I’ve often thought about the beers I would feature if I started my own brewery. I don’t think I would ever make that leap into beer as a career, I love my day job, but as a beer geek it’s fun to consider. In addition to the regular rotation of hop bomb IPAs that would put my theoretical brewery on the map (and pay the bills) I would want to make some small batches of stellar Belgian style beers with an American twist. I would brew versions of the lighter color Belgians (saison and tripel) with late additions of some New World hops, mixing the fruity flavors of these hops with the fruity esters from the fermentation. In addition I would take all of the bigger Belgian styles (dubbel, tripel and quadrupel) and play with non-traditional barrel aging combinations. One of the first combos I’ve always wanted to try was either a dubbel or quadrupel aged in port or cognac barrels. I even pitched the idea to people at Allagash when I did a tour (they didn’t take me up on it, at least not yet). I was very excited to see a local brewery tackle this combination when Lamplighter announced Atari’s Lantern, a quadrupel aged for four months in port barrels. I was worried I would miss the release, I work down the road from Lamplighter but the bottles came out during my winter vacation from work. I almost made a special trip into Cambridge just to get the beer, but my holiday has too crazy. Fortunately the bottles were still available this week, so I grabbed a few along with some other yummy treats. Lamplighter Atari’s Lantern is available now on draft and in 750 mL bottles.
Lamplighter Atari’s Lantern pours deep reddish-brown with a solid tan head. the aroma is a mixture of fruity yeast and wine, along with a little malt. The Belgian style yeast leads the flavor, notes of apple, coriander and pear. This is complemented by the malts which contribute touches of dates, caramel and brown sugar. The barrel aging adds hints of red grape, strawberry and vanilla, great additions to the flavors imparted by the yeast and malts. Atari’s Lantern is medium bodied and drinks pretty easy for 10.5% ABV. The finish features a mixture of lingering malt, yeast and port flavors along with just a little warming booze. I am so happy to see some creative barrel aged quadrupels available, and this beer/barrel combination lived up to my expectations. Check it out before it’s gone! Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.
Previous Lamplighter Reviews:
Lamplighter Rabbit Rabbit, Lamplighter Major Tom and Nocturne, Lamplighter Werewolves of Cambridge and Birds of a Feather, Lamplighter Watchman, Lamplighter Blitzen, Lamplighter Lucid Nonsense and Easy Tiger