remains bright and crackling with pop rocks life throughout. Very solid.
Dirty Glass Mafia notwithstanding: this is an absolute treat. Think of the likes of Oak Theory and Noble King and Dorothy, and here we are. I love these farmhouse ales that can reach across the aisle with a hoppy presence that remains radiant and dripping with fibrous stonefruit. The hops work seamlessly with the gristy cream of wheat body and the substrate is this delicate lemon scone spritzer. It’s pillowy soft and never overstays its welcome and enjoyed the exact opposite problem as Ascension, a 750ml simply isn’t enough because you will drain this like Powerade during a 4Loko hangover. This pops with microcarb and demonstrates a power pedigree of both farmhouse and hopgame that few brewers are doing on this level. What this says for the entirety of their canon that is yet to be seen, but this vignette is very inspiring.