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Melange A Trois - Reserve Series Aged In French Oak Chardonnay Barrels - Nebraska Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Melange A Trois - Reserve Series Aged In French Oak Chardonnay BarrelsMelange A Trois - Reserve Series Aged In French Oak Chardonnay Barrels

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89 Reviews

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Reviews: 89
Hads: 318
Avg: 4.19
pDev: 18.14%
Wants: 97
Gots: 62 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Nebraska Brewing Company visit their website
Nebraska, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: RedHaze on 11-16-2008

Our first beer in the Reserve Series, Melange A Trois begins with a wonderfully big Strong Belgian-Style Blonde Ale and moves into the extraordinary category through an additional 6 month French Oak Chardonnay Wine Barrel maturation. The essense of Chardonnay permeates while a subtle sweetness remains from the Ale itself. Oak tannins combine to create a fascinating mesh of dry, sweet, and wine-like character. One of our favorites!
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 89 | Hads: 318
Photo of ktrillionaire
3.26/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - The brew pours a slightly hazed goldenrod hue, and is capped with an inch of white pillowy froth.

S/T - The nose immediately greets me with white grape; I do not find this particular aspect of white grape that is suggested to be very pleasing, so I am not initially enthusiastic. With the bias of my high-hopes quelled, I accept this beer for what it is: a fairly nice BSPA which has been muddled with some mediocre grape flavor. Aside from the white grape, the base beer is quite pale, with just a hint of caramel sweetness and fruity-spicy Belgian yeast notes. The nose carries a bit of buttery vanilla, as I get past my Chardonnay objection. Still, the tannic notes imparted by the Chardonnay were unhelpful to this profile.

M - Nice creamy mouthfeel and really nice carbonation.

O - A bit disappointed in this one, but overall it is still a decent brew.

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Photo of champ103
3.48/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to the guys at Freetail for sharing another bottle from this fine brewery.

A: Pours slightly hazy golden/orange color. A massive white head forms, and gently recedes with a ton of sticky lace.
S: Tart fruits, vinous grapes, and oak up front. Dry crackers, and a substantial buttery flavor in the finish.
T: A mix of tart fruits, oak, dry crackers and a bit buttery malt flavor. Almost like diacetyl.
M/D: A medium body that is crisp and very dry. Good carbonation. Easy to drink. The alcohol is not noticeable. A good beer to sip on.

I have like everything from Nebraska Brewing that I have had so far. I do like this, but not one of the better beers in the Reserve Series. Still very much worth a try.

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Photo of ChrisPro
3.54/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tasted blind as part of Blind BIF #6
Blind beer #3 from sholland119

750 mL capped bottle into my Narke tulip shared with my wife

A - Murky dark straw with a gorgeous three fingered cream colored head. Pretty sure the cap would sit on this pillow-top. Lacing just covers the glass as I drink. Beautiful beer. Wish it was slightly more clear...Okay, so that was just chill haze. Looks perfect after warming. 5.0

S - Hello brett! We've got some hay, a bit of lemon, tons of fresh-baked bread yeasty notes. Saison/farmhouse is where we're at from the nose. 3.5

T - Interesting...Kind of like lemon pudding to start, then an incredibly funky taste on the back of the tongue as I swallow. It's almost like saurkraut for a second. Then lemony-vanilla finish, with kind of an oaky taste. maybe even some bourbon? Possibly this vanilla just from virgin oak barrels. Still thinking an oak-aged farmhouse ale of some sort. This is incredibly complex to say the least. (sadly, one sip and my wife informs me I'm all on my own on this 750)...Later after warming, there's a ton of grape going on here. Really tastes like a sparkling wine with brett. Chardonnay anyone?. 3.5

M - If this beer were a superhero, its name would be Superfizz! This thing is like accupuncture on my tongue, but actually works. Sadly, there is quite a bit of heat that work against it. 3.0

O - Tons going on with this beer and it seems like a great example of the style. Sadly, I'm just not a huge fan of the style, but this beer makes me wish I liked them more. Definitely more drinkable as it warms and I like it more and more. The weird funky yeast reminds me of that distinct fantome, so that'd be the only guess I have, but the brown 750 rules that out. Pretty awesome beer to drink blind. 3.5

If I had to guess something, maybe the evolution migration fall 2011 aged in chardonnay barrels.

The reveal: 2010 Nebraska Melange a Trois

Well, got the chardonnay barrel right but never would've guessed this. With 10% ABV, this beer beer actually drinks much better than the heat indicates. Pretty solid beer.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.6/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours an orange-tweaked gold, trickle of bead. Head is whispy, not much left but comes back decently with a swill. Quite nice.

