Brew Review: Pepe Nero

19 Aug

Brew: Pepe Nero

Brewed by: Goose Island Beer Co. (Chicago, IL)

Style: Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale (6.0% ABV)

One of the pieces of the ‘vintage’ series in Goose Islands line up. This is the a very intriguing beer, its listed as a farmhouse ale, which usually means that its going to be light in color and body and great in the summertime. But the Goose Island website tells me that this is brewed with black peppercorns and is enjoyed with grilled meats and vegetables. These pairings usually show up with a heavier brew, one that might pack more backbone to stand up to these very flavorful foods. Needless to say I was excited to try this one out as I really had no idea what to expect from it.

Pepe Nero poured out a dark thick rich black. Looked more like a porter or lighter stout. There was some reddish hues but for the most part this was a satin black beer. There was a decent finger or two of tan head accompanying the first pour which settled down into a thin layer on top.

The smell was very different than the color would suggest, it smelled like a Belgian farmhouse ale with funky Belgian yeasts, also cloves and bananas. But it also came with some peppery smells mixed in there as well. Obviously this came from the peppercorns that they brewed the beer with but it added a unique layer. There was also a hint of roasted grains, this color didn’t just come out of nowhere.

The first thing I thought when I had my first drink was that this was a much lighter beer than the color would suggest, like I said before this looked like it could be a porter or a stout but it drank like a farmhouse/saison style beer. It was well carbonated but for the most part no flavors really jumped out at me. In all the moments leading up to the first taste I thought there was going to be some bigger flavors than those that showed up. It had a great feel for how dark the brew was but on top of that there was nothing really interesting enough to mention. The only thing that I did really come across that I hadn’t already in the experience was that deep down there if you really looked for them you could taste some dark fruity flavors.

For the most part this was a unique beer, that is until you got around to actually drinking it. It built itself up tremendously but then really failed to live up to its own hype. The black peppercorns add a cool twist and the beer is an excellent smelling affair, I love the way Belgian beers smell. But Goose Island really didn’t come through on the taste. I did accidentally let this one sit in the basement for a couple months, forgetting it was there so that might have had something to do with it. Maybe its better when its fresh, I might get another bottle just to test that theory.

Either way, worth it if it’s on sale but there might be better brews to spend your hard earned $$$ on.

Overall Grade: B-

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2 Responses to “Brew Review: Pepe Nero”

  1. Gas August 23, 2011 at 2:39 am #

    Hey STPJAMES bro, What is your favorite light beer? Can you give us a review of a couple of the common man’s brew.

    • stpjames August 25, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

      gasolina,
      ill see what i can do. migth have to expand on the first review of this blog, PREMIUM! or i’ll see what else my fridge has in store right now.

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