I try to focus my reviews on beers that my Boston area readers can find without going incredibly out of their way. I have never been the kind of person to wait in line for hours for a beer release, I’d rather find awesome beer that is readily available. That being said, occasionally I come across a limited release beer and if I enjoy it I feel compelled to share, especially if it is something unique. Bog Iron Brewing had their first bottle release in late December, a braggot aged in Mezcal barrels named Devil’s Footprint. I was able to acquire a bottle, they were limited and sold out very fast, but given the positive feedback on the beer I imagine they will be brewing it again. Braggot is an interesting style, an ale brewed with heavy doses of honey that is kind of a mix between beer and mead. Bog Iron uses honey in a number of their brews, so it makes sense that they would experiment with this style. The base braggot is available at the brewery on a rotating basis, and the batch that became Devil’s Footprint was aged in Mexican Mezcal barrels and then bottled. I am going to go out on a limb and guess that this is the only Mezcal barrel aged braggot on the market. Bog Iron Devil’s Footprint was sold in 16 oz. bottles at the release, hopefully they have another batch ready sometime in 2016!
Bog Iron Devil’s Footprint pours deep orange with a minimal white head. The scent is a mixture of Mezcal and a little honey. The Mezcal is evident in the flavor, touches of oak, smoke and just a little boozy sweetness, fully represented but it doesn’t overwhelm the palate. There is also substantial flavors from the fermentables, fresh bread and crackers from the malt along with wildflowers and orange from the honey. The yeast did their work, even with all that sugar added there is minimal residual sweetness, the beer is pretty dry. It also drinks very easy for a barrel aged beer with 10.5% ABV. The finish is clean with a little lingering booze and Mezcal flavors. Devil’s Footprint is a really interesting beer, not like anything I’ve ever tried, but I enjoyed it very much. I hope this becomes a yearly tradition, and I look forward to seeing what else comes out of Bog Iron’s barrel program! Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5
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