For years now we’ve tried various attempts at brewers recreating the famed “chocolate orange” dessert in fermented form. Quite a few came close. Monday Night Entente Cordiale gets it right.
First of all, throw out everything you know about a barleywine. You won’t need that info here. Sure, Monday Night Entente Cordiale is a barleywine, or at least was – at one point in time. What is it now? A symphony of nuanced flavors that hide the 13% alcohol by volume perfectly.
“Every bit of this beer is intentional,” says Peter Kiley, Monday Night’s Head Brewer. “We didn’t just have some empty barrels and decide to throw something into them.”
As a kid, Kiley loved the Chocolate Orange candy, especially around Christmas. They are pretty big in England, plus the base beer being an English-style barleywine, the idea was already taking shape. Monday Night’s first barleywine appeared back in 2014, at the hands of the brewery’s creative (experimental) brewer, Josh Johnson. “It came out great,” Kiley says, but like everything else we are doing, it about finding the time to scale up the recipe and do it right.
Kiley stuck with thoughts of Chocolate Orange dancing in his head, and Johnson with his English-style barleywine, Monday Night Entente Cordiale was born.
Every addition to Entente plays into the stylistic weakness. Barleywines are big and boozy and hard to approach for some. Cognac barrels plus some fresh orange zest add a citrusy flavor to the big caramel notes of the base beer. The almost creamy, dessert-like flavor is thanks to whole cocoa nibs and vanilla beans Entente Cordiale was laid to rest for months on.
Kiley and Johnson absolutely nailed it. For years we’ve drank various beers inspired by the Chocolate Orange candy. Many come close. Monday Night achieved it in the most unlikely way, with the most unlikely style. No imperial stout or even English-style porter here. A barleywine that is high on the alcohol by volume but you wouldn’t know it, that tastes like a creamy, subtle mix of the chocolate orange candy or dare we say it – Grand Marnier.
All in all, that what you can expect from Monday Night’s new Garage facility. Creative, deliberate beers. “The Garage will be innately polarizing,” says Kiley. “People will most likely love it or hate it.”
Monday Night Entente Cordiale has limited availability in market now, on draft and 750-milliliter bottles.
About the name: Entente Cordiale was a series of agreements signed on April 8, 1904 between the United Kingdom. Ireland and the French Third Republic which saw a significant improvement in Anglo-French relations.
Deschutes Cognac Barrel Aged The Abyss is looking like a December, 2015 release.
This year marks the 10th bottling of Deschutes The Abyss. To celebrate this milestone, the brewers have created three editions of the popular imperial stout – the regular edition, one 100% aged in rye whiskey barrels, and the above, aged 100% in cognac barrels.
Deschutes Cognac Barrel Aged The Abyss (note: assuming this is the final nomenclature) starts as an imperial stout, brewed with licorice, black strap molasses, and vanilla. Then it is 100% barrel aged in cognac barrels.
Imperial stout brewed with black strap molasses, licorice, cherry bark with vanilla added. Aged 12 months in cognac barrels.
Deschutes Cognac Barrel Aged The Abyss carries the subtitle of “Remarkably limited release”. The brewery tells Beer Street Journal that while the beer is ready when it’s ready, they are hoping for a December release.
Obviously, the brewery has not yet announced this offering.
Orpheus Barrel Aged Sykophantes will be available in bottles on September 3rd. This will be the Atlanta, Georgia’s 3rd bottle release.
Orpheus Barrel Aged Sykophantes is the brewery’s fig sour, aged in cognac barrels. Regular Orpheus Sykophantes has previously been released.
In ancient Greece, “showing the fig” was a vulgar hand gesture, and Sykophantes means “one who shows the fig”. Earthy and full of dark fruit flavor from hundreds of pounds of figs and dark candy syrup, but with a sourness that cuts the gentle sweetness, Sykophantes is our fall beer.
Orpheus Barrel Aged Sykophantes will be available in 22 ounce bottles on September 3rd, along with Orpheus The 12th Labor (bourbon barrel aged imperial stout). The brewery’s first bottle also released this month, Wandering Blues.
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A little computer meets beer for your Monday morning. Cigar City Error Establishing Database Connection.
Terminology for the website being down, Cigar City Error Establishing Database Connection is a barleywine, aged in cognac barrels with orange peel and cacao nibs. (Probably referring to the El Catador Club site crashing on sign up day.)
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Cigar City Error Establishing Database Connection will be available in 750ml bottles. Most likely an El Catador Club offering.
Note: This is a “first look” preview. Details are subject to change at anytime by the brewery.
Almanac Cognac Barrel Noir takes aim at the brewery’s Farm to Barrel Series. These small batch barrel aged offerings typical feature local fruits, mixed with wine, bourbon or spirits barrels.
Almanac Cognac Barrel Noir is a base imperial stout that spent some time with popular cognac, Rémy Martin.
This very limited release is a love letter to barrel aging. We started with an imperial stout brewed with our favorite dark malts. We aged the beer for over a year in large Remy Martin Cognac puncheons where the beer breathed in the rich oak, vanilla and cognac aromatics of the barrels – resulting in this contemplative black ale.
Almanac Cognac Barrel Noir will be available in 375ml bottles.
Embrace the Funk, Yazoo Brewing’s wild and sour division, releases Indomitus Dolium Ale on Saturday December 13th.
Indomitus Dolium Ale is a collaboration with Rocky Mountain Barrel Company, provided rare Cognac barrels from France. The base beer is an old ale, with Brettanomyces.
…Dark Ruby in color with warming cherry and dark fruit notes. A secondary addition of classic “Old World” Brettanomyces strains will continue to evolve in the bottle.