Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

92 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 92
Hads: 337
Avg: 4.19
pDev: 18.38%
Wants: 99
Gots: 70 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Nebraska Brewing Company
Nebraska, United States | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Melange A Trois - Reserve Series Aged In French Oak Chardonnay Barrels Alström Bros
Reviews: 92 | Hads: 337
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.

 1,328 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – Served a hazy golden orange colored brew with a one finger white head. The head has a good level of retention giving way to a nice level of lacing.

Smell – The smell was big of lighter fruits and yeast ; with the fruit being of a sweeter orange, grape and pear nature. Mixed with these aromas were some lighter bready notes and an oaky and spicy aroma. Overall the aroma was quite pleasant.

Taste – The taste starts out with a good biscuit base with a good presence of a grapey wine like flavor. As the taste advances yeasty flavors come to the tongue with flavors of citrus and pear coming to the tongue, with the grape all the while grow stronger in nature. This sweeter fruit flavors reach a maximum more toward the middle of the taste, with it at the end declining a bit. The main reason for its decline was that other flavors of a spicy and oaky flavor start to come to the tongue. In the end a light boozy taste enter the profile and with the fruit, biscuit, oak and yeast flavors create a very pleasing taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer was on the crisper side with it being moderately creamy, but yet with a prickly carbonation level. Very appropriate for a style and nice for the fruit flavors of the brew; overall giving a dry and crisp mouthfeel.

Overall – A very nice Belgian style ale. It has fantastic transitions in the taste, with all being very smooth and pleasing. While it is quite tasty, for the price it is a bit over-rated. If you can get it at an affordable price (under 25 dollars for a bottle) then I say go for it, but if not then your much better off going for something more time true and affordable in a Belgian.

 1,738 characters

Photo of WillCarrera
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, no bottled-on date, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a very hazy, nearly opaque golden apricot color, topped with an inch of thick, white head, leaves tons of delicate lacing.

S- Pear, white grapes, a very light tartness that doesn't appear in the taste, and a decent amount of phenol and a bit of booze. Some vanilla comes out as it warms.

T- Smooth Belgian yeast, boozy phenols and a bit of spice. There's a nice fruitiness that consists of pears, lots of white grape and some apple. The barrel lends a subtle wood flavor as well as a more prominent vanilla.

M- On the full side of medium-bodied, smooth and creamy with a dry finish and a touch of alcohol warmth.

O- An interesting beer, very good use of the Chardonnay barrels, although it's still pretty drinkable at 10% ABV it's still a sipper, I picked this up at around $18, at which price I would say it's worth trying if you see it, although I've seen it on the shelf for a lot more in some places.

 982 characters

Photo of Knapp85
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a lightly hazy golden color. It had a really nice looking fluffy white head on top. The retention was decent as well as the lacing. The smell was up oak with some citrus funk and a hint of malts. The taste of the beer was tart up front. The flavor was balanced though, it's moderately hoppy, tart and has just enough malt in there too. The mouthfeel is thin but not watered down. There is a crisp carbonation to the beer and very drinkable. Overall it's a very nice beer.

 490 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Darrell. Hooray beer!

The beer appearsa hazy golden yellow hue with a quarter inch of white head. The aroma offers citrus, wine barrels, white grapes, floral notes. The flavor brings grapes and white wine. The oak character is there, but light. Alcohol content is disguised very well. hard to believe this is 10% abv, other than just the slightest warming sensation in the finish. Overall, a really solid beer.

 428 characters

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle shared thanks to durwoodx, thanks Darrell.

The beer pours a nice hazy pastel orange to near straw color, with nice big lacing and decent ring of head.

The smell has a great white grape vinous note right from the start, some sweet delicious dessert like smells as well. Apricot, peach, pineapple, great almost saison like malt bill with the yeasty farmhouse aromas. Has a nice composed balance to it, very nice.

The taste doesn't quite capture the magic balance of the smell, but still has a nice white wine flavor and yeasty malt. Some ethol alcohol tastes, and some pineapple and maybe coconut.