Smells quite Belgian. Touch of honey, with organic lawn notes, some rubber and slight acidity. Bit bitter/phenolic, but refreshing enough.

Taste is far more on the bitter side, with a big champagney tartness upfront, then a big spice hit midway - notes of pepper and clove, then phenolic rubber and aged riesling on the back. Really quite vinous, and enjoyably complex.

Quite fizzy, a little stripping back. Too lively, like a hooker on crack.

Decent notes, nice complexity. A good wine-beer bridger.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.72/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

25.4oz bottle, pour into a tulip glass.

A - Light hay colored orange with a huge near white head. Good retention and lots of lacing.

S - Yeast, wheat, green grapes.

T - The Chardonnay barrel real comes through, yeast, some more wheat, and spices as it warms.

D - Tons of carbonation.

O - Definately a Belgium. The wife and I enjoyed it.

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Photo of brentk56
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy honey color with a massive head; both the retention and the lacing were impressive, as curtains of foam covered the side of the tulip

Smell: The most vinous beer I have ever smelled, with white grapes on the nose, fusel alcohol and hints of oak

Taste: Opens like a wine starting to go to vinegar, with white grape, starfruit and pear, up front; by mid-palate, the acidity takes over, bringing a layer of surprisingly tart vinosity that builds after the swallow, along with touches of oaky vanilla

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate to high carbonation; warmth in the gullet

Overall: Really wanted to like this beer more than I did but the combination of the tart fruit and the fusel alcohol did not work for me; impressed by the quality and inventiveness of the brewer and look forward to trying other beers from this brewery

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Photo of womencantsail
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The pour is a pale straw color with a soapy white head. Heavy on the lemon zest aromas with a touch of oak, coconut, and vanilla. The wine is there, too. Some sugar and fruit notes, though there is a bit of fake lemon character to the aroma, too. The flavor is a bit sweeter than expected, but nice. Sugar and bready malt to go with a fair amount of oak and barrel character. A subtle tartness and lemon peel flavor to it.

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Photo of RedHaze
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle purchased at the brewpub. Aged for several months in used chardonnay barrels, and bottle conditioned.

Pours a mildly hazy, bright gold with a fluffy two finger head. The foam settles to a thin cap, leaving a tattered lacing behind.

Smell; tons of light fruits with grapes, apricots, and pears. Definitely has some vinous characteristics, which is very much expected being aged in used wine barrels.

Taste; as with the nose very fruity with the grapes, apricots and pears, but there's also an underlying floral presence. A touch on the sweet side, with a mild hint of alcohol that gives it a bit of a peppery spiciness in the finish. As the beer warms a little of the oak from the barrels manages to some through as well.

Moutfeel is medium to full bodied, and just a touch on the sticky side. For me, the drinkability is really good.

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Photo of jmalex
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I heard great things about this one on the Jamil Show on the Brewing Network. Excited to have these beers in my area.

APPEARANCE: Pours into a Duvel tulip a very hazy, pale gold color with a huge, rocky, white head on top. Lacing comes in the form of webs and curtains.

SMELL: A fine combination of fruity Belgian yeast esters and phenols. Peaches, apples, and lemon give you a full-on fruit cocktail of aromas here. Overriding the whole thing is a grapey undercurrent of the wine barrel.

TASTE: A bit sweet, but perhaps falsely so with all the wine and yeast flavors going on here. Oak tannins are strong leaving not much of an aftertaste and making you need another sip. It's a remarkable combination of flavors, but perhaps slightly overwhelming and out of balance.

MOUTHFEEL: The body seems thicker than it probably is, and the finish is dry and somewhat puckering. Carbonation is spot on medium-high.

OVERALL: Some really neat individual components combine to form a beer that isn't particularly cohesive. An interesting and enjoyable experience for sure, but it's gonna be a slow go to finish the 750mL.

A fine beer that's very well crafted. Give it try if you get the opportunity, but maybe not worth seeking out.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beautiful looking blonde ale. Clean golden/yellow, visible flow of high arbonation down the center of the glass, fluffy white head topping off at an even two fingers.
Smells of sweet malt, fruity: apples, pears, citrus bitterness of lemongrass, nice farmhouse smell.
The taste is harsh up front.. Like you're dipping your tongue into a glass of gasoline.. Yikes! As the beer warms up it develops a nice character. Definitely getting a white wine feel to this, though I don't drink enough wine to know the difference in styles. A sour/tart/bitter overall feel. A sweet malt backbone is present in the aftertaste. It's hard for me to like wine barrel aged beers since, like I already said, I don't drink/like wine. This is definitely a really good beer though. Pretty darn complex for a blonde ale, and well the abv doesn't do it any harm! A medium body, highly carbonated beer.. Very booze heavy and you definitely feel your chest warming up throughout the glass.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a three finger tight, white head that fades very slowly leaving a good lace. Cloudy light amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is funky sour fruit, flavor is sweet and tart fruit, Not finding any white wine flavors. High ABV is hidden. Warming. Good but not worth $23.99 for a 750ml bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Yoshi Optimator for this one!
22oz bottle served in a Prairie Teku

A - pours a cloudy golden body with a small white cap that retains very well.

