Tasting Notes: Chateau Øl from To Øl

ToOlChateauPourFor this installment of Tasting Notes, we class things up a bit around here by getting into a bottle of Chateau Øl from To Øl (Copenhagen, Denmark).

Coming to us courtesy of The Rare Beer Club, Chateau Øl (10.4% ABV) is a Belgian-style Tripel “that is aimed at replicating a crisp wine, using a ‘melody’ of wine yeasts to ferment the beer.” Hallertau Blanc hops, used in kettle and dry hopping, further reinforce the wine-like character with “the grape, pear like flavors” desired by To Øl. An addition of rye then supplies Chateau Øl with “a spice kick” while a base of Pilsner malt provides a “clean finish that helps to balance the flavors.”

Chateau Øl is available now but only as long as supplies last. You can expect to find this Limited Release offering available in 750ml bottles and on draft at select craft beer-focused establishments located in areas regularly serviced by Shelton Brothers.  You can also gain access to bottles of Chateau Øl by becoming a member of The Rare Beer Club, one of 5 unique beer clubs offered by MonthlyClubs.com (click here to learn more).

Now that we all have an idea of the inspiration behind the beer and how to get it, let’s pop the cork on this bottle and get into these Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Chateau Øl from To Øl

Appearance:  A cautious pour produces a Tripel that is dark orange in color with a light caramel core and capped with a perfect finger of rocky, cream-colored foam.  When held to direct light, the orange tones gain vibrancy and glow brightly. The beer is mostly clear (just a touch cloudy) and a steady carbonation presence can be observed coursing within.  Head retention is quite good, falling ever so slowly to a lasting top cap that saturates the glass with wide, elaborate patterns of lace from first sip to last.

Aroma:  The aromatics are surprisingly subdued but wonderfully nuanced.  The yeast character greets the nose with a complex mix of spicy Belgian yeast (pepper and clove) and a soft layer of farmhouse-like funk.  Vinous notes then push through to create a white wine quality while tones of caramel, pear and orange round out the profile with a subtle dose of sweetness.

Taste:  A flourish of caramelized sugars hits the palate first before quickly giving way to a gorgeous vinous, white wine presence comprised of fresh pear, white grape, and a slightly funky and earthy yeast character.  The Belgian yeast notes you expect from a Tripel (pepper, spice, clove and banana) are muted but still present and slightly amplified once the spice kicks in from the added rye.  A citrus presence is weaved throughout, adding notes of orange zest, candied orange, and orange liqueur. The flavor profile closes with the Hallertau Blanc hops supplying added grape tones along with notes of lemongrass, grapefruit and pineapple.

Mouthfeel:  On the full side of medium in body with a medium carbonation level, this Tripel is wonderfully crisp and dry in the finish.  Sweet, spicy, lightly funky and hoppy on the palate, this beer coaxes a nice balance out of its complexity.  The 10.4% ABV is present, but it offers only a light, gently building warmth in the throat and lends very little booziness overall.  Notes of caramel, candied orange and pear are left to linger in the aftertaste.

Final Thoughts:  Delightfully complex yet delicate, Chateau Øl is an intriguing and imaginative brew that clearly displays the versatility of the Tripel style.  The beer carries all of the vinous, white wine notes that To Øl aimed to create, but executed it in such a way that the Tripel was still able to whisper subtle reminders of its more traditional flavors and aromas.  These traditional notes simultaneously act as complements that enhance the white wine qualities while still providing enough of the time-honored characteristics needed to affirm that this is undoubtedly a gorgeous Tripel.

This approach yields a dynamic yet approachable offering that will assuredly capture the attention of wine and beer drinkers alike. If you are always on the lookout for beers that can have universal appeal at dinner parties or act as a gateway for the dedicated wine drinkers in your life, Chateau Øl can easily play both of those roles.  Just make sure that your grab some bottles of this Limited Release before they disappear for good.  Prost!