Chicago’s Goose Island, one of the countries premier breweries, is cranking out some fantastic brews, and the other day I picked up a 2011 vintage of their abbey ale, Pere Jacques. Brewed with loads of malt and Belgian yeast, Pere Jacques is an 8%abv, wonderfully fruity, malty ale, with complex flavors standing just a little higher than most.
It pours reddish amber, with a quickly receding head. The aromas are thick with sweet malts, plums, dried figs, and yeasty esters. On the tongue, the taste is dark, sweet and fruity, spice notes pairing nicely with plums, grapes, apple, toffee and honey. Hop bitterness is present to balance out the sweetness, but the aromas are kept muted in the background along with the alcohols. The finish is sweet with a mid level of carbonation for the style. I think this is a fantastic ale that would pair well with rich meats, or stand in for a glass of vintage port, post meal. Cheers!