The feel is very carbonated, and a little boozy for me.

Overall not bad, but not great, especially with the price tag.

 731 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Melange A Trois has a big, frothy capping characteristic of the style, the kind that to even attempt at sipping basically necessitates a snorkel. If you fell in you'd float. Despite retaining some glow, the beer looks as though it spent months in a barrel; the gold colour has lost entirely all its transparency and is no more clear than a rock.

A distinctive, complex yeast is the ballast for any Belgian-inspired strong golden ale, but this offering has so much more to it than that: the prevailing tartness of wild critters (whether a strain of wild yeast or bacteria from the barrel or both); the buttery, vanilla-cream sweetness and oak-wood must of Chardonnay barrels; the combination thereof the two which is as flattering as it is distinctive. Simply alluring.

The brewery doesn't specify a source for their Chardonnay barrels, but easy money says it's a California winery. This mouthfeel has enough butter that it could be spread over baguette. Think Napa or Paso Robles, and all the creamy (literally), big, oak-y, buttery (almost cream-soda) flavours you'd expect to find in those regions' flagship Chardonnays.

The flavour and aroma both are buffed up with steroidal oak and pure-fat butter. The more typical flavours of dried herbs, warmed white bread crust, vine-ripe hops still serve here as understudies, but the tastes of fleshy pineapple and stone fruit (white peach, nectarine) are in the spotlight. Spicy phenols hardly factor in given the musty, vanillin oak.

With robust flavours of apple and citrus, I'm sure this would make an ideal partner for seafood pasta, roasted chicken and all the cliche meal partners to consider, but I think it is best enjoyed on its own. Food would only take away from an already complex, layered ale. (Food afterwords, mind you, isn't such a bad plan given it's a 10%, 750ml bottle!)

I'd expect something like this from a Bay Area brewer - not because their proximity to the wineries, but because they have to struggle just to stay in the same place. Why a brewery in Nebraska of all places would challenge themselves with such an adventurous undertaking I'm not sure. What business they have in pulling it off so fantastically I've truly no idea.

I’m past the days where barrel-aged beers impress me simply because they’re barrel-aged. Sure, it's neat but so what? Doesn't mean it's good! Melange A Trois, however, is a truly memorable, ingenious, and exemplary offering that makes the case that barrel-aging beer can be an art form. The "melange", if you ask me, is a combination of innovation, complexity, and plain and simple carefree enjoyment. A shame to only do it once...

 2,645 characters

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.

 422 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cloudy light golden yellow in color with moderate amounts of yeast sediment in suspension. The beer has a half finger tall white head that reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of chardonnay and lighter amounts of sourness/funkiness. Very light hints of oak and vanilla.

T: There is a very light amount of pale malt body, sourness/funkiness, and yeast spices. There is a dominant presence of chardonnay and oak, almost buttery with lingering tannins.

M: Medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Extremely dry.

O: Very enjoyable and the brewer did a nice job of having the chardonnay and barrel complement and not overpower the flavors/aromas of the beer. A very nice sipping beer and one I would enjoy again.

 893 characters

Photo of metter98
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very hazy yellow in color and has a few yeast particles floating in suspension at the bottom of the glass. It poured with a half finger high bright white head that died down a bit but consistently left a thin head and lacing running down the sides of the glass.
S: There are aromas of chardonnay and oak from the barrel aging process.
T: Like the smell, the flavors of chardonnay wine are very apparent in the taste and particularly stand out and the tannins linger through the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is packed with aromas and flavors of chardonnay but these don’t completely overpower the underlying beer. These really make the beer interesting to drink.

 762 characters

Photo of yamar68
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale honey gold with a milky, dense few fingers of head... perfect retention and healthy abundant beading.

The nose is pretty imposing - ripe figs, white grapes, soft woods, faint cherry, lilac, boozy honey, delicious.

Translates quite nicely onto the tongue. Big white grape notes, some vinegar-y booze that doesn't dominate, light fruits, floral bits. I can't even begin to dissect the flavors without considering the PERFECT mouthfeel. I can't stress this enough. All these flavors occupy the best consistency I've ever encountered in the style. It makes for such a lovely beer to drink.

