New Belgium Wild²: Everything you’d expect from Schisandra berries
This is another New Belgium “Lips of Faith” series beer that I picked up recently. It is a dark Belgian Dubbel with Schisandra berries added to the fermenter. According to the Colorado brewing company, these berries are known as the “five-flavor fruit.” I’d never heard of them, but something in this brew works to create a nice floral, complex, sweet and smooth brew that is a perfect stand-alone beer.
This beer is dark with a velvety head that lasts for the entire glass. It has a dark spicy nose with plenty of banana and floral notes from the yeast layered over a dark, fruity malt presence. If I hadn’t popped the cap off the bottle just moments before, the complex flavor of this beer would have me convinced that it had spent time aging in a cork bottle in someone’s beer cellar. The beer finishes much drier than you would expect, but it remains full-bodied throughout the experience. The fermentable ingredients work with the yeast to create a subtle lingering sourness. It’s an unexpected ending to a great beer that is well balanced throughout.
This series of beers from New Belgium Brewing Company is very interesting. Many are collaborations with other breweries, and the few that I’ve tried are both excellent and unusual. In Ohio these are showing up on shelves as 22-ounce bombers. I plan to pick up a few others.