Friday, Apr 15, 16
This Friday, April 18 will mark the arrival of AleSmith Brewing Company’s new Vintage Series, an annual quartet of seasonally released beers that are perfectly suited for cellaring. Built around venerable, high-alcohol staples of the San Diego-based brewery as well as brand-new strong ale offerings, the 2016 Vintage Series will kick-off with the release of AleSmith Private Stock Ale, an imperial English-style brew that is suitable for aging for 20 years or more. AleSmith has long been known for its high-gravity, cellar-able ales, and a number of those award-winning standard-bearers have found their way into the Vintage Series.
“We are very proud of our ability to brew strong beers that can be enjoyed fresh for their big flavors, aromas and presence. Though magnificent straight out of our brewery, the beers in our Vintage Series are also built to stand the test of time,” says AleSmith CEO and brewmaster Peter Zien. “Each of them is ideal for laying down under proper temperatures and conditions for many years to come. Over that span, be it one year, one decade or more, they will slowly and steadily change, taking on new flavors and textures, with certain characteristics becoming amplified while others fade into the background. Cellaring is the brewing industry’s next frontier and we want to help our fans to successfully enjoy the metamorphic journey some of our finest beers take when matured for extended periods of time.”
Perhaps the best-suited beer for prolonged aging in the company’s portfolio is AleSmith Private Stock Ale. Drunk fresh, it comes on strong with big aromas of rum-raisin followed by palate-pleasing flavors of toffee, figs and dark barriers. Given time to develop, the booziness of Private Stock Ale smooths out, bringing out even more dark, molasses-like notes as the beer transitions into a quaff with a texture akin to a fine Cognac featuring more pronounced dried-fruit and spice notes. Originally created by Zien during his days as a homebrewer, it was first professionally produced in 2005 under the moniker AleSmith Olde Ale, and has remained a favorite among the company’s brew crew and fans ever since.
Initially brewed every five years, this deep, dark English-style strong ale will now be produced once annually so that, like all of the Vintage Series beers, fans can stock up on each year’s vintage and track its progress as it ages. This will also allow beer enthusiasts to enjoy Private Stock Ale in a “vertical tasting” scenario, wherein one samples multiple vintages spanning several consecutive years to taste, smell, compare and contrast each of them while gaining a better understanding and appreciation of how the beer ages over time.
Private Stock Ale will be the 2016 Vintage Series’ spring offering, followed by Decadence Anniversary Ale this summer, AleSmith Wee Heavy in autumn and AleSmith Grand Cru in winter. Released in summer, the style of Decadence Anniversary Ale changes yearly, making each vintage an enduring collectable. Meanwhile, Wee Heavy (a complex, malt-driven Scotch-style ale) and Grand Cru (a multi-layered Belgian strong ale) will remain the same fine, accolade-garnering beers they have proven to be over the past decade-plus.
Vintage Series beers will be distributed to states and countries where AleSmith beers are sold. The beers will be packaged in metallic foil-topped 750-milliliter bottles and also offered on-draft at select bars, restaurants and hospitality venues. See below for a list of regions where Private Stock Ale will be sold.
# # #
AleSmith Private Stock Ale
Style: Imperial English-style Ale / Old Ale
Stats: 11% ABV, 25 IBU (international bittering units)
Packaging: Draft & 750-milliliter bottles
Distribution: AR, CA, CO, CT, IL, MA, MN, NC, NY, OR, TX, VA, VT, WA & Denmark
AleSmith 2016 Vintage Series
Spring: AleSmith Private Stock Ale
Summer: AleSmith Decadence Anniversary Ale
Fall: AleSmith Wee Heavy
Winter: AleSmith Grand Cru
Bottle Notes: Originally brewed in 2005 as AleSmith Olde Ale, the inaugural beer in our annual Decadence Anniversary Ale series, this imperial English-style ale succinctly follows the brewing traditions of Old World England. Rich and malt-forward, this forceful yet elegant beer showcases soft notes of currants and dried fruit along with complex dark sugars, all of which are balanced by a subtle bitterness derived from the addition of English hops. Savor it now or age (for 20 years or more) and enjoy later, on its own or as part of a multi-vintage vertical tasting.