Extremely well done.

 623 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazed apricot with 3 fingers of cream colored head. Great head retention & average lacing

S: Pears with a bit of phenol, some breadyness & dirt too

T: Green apple skins, pears, chardonnay notes & dryness all over this up front, some lemon & grapefruit bitterness as well. Honey & white grape mix with pink grapefruit as this warms, also some very faint juicy fruit. More juicy fruit, tartness, & much grapefruit in the finish

MF: Medium bodied, slightly carbonated, becomes fairly fluffy as this warms, nice balance

Pretty tasty, not as good as the Hop God of the same ilk, but way better than most of the Chardonnay aged beers I've tried, goes down very easy

 672 characters

Photo of rfgetz
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely and bright honey gold with light hazing, bubbly eggshell white head, lingering and lightly sticky. The beer quickly becomes all about the chardonnay aging as the dominant scent becomes a glass of heavy chardonnay - vinous with faint apple notes, base beer hidden behind the grape and oak, light spice and bready yeastyness. First few sips brought me back to some high end Napa chardonnay based sparkling wine, only slightly less vinous with more pronounced breadyness and light spice. Medium bodied, light oily heft despite bubbly carbonation, dry and tannic. Been waiting to sample for a while, just never comfortable with the price point, but well worth it in the end.

 685 characters

Photo of draheim
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle (2010) into a tulip.

Pours a clear lemony golden color with a thick, sudsy white head that leaves behind beautiful, sparkling lacing. Bright, effervescent carbonation rises from the bottom of the glass. This is a damn gorgeous beer, spot-on for the style.

Aroma is spicy Belgian yeast, fresh lemon zest, and banana peel. As it warms the wine starts coming through.

Taste brings forth the vinous, slightly tart/sour Chardonnay barrel aging. Wow. Green apples and white wine blend wonderfully with the pale malt and Belgian yeast. Carbonation brings a sharp dry bite and a clean finish.

Overall just a delicious, special beer I'm glad I had a chance to try.

 672 characters

Photo of Khazadum
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Awesome white grape and skins open up deliciously. Malty, grains of grape.nuts, sweet pineapple, candied Sugar, toffee. It smells. Like the best mix for a tripel.

Now its more tripel than chardonnay. Opens dry oxidized grain, candied sugar, sweet apples. Quick transition to grape skins, tannin wood, and just a hint of vinous white wine.

 339 characters

Photo of JustinMatthew
4.97/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from the 750ml bottle to an Ommegang tulip glass. Hazy yellow in color with about two fingers worth of white head. Smells of Belgian yeast, white grapes, light oak and an obvious tart presence. Taste is perfect. You get a little of everything from sip to sip.. Belgian yeast spice, Floral notes, orange peel, some vanilla and oak subtleties. Slightly acidic and tart. Well carbonated, dosent detract from the complexities at all. This is pretty much everything I want from a beer. Price tag is steep so it's not something I'll be drinking as much as I'd like.

 566 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy yellow to orange-ish color with an off white head. In the aroma, nice Belgian candy sugar, but over ridden by chardonnay. In the taste, a small dry fruitiness, which is muted by chardonnay flavors and a subtle alcohol presence. A smooth and medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry chardonnay and small alcohol presence in the aftertaste. Like drinking a chardonnay, but a but boozier and more body.

 423 characters

Photo of ShanePB
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle
Served into a cervoise glass

A: Semi-hazy golden orange colored body with a huge rocky, foamy and fluffy white head. The dissipation was moderate in pace and left great lacing behind. Nice retention cap too.

S: Dry chardonnay, sweet malt, candi sugar, lemon and a bit of musk. Not much of the barrel quality coming through other than the chardonnay influence. Overall just a really a nice smelling beer.

T: Chardonnay hits first along with it's oak barrel counterpart. The sweet Belgian-style pale ale is underneath with plenty of candi sugar, lemongrass and a slightly earthy bitterness towards the back end. Remarkably done and highly drinkable.

