I had been meaning to snag a bottle of Triple Digit Brewing’s (brought to you from the folks from Listermann) since I read it was being distributed to local stores. During a trip to the unfortunately situated (seriously? Where were the traffic planners when this debacle was laid out) Kroger in Hyde Park, I finally saw it on the shelves and picked it up.
Triple Digit Brewing fills a niche that strangely has not been filled much by local breweries: big beers. Aftermath weighs in at a tad over 10%, which is pretty meaty for a Scottish ale. Perhaps it should be considered a “Wee Heavier” (yuk, yuk).
Aftermath pours about as dark a color as can still be considered copper. It’s pretty murky; you can see just a peak of light when the glass is held up for color. The head pours far larger than I would expect from a high ABV beer. It’s a voluminous khaki that leaves a good amount of lacing on the side of the glass. The carbonation is clearly lively, as can be see from the bubbles racing from the bottom to the top like a glass of soda.
The smell is a deep, iron-tinged sweetness up front. There is also a little hint of dark fruit and more than a hint of booziness. It almost reminds me of a Belgian strong dark ale or a Quad without the Belgian yeast strain. The taste is sweet caramel and butterscotch; very malty as is characteristic of this style. There is some bitterness on the finish from either the hops or roasted malts. Either way, I think it could do without it.
As noted earlier, the carbonation is very lively when this is cold. Between the carbonation and the medium body, this beer seems much lighter than it actually is while chilled. Once it warms a bit, the carbonation becomes more creamy, the sweetness is magnified, the ABV shows itself, and you get to see this beer as I assume the brewer intended. I will say that this beer is hot; I could feel it when I was smelling it and I could taste it while I had it in my mouth. At over 10%, this is to be expected, but I would be interested in seeing what six months or a year does for evening it out a bit.
Overall? I was biased from the beginning since I don’t care for the overwhelming sweetness of Wee Heavys. It is an odd style for a “new” brewery (Listermann has, after all, been releasing beers before this one), as it’s not known for its die-hard fans. I would think a stout or barley wine would have been the safe bet for the launch beer, but it’s not my brewery and I don’t pretend to know why they went with this. Regardless, it was pretty enjoyable. It is definitely a tough bottle to drink by yourself, particularly during these eighty degree days, but you might consider buying a couple bottles to put away for when the weather cools back down. That way, not only will you have a big beer to warm you when the mercury drops, but you’ll have a beer than hopefully mellowed a tad so you can get full enjoyment out of it.
Triple Digit Brewing’s beers look to be well-distributed throughout the Tri-State. If I can find a bottle of it at Kroger, it leads me to believe that most beer stores with a halfway decent selection will carry it. Also, as a quick heads up: keep an eye out for the wheat wine they will be releasing in early June. Listermann brewed the Quaff Bros’ What the Wheat, so they clearly know what they’re doing with that style.