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

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding
103 Reviews
Melange A Trois - Reserve Series Aged In French Oak Chardonnay BarrelsMelange A Trois - Reserve Series Aged In French Oak Chardonnay Barrels
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Nebraska Brewing Company
Nebraska, United States | website

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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!

Added by RedHaze on 11-16-2008

BEER STATS
Reviews:
103
Ratings:
378
Avg:
4.19
pDev:
17.66%
 
 
Wants:
104
Gots:
84
For Trade:
7
User Reviews
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Reviews: 103 | Ratings: 378
Photo of Sintech
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Out of 750ml bottle.

Appearance - Golden yellow hue.

Smell - Oak, Wine and Belgian yeast.

Taste - Wine, grapes, Belgian yeast, light fruits, champagne... WOW!

Mouthfeel - Medium attenuation. Medium carbonation.

Overall - One of the best Belgians out there. Definitely the best Belgian Strong from Nebraska!!

Grade (A+)

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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.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.77/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 750 mL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a clear yellow (with a hint of orange hue) with high carbonation producing a beautiful 2+ inch frothy white head. Excellent retention. Nice thick lacing too. I rarely hand out 5's, but this is perfection.
S: Musty, barnyard funk, and minerals hit the nose from a couple feet away immediately after the pour. Definitely draws you in. Sweet citrus (orange and grapefruit), chardonnay, white pepper, honey malt, dry cracker, and a hint of vanilla and oak. Wow! Has a ton to offer here.
T: Soft sweet orange, must and funk, and white pepper yeast hits first. Then dry cracker, honeyed malt, and chardonnay enter the fray. Followed by oak and vanilla...and lemon curd. And a spritz of grapefruit at the end to round it all out. With warming, almond and clove emerge. Follow through on the promise of the aroma...and then some. Multilayered.
M: Musty, funky, subtly sweet, and with a buttery (vinous) feel. A touch of tartness from the chardonnay. ABV is absurdly well hidden. Medium-heavy body. Nice lingering and maturing on the palate.
D: Wow...wow. This was quite the treat. A well thought out and crafted brew. Loads of complexity with extremely well hidden ABV...and yet still amazingly drinkable. Serve at about 50 and take your time enjoying this one. Fresh bread and fruit in a bottle. One of the best beers I've had in the last few years. Well done, Nebraska BC! Seek it out!

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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?

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Photo of Patrickbrusil
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a world class beer. The barrel aging is top notch. Truly wonderful vanilla, honey, oaky smells and flavors shin in the nose and the taste. Beautiful mouthfeel, beautiful appearance. Incredible taste.

It is always amazing to be stopped in your shoes by a beer that makes one sit back and realize the beauty of great craft beer.

Get this at all costs.

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Photo of RedBrewer83
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Chimay goblet....

A: Pours a golden yellow cloudy hue with a nice three finger frothy white head that lingers throughout the entire beer. Only knock is that its a little hazy, but everything else looks amazing.

S: Reminds me immediately of Duvel with the bright fruit esters of apple and peach and the yeast comes through along with some nice pale malt and floral hop on the finish. The Chardonnay really transferred beautifully to the nose as well, can definitely pick it up and seems to marry well with the beer.

T: This stuff is incredible! Seriously this might be a one up on Duvel, like drinking the already nearly perfect Duvel but with some nice oak and chardonnay notes layered in there as well.

M: Smooth and nicely carbonated, head retention adds to creaminess of the feel. Can't find the 10%.

D: Too drinkable, this stuff goes down in the blink of an eye, but oh so smooth and well balanced! Forget about RR Temptation, this is the best pale aged in oak imo!

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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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 release. Golden Delicious apple yellow with Champagnesque carbonation and a massive crown of pearl colored foam that is as Belgianesque as any America-brewed ale has a right to be. Outstanding and extensive lace puts the finishing touches on an appearance that is eye candy in the extreme.

The aroma is remarkable too. One sniff was all it took to identify each major part of this chardonnay barrel-aged BSPA. On second thought, the oak isn't very prominent, but the others work together like hand-in-glove. Very little appreciable alcohol is an excellent sign.

Who the bloody hell are these guys!?! Melange A Trois (the first salvo in the Barrel Aged Reserve Series) is the second gobsmacker of an ale that I've had from Nebraska Brewing Company. Assuming all of their offerings are this delicious, NBC can give America's best brewers of Belgian-style ales (see Allagash and Russian River) a serious run for their money. True story.