S - Chardonnay right out of the gate, white grapes, pears, greens, white oak, citrus, acidic.

T - Bitter Chardonnay, mustard greens, peppery alcohol, tangy pale malts, Belgian yeast, under ripened bananas, white grapes, pears, lactic buttery flavor, under ripened peaches and pears. Light buttery oak on the finish.

M - medium body, very creamy carbonation, very nice.

This has taken on a lot of Chardonnay characteristics. Well rounded unripened fruit character with a oaky and buttery lactic acid character. Enjoyed this one.

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Photo of maximum12
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to iasanlee for this, the last Nebraska bottle from a fall-time trade. And here we are, spring still just a rumor, waking up to snow on the lawn this morning. So fall must be just past, right? 750ML club, poured into a pair of almost matching New Belgium snifters.

Pours with two massive white clouds lingering over the beer that take a long time to bubble down. Beer is an orange/yellow, rendered partly cloudy with floaties. Smells just as the ad says: strong Belgian yeast, sweet sugar, & red wine. Strays into citrusy hops, too.

Melange A Trois doesn't stray far from its Belgian roots - this is textbook Belgian blonde. Ditto everything I said about the nose, it's in the quaff, too. The wine is more subtle, providing a backdrop vs. a main event. Sharp pear couples up with the citrus, & the dregs of a fruit salad. The alcohol is masterfully hidden, pretty sure Magnum P.I. couldn't locate it. I'd swear this was a nice 6% to drink out on the back porch in the (extinct) Minnesota spring. Very spritzy: high carbonation & cute fruitiness make this dance around gleefully in the mouth.

Very interesting beer, & a good one. Not great, but a nice take on a blonde, & the wine barrels were really used to nice effect. This one really starts to open up as it warms, too.

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Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As a pale Belgian, by far one of the best I have had.Lighter cloudy body, with a moderate head. Neutral aromas. Above average mouthfeel, very drinkable, and gentle masterful blend of the chardonnay barrelling taste and the Belgian blonde. A great and simple idea, well executed.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #42 (Jul 2010):

This brew begins with an excessive amount of head, but is not gushing. Its hazy golden-yellow color shimmers perfectly in the light. Chardonnay and wood are obvious in the nose, but tropical fruit, nougat and nutty yeast are also in tow. It is silky smooth and a little creamy, with a fluffy, moderate-size body. With a little tartness, it is still very beery. Vinous character from the barrel plays strong, yet mixes well with the malt, alcohol and modest hops. Tartness and wood linger long into the aftertaste. Pretty damn amazing. This is a sipper that does not miss a beat.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared at a recent DC tasting. Served in a SAVOR snifter.

Pour yields a bright golden brew with a nice white head and a bit of lacing as it goes down. The chardonnay aging is really apparent in the nose, with that grape varietal being the dominant characteristic. Behind that is a bit of oak and accompanying spice, plus a bit of light fruit. Taste is somewhat tannic and brings along mild spice, hints of oak, and a good chardonnay presence. Good feel; I really like what they did with the aging here. I wish there were a bit more of the base beer, but I really enjoyed this.

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Photo of Wisconsinality
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into Sprecher tulip.

A- Pours a hazy apricot with a big head, two plus fingers worth. Decent lacing left on the side of the glass.

S- Good chardonnay, oak and sweet Belgian yeast. There are some nice fruits such as grape, from the chardonnay and a touch of the banana.

T- The oak and chardonnay really shine in this beer. There are some tart grapes and Belgian yeast that make an appearance as well. Very interesting combination.

M- Lighter bodied with a nice, crisp carbonation. Pretty dry on the finish.

D- Pretty interesting beer all around. The chardonnay aging adds a little something extra that you don't typically find in a beer.

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Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Belgian yeast. Tastes a lot like wine. Oak and tannins. Grapes. White wine. Champagne yeast. Green apples.

Very much like a wine or champagne. Solid offering.