M: Well carbonated but still retains a medium body. Nice and smooth on the palate, cleansing and dry in the finish.

This was a great surprise and to my knowledge, my first beer from Nebraska. I hear a lot of good things about their Reserve Series and so far I'm very impressed. I really love the wine influence on the beer, a perfect match.

 1,007 characters

Photo of rudzud
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at a beer tasting at Julio's. Poured into a small glass. Reviewed from notes.

A - Pour is a nice golden straw hue with a big fluffy head that fades to leave lots of nice sticky side lacing.

S - Smell is big on the chardonnay barrels. Lots of grapey vinous notes with some light belgian yeast as well. Nose is incredibly inviting.

T - Taste is really nice. More of those french oak chardonnary barrels big time. Good grape with light musk notes. Some subtle pepperyness and belgian yeasts like your average saison but that chardonnay really comes through.

M - Nice carbonation with a a very good dry finish.

O - Overall this was quite the enjoyable beer. Going to have to try and trade for some!

 707 characters

Photo of Mantooth
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into my free Stella tulip glass (check 'em out online, you may still be able to score a freebie).

A: Beautifully packaged, wine-like label with a nice description of the beer, ample head, hazy orange color with very nice lacing and retention.

S: CHARDONNAY - from the moment the cap leaves its perch, French oak, orange peel, banana (it's a Belgian).

T: Orange peel, banana, oak, plum, raisin. Surprisingly - not incredibly boozy for a 10% brew.

O: A very nice beer that has taken on a lot of the characteristics of the barrels it was aged in. I recommend trying this at least once.

 608 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours out a crystal clear, yellow-hued body with a foaming, tall, white head.

Smell: The chardonnay wine barrel treatment is simply bulging in the aroma, ahead of the lightly sweet-scented golden barley and hint of finely fragrant herbs and flowers giving a quality of hand-crafted artisan soaps, the kind people keep in an ornate bowl in the bathroom, are in small shapes, and you're not allowed to use.

Taste: A wonderful blend of sweet, soft as cream barley and a great chardonnay with a gentle oakiness. Floral accents, a hint of citric lemon vanilla creme, and some perfumy touches. A little, bright 'pop' of acidity. Light spiciness and some more oak showing on the wine spritzed finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Highly carbonated, very easy and breezy along the tongue.

Overall: The chardonnay character is pairing perfectly with the strong golden ale with just the right amount of carbonation. Hardly any showing of the supposed 10% alcohol. It's outstanding all around. I know it's early still, but can I go ahead and declare my favorite new beer of the year?

 1,085 characters

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.

 2,081 characters

Photo of randylangford
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This a grat beer to kick off my New Years celebration.

A: Beautiful golden straw colour with a full slowly desecending froth.
S: The smell is heavy with chardonnay.
T: The chardonnay comes through in the exact amount that I wanted so that it compliments without overpowering.
M: Light and fizzy on the tongue reminding me of wine.
O: I'm really glad that I tried this beer because it reminds me just how versatile beer is to great creativity combined with quality craftmanship.

 478 characters

Photo of KMcG
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Opaque straw, wonderfully beady head two fingers thick, after it dissipates there is a fine luxurious lace. It's inviting so much so that several people asked what I was drinking.

S: Fruity and sweet.  Grapes, dank Belgium yeast, and clear Chardonnay character.

T: White wine, peppery like some Saisons, oaky, honey and raisins.  There is a toastiness and a hint of clove.  Quite complex, but strong wine-like character.

M: Fine carbonation, crisp, dry and medium body. 

Overall, fantastic!

 502 characters

Photo of drpimento
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is compliments of Paulo from the Archives, gracias. Poured with a nice, off white, fine, foamy, thick, frothy, off white head that lasts and plenty of lace. Color is a slightly hazy, burnished yellow amber. Aroma is a fragrant mix of yeast, fruit, hop, malt, bread dough. Flavor is much like nose with carbonic tang; yeast and carbonic tang standing out. Body is just as it should be, ditto carbonation.

 408 characters

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