I tried this beer I had never heard of, from a brewery I knew nothing about, and it was phenomenal. I cannot tell you how much I love it when that happens: the most Colorado thing ever.
Ephemera is single barrel Buffalo Trace age barleywine with Nu Metal branding, horrible incorrigible wax, and a modest 11% abv. The Untappd ratings don’t indicate that this is diamond hands to the moon juice that is gonna bust my blockchain. But then you taste it.
Sometimes I will try a bottle and set it down and just say “god damn it.” I have a set of bottles I want to take notes on, photograph and keep moving. This bottle derailed all those plans. Suddenly I am finishing the entire bottle talking about “Clayton is only picking Shanae because of the DRAMA-“ to my dog.
The bottle is neither excessively sweet, nor does it go full American barleywine on alpha acids and tannic finish. It exists in this European execution akin to Narke/Lervig, Adderall focused body, marcona almonds, Sunmaid cinnamon raisin bread, the mid swallow goes dry and canvas-ey, notes of Syrah/Grenache mixed with rugelach. There’s this whisper quiet finish to it like the malty wind through bougainvilleas. It’s all very gentle and pleasant, you can take deep pulls without a fusel kick or loss of complexity.
The ratings on this are all over the place. For a single barrel offering, the impressions swing wildly. This was partially made by Brian Ivers of Side Project/Shared fame. I can’t comment on the bottle inconsistency of sheer variance on impressions, but this one was awesome. The perfect beer for sipping in Winter Park Colorado, looking through $35k head brewer Durango job listings, covered in powdery alpine loads.
So here’s to the unknown and the uncertain. The propogation of culture and those weird gambles. With 9000 breweries so many can let you down, but every once in a while you stumble on a furtive boozy gem. Silently crushing the best their state has to offer and never telling you about it is the Colorado way. There’s “Midwest nice” and this is “Rockies silence.”