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 03/27/11 notes. Shared by Thorpe429; thanks Mike.

a - Pours a nice golden color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of oak, white wine, spices, cloves, citrus,and Belgian yeast. Slight funk, probably from the wine barrels.

t - Tastes of citrus, Belgian yeast, spices, pepper, cloves, oak, white wine.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall an interesting Belgian style ale I really liked. The wine definitely comes through and I really enjoyed it. Would like to have again.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is a huge beer, certainly all of the 10 percent abv its listed at, and can feel like a whole lot more in high doses. off blonde, more peach colored beer, with a ton of visible carbonation and just a bit of yeast floating about. tall white head slowly recedes. it smells like belgian yeast all the way, mildy spicy, extremely grassy, and with the acidity of the wine from the barrels its aged in. complex for sure, with notes of peppercorns and yellow corn on the front end, tough to nail down grain bill because of these unique flavors. then the yeast adds an orchard fruit element, maybe green pear, and a lot of carbonation keeps it light for how enormous it really is. a lot of beer in this bottle, with a fair bit of body too. this reminds me of something from ommegang or unibroue, a very authentic but also very creative take on belgian beer. some residual sugar, very fruity, in the finish, and one supremely interesting beer. everything ive had from nebraska brewing has been top notch, i had no idea such cool beer was coming out of there before these ones. close to 20 bucks a bottle in cost for this reserve series stuff, but its darn close to being worth it. these are one of a kind ales here.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Going into this one with high hops. For a fairly new (to bottling at least) brewery to charge $25-30 a bottle...we shall see. They better be Bruery-status in oder to pull this off! Pours a hazy, golden color with a large white head that goes down rather quickly. Scent is spicy at first...spicy Belgian yeast with some pronounced green apples and pear aromas. A little bit of french oak and chardonnay. A bit of lemon as well. Nice nose to this beer. Taste is just as nice, although...I was hoping this beer would be a little sour. Taste is mildly tart green apples and white grapes. A ton of crisp, Belgian yeast flavor...spicy as well. More spicy than I was anticipating, with a good amount of pepper and lemon zest. Some definite french oak and chardonnay flavors, but I would have liked to see more Chardonnay...something along the lines of a less sour Temptation. Finishes with some mild hop flavors and dry Belgian yeast. Mouthfeel is somewhat dry and medium bodied. There is a slight alcohol burn with the 10%ABV, but less than I was expecting. Overall, this is a very solid beer and I look forward to trying more that this brewery has to offer. Unfortunately, I may not take the risk if the price tags are this high. It took me 3 trips to Los Angeles and seeing this beer on shelves before I actually pulled the trigger.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of of Chris. Glad to tick Nebraska. Pours a murky yellow. Fairly pale. Smells tart.. Slightly funky. A nice oakiness on the nose. Tastes sweet and floral. Tart but not super sour. Lots going on with this one. Decent mouthfeel. Overall very enjoyable but not something i would seek out.

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Photo of Tone
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, gold color. 3/4 inch head of a white color. There is some suspended sediment. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of alcohol, wine, slight dry hop, hint of floral, and slight floral malt. Fits the style of a Belgian Strong Pale Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. The dryness level is not too strong, especially for a 'wine' beer. Tastes of sweet malt, slight floral, slight wine, hint of pale malt, alcohol, and a hint of citrus. Overall, great appearance, good aroma, body, and blend.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Cloudy straw, huge pillow of white head, some cling lace.

S - Small tartness, malty, nice mellow smell.

T - Strawlike , malty, small twang at end.

M - Nice balance, no overpowering flavors. Good clean finish. Good carb. Medium to light body.

D -Very easy and masks abv quite well. Tasty!

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at Redlight Redlight; January 2011
This pours with a frothy, white colored head that sits on top of a hazed, amber-gold colored beer. The beer smells lightly tart, definitely yeasty, a definite oak influence, there is a chardonnay fruit like character as well as a hint of vanillin and some buttery-oak character. I was expecting to be able to smell some Brettanomyces influence and funkiness, but the nose is quite clean.

My first sip has me noticing a big vanilla flavor to it from the oak as well as a solid chardonnay grape fruitiness and even tartness (this seems to be from the grapes rather than from any wile influence). This beer is not really funky at all & I have had to recalibrate my expectations of this beer. This drinks quite a bit smaller than the 10% alcohol would suggest, there is some viscous heft to the texture, but it is definitely light for its strength.

After tasting this beer, the vanillin in the nose comes out quite a bit more prominently. This beer has a very nice chardonnay character, but it would definitely benefit from some funkiness; it is good as it is, but that can’t keep me for wishing for more. This is perhaps the best chardonnay character in a beer that I have had.

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Melange A Trois - Reserve Series Aged In French Oak Chardonnay Barrels from Nebraska Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.