Ho-ho-ho, everybody. Hope all of LIBA nation is relaxing with family and friends during the holiday week. I’m blissfully staying home (with my awesome in-laws visiting) after a grueling two-week business trip to San Francisco and Seattle. After all that travel, there was literally no way I was going anywhere for the holidays!
Today I’m taking a break from family activities to crack open Goose Island‘s Pepe Nero. Besides having a funny name (pee-pee, anybody?), as a Belgian-style farmhouse ale brewed with peppercorns, it sounds quite tasty and right up my alley. Wifey was nice enough to pick this up for me along with Goose Island’s Mild Winter a few weeks back at a local tasting, and I’m finally getting the opportunity to crack it open.
The pour is pretty impressive – it’s a dark mahogany color, with just some hints of ruby-red shining through if held up to light. There was a TON of cream-colored foam on the pour, which I’d bet is attributable to the fact that it “develops in the bottle for up to five years.” The aroma is dominated by peppery spices.
Taste-wise, I was a bit underwhelmed. I picked up a fair amount of overall saison-style spices on the front, and some decent peppery notes through the middle, but I was expecting to be clobbered by peppers and spices, and that didn’t happen. The endnote, long and spicy with hints of coriander and a touch of roasted malts, is probably the best aspect of its flavor. I thought this might be the kind of brew that tastes better as it warms, but no such luck.
Overall, I’d give this a good-not-great rating. It’s a middle-of-the pack Belgian brew, light and crisp, and eminently manageable with a 6% ABV.