There is unquestionable quality in each and every mouthful. This now 9-month old brew has held up incredibly well and tastes and feels like it will be damn good for some time to come. Supreme job of bottle-conditioning... but we're not ready to talk about mouthfeel yet.

The base beer is an extraordinarily well-crafted Belgian strong pale that features perfect balance between golden orchard fruit (pears, apples) and clove spice. The Chardonnay grape vinousness, while not as prominent as it was in Hop God, is still an indispensible member of the flavor profile. Oak is in the background, but isn't really missed.

Subsequent pours recreate the impressive and imposing crown, while blanketing the sides of the glass with even more sticky lace. The mouthfeel makes drinking this amazing elixir a summer breeze. It's light-medium for the ABV and has the expansive creaminess and lightly sparkly bubbles that Belgian ales are known for. Brewed in Papillion, NE? Mind-boggling.

On the strength of two out-of-this-world ales, I'm ready to crown Nebraska Brewing Company the single best 'unknown to most BAs' brewery in the country. Melange A Trois is at least the equal of Hop God, and might even be better. Both are superlative drinkers and make me glad to live in a neighboring state. Now, about distribution one state to the east...

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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...

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Photo of sholland119
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very excited to see this beer come to PA after enjoying a Hop God in NYC last month.

A-Pours a slightly hazy gold, with fine carbonation, a fluffy white head and great sticky lacing.

S-Sweet fruits, mainly white chradonnay grapes but also some pear. Good helping of oak barrel as well. Some Belgian yeastiness.

T-Belgian yeast and nice oak barrel bite but this is dominated by sweet chardonnay grapes and a little bit of white pepper. Deliciously flavorful and complex. Alcohol is not really even detectable.

M-Light bodied with medium amounts of fine carbonation.

D-Absolutely delicious, insanely drinkable.

HV

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Photo of Brewmeist
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Quite an interesting little treasure i stumbled upon. 25oz into snifter, what else is new?

Melange is Golden/yellow, slightly cloudy, micro bubbly. Had a good head and lacing...impressive for an aged beer. Smells of sweet, and sour. The barrel aging is evident immediately. A boozy champagne/belgian strong. This is a sipper, had a tart sourness about it backed up by a light sweet and dry champagne finish...really beautiful. Overall this is a must purchase. It's really a unique styling of beer, that i can say is the first of this genre (other than the matured sake cask beer, this is waay better). For 30 bucks, if you have the means, i suggest giving it a try. Preferably with a pretty gal you've had your eyes on for a while.

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Photo of stephens101
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This bright, yellow-gold brew is topped with a bountiful white head.

Piquant light, fruity notes float between a background of spice, grain, yeast and faint alcohol.

The taste is complex and redolent of ripened light fruits (pear, green apple, orange, lemon), a dose of spice, faint oak, and grain.

Well carbonated, medium-bodied and finishes dry with a noticeable chardonnay heat that quickly resigns itself to more lingering notes of fruit and a hint of diacetyl.

One of the most flavorful beers I've had in a while. And one that makes me want to go to Nebraska, a thought that has never really crossed my mind until now.

Road trip!

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Hoser77
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz. Bomber

A-Pours a hazy, yellow gold with slight orange hues. Thick, creamy, mousy head. Belgian lace persists and clings tightly to my New Belgium glass. Effervescent carbonation bubbles to the top.

S-Definitely a Belgian yeast! Faint notes of chardonay and oak. Very tropical and fruity. Hints of pepper, pineapple, pear, and vanilla. Very fragrant. Slight scent of sweetness from alcohol and malt. Definite alcohol fusels, but not offensive. No hop aroma.

T-Slightly tannic from the oak, but complements the overall beer very well. Don't detect any chardonnay. Slightly sweet-could be the malt or the alcohol? Very fruity-pineapple, pear, mangos. Do I detect a hint of Brett? Moderate spicy, pepper notes. No noticeable hop flavor

M-Despite the high alcohol(10%)and tannins from the oak it is very lush and chewy, yet finnishes dry and crisp. Warming from the alcohol. No astringency.

D-I have heard a great deal about this beer and it lives up to its reputation. Despite the high alcohol, it is very complex and drinkable. Kudos to Paul and Tyson at NBC! I look forward to trying more of there reserve series in the near distant future....

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Hazy copper gold with a 2” sticky foam collar. S: Fruity, musty, wine notes. T: Light malt, slightly sweet, light funk, light apricot to peach, Belgian yeast. F: Medium body with very fine, soft carbonation. O: the carbonation and body make this beer stand out.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Boulevard tulip.

