AND it’s back home to NZ and ironically a Belgium style beer – Renaissance Enlightenment Series The Age of Raisin. of course Brewed by Renaissance Brewing in the style of a Belgian Ale and that’s in a place I haven’t been – Blenheim, New Zealand
Age of Raisin is aromatic, spicy, light brown Belgian style ale brewed with raisins and passion (27% passion by volume). Raisins were added to the boil and fermenter to yield a subtle background flavour to this rich and flavoursome brew. The passion was added using our own secret method….
So for a start “Secret Method” I hope they don’t mean succussion or ‘added syrup’, and bejeebus 27% passion? What happened did someone forget or not know what “passion” was?
And who are Enlightenment Brewing ? And why do they have the same beer in the same packaging ?
In brewing this ale we added jumbo raisins from California [to our mind the best kind] to the brewing process, both before and after fermentation. We also used Aromatic malt from Gladfield in Canterbury and Abbey Malt, Belgian Special B, as well as CaraBelge malt from Europe.
The beer was fermented with a special Belgian yeast to impart spicy notes and then filtered and infused with even more raisins.
Which is less scary than “Secret Method”
and……. back in the room ……. On opening there is a fruit aroma (go on I’ll say raisin) This is a dark beer, with not so much of a head as an effort, and the aroma settles to a big raisin base. It doesn’t seem overly carbonated, and looks a bit flat and wine like in the glass.
There is a huge amount of raisin note, a lot of fruit and caramel at the front, but a back note of something burnt that settles on a fairly tart and bitter end. The aroma meanders away from raisin and I’m going to be unkind and suggest wavers towards rubber glue.
This is trying to be fruity and clever, it isn’t and it isn’t. It’s an odd mix of something and another that doesn’t quite hit a spot that it might be aiming for. It’s clever in the way that it’s clever, but it’s not clever in a way that makes you wonder why no one thought of it first. And then you get why.
It’s not actually very pleasant.
The aroma wanders around from raisin and that of rubber glue. There is a tart under note that lingers around being a nuisance, it pours like it’s flat with little carbonation. As to ‘passion’ that might have been the ‘angst’ that the brewer had and not a reference to a fruit. But then I might not be enlightened enough.
The pdubyah-o-meter hates this a 27% passion at 5. And that’s all I have to say. except :- Average, not a lot of redeeming features. Nothing to write home about. Too fruity, too tart, bit tacky. Not good.
I’m disappointed Renaissance are a real swing and a hope and the variance in the delivery and quality of beer makes it hard to remain a fan. Their Barley Wine is awesome,the Stout and the Punkin are very good, their White IPA is a tragedy, as is the Raisin.
As someone that likes a good Belgium style beer I’ve had the unfortunate experience of having nothing a good Belgium beer. I might have a love-hate thing going on, and it’s true you can’t please everyone all of the time.