Brand new from the recently established COOP Ale Works, and the "biggest beer brewed in Oklahoma." Weighing in at 10% ABV this one packs a nice punch, but the intricacies and attention to craftsmanship are what make this beer what it is. I tried this at Mcnellie's pub in OKC a few weeks ago, and it was served in a pint glass. At that time I appreciated the beer, and there was no doubt it was a good beer, but it wasn't until last night when I requested it in a snifter did it's aromas and flavors truly reveal themselves. There's proof positive that glassware does in fact make a difference, so don't settle if you don't have to. Now that doesn't mean go out and make a beer-snob ass out of yourself over glassware either. Ok, enough of the spiel, on to the beer.
Color is a bright, slightly hazy orange and there's a nice off-white covering of dense froth. A few long lines of lacing exist and stick around for the duration. Vanilla, light fruits (pears, oranges, grapes) and spicy aromas waft to the nose. Tastes of big sweet malts which surround more spices, toffee and sweet bread. There's a quick hint of graininess toward the end. The alcohol heat is noticeable, but not overwhelming, and it in no way detracts from the other elements and the overall experience. Mouth-feel is medium plus, and it goes down smooth and a bit more creamy than expected, hovering close to tripel territory in that sense.
I'm not going to deny that I have some local bias on this one, but trust me, it is an excellent example of the style. Chase Healy and the fellows at COOP really have their hand on the pulse of where beer is going, and they know how to translate that knowledge into great beer. Apparently, and in addition to the Native Amber ale which is already available, they have a porter, a wheat, and a "cervesa" (sounds interesting) on the way, but I'll have to be honest, I'm really looking forward to another bigger brew from these guys, as this one turns out to be a great initial move that should put them on the craft beer map.
COOP Ale Works