2010

A: Pours a clear and tawny gold color. Immediately, three full fingers of white meringue camped out on top and stuck around for the whole glass. Carbonation was quite active with lots of "trails" rising from the bottom of the glass. Lace was plentiful with delicate webbing, bands, and ropes. The third (yeast swirled) pour netted me a beer that looked like cloudy peach nectar. Tendrils of suspended sediment.

S: Killer nose! Green apple, oak, lemon, peach, apricot, earthy yeast, and some fresh cut grass. Tart Chardonnay grapes toy at the end with more citrus and a hint of alcohol.

T: Loads of tart citrus, orchard fruit (pear, peach, and apple), sweet yeastiness, golden raisins, and a fickle toasty malt flavor that comes on so briefly during the finish. Loses 1/2 a point for a slightly intrusive flavor of alcohol that comes out as the bottle warms. The third pour with the swirled in yeast, gained a definite spicy/white peppery edge that was so welcome. Regains 1/2 a point!

M: Suprisingly slick and smooth given the obvious level of carbonation. I would classify this as "oily" and that works perfectly for this beer. Awesome lingering vinous/citric tang in the finish.

D: Hell yeah! Exceedingly drinkable for a beer dipping its' toes in double digit abv%. I felt like the alcohol, while not intrusive in the least, became apparent as it came up to temp. Cheeks were feelin' the heat by the end of this!

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Photo of crob3888
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a light golden color with a fluffy white head. Tons of Chardonnay barrel character; vinous, wine, grapes, and earthy oak qualities. Extremely dry finish. Very good beer.

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Photo of hardy008
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy straw color with a 4 finger bright white head with very good retention and lacing. The aroma has green apple, lemon, yeast, pepper, apricot, clove, and chardonnay.

The taste also has green apple, lemon, yeast, pepper, apricot, clove, and chardonnay. Somewhat sweet, tart, and dry at the same time. Vinous for sure.

Medium bodied, creamy. well carbonated, and the alcohol is well hidden for 10.00 % abv. I am glad I had a chance to pick this up in Hudson, and will look for more Nebraska beers when I go back.

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

750ml bottle poured into a darkness snifter shared with fellow BA's at our last tasting.

pours out a hazy pale golden color with a nice white head. good retention with some lace left behind.

very vinious and wine like, lots of that chardonnay barrel coming through. some phenoly belgian yeast and a bit of sweet candied malt.

lots of white wine, grapey flavors, fruity, phenoly belgian yeast, very similar to the aroma. slightly tart. a bit of sweet candied malt.

medium bodied, a bit dry and tart finish.

a very nice belgian, so much of that chardonnay barrel coming through. very much like the other nebraska beers ive tried.

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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.

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

On tap at TJ's, the day before their anniversary event.

The beer pours a bright, fairly dark gold color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is quite complex in this beer, as I pick up considerable citrus, light clove, honey, peach and of course, lots of vanilla and chardonnay. There's a light hint of sour as well, which I associate with the wine barrel aging. The flavor profile replicates the nose in this impressive beer, though it's nice that there's sufficient bitterness on the finish to buoy the tropical fruit and modest sweetness. The light sour wine flavor blends well with the bitterness, and completely dries this beer out on the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, with a long, lightly bitter, spicy finish. Alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile... there's really no sense of the 10% abv. on the palate.

An impressive beer, no doubt... I just wish it wasn't so expensive (as all Nebraska brewing beers seem to be... a tulip glass of this was $12 at TJ's!). In any event, I'm glad I had a chance to try this. (though I was more than a bit annoyed when I saw bombers of this beer at my local MofC, priced at a much more reasonable $13.99 a pop.)

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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.

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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.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.46/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Gouyasse tulip glass. Pours a hazy, medium golden amber with a beautiful three finger fine white head with great retention and lacing. Pleasant aroma of white wine, Belgian yeast and faint oak. Flavor is Belgian yeast, light grape, apple and pear juice; oak influence of vanilla and butter, slight tartness, Belgian and earthy spicing, absolutely delicious. Medium bodied with great creaminess. This is one of the best barrel aged Belgian ales I've had and possibly the only wine barrel aged ale that I totally loved. I'm a big fan of whiskey barrel aged ales, but wine barrel ales are often too tart and vinous for my taste. The Belgian ale base of Melange A Trois completely supported the flavors of the vinous oak, and incorporated them excellently. A totally enjoyable ale. This is the first time I've seriously contemplated moving to Nebraska. A fine production.

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Melange A Trois - Reserve Series Aged In French Oak Chardonnay Barrels from Nebraska Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 103 ratings.
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