Saturday, December 5, 2015

2015 Advent Beer 5: Devil's Tramping Ground Tripel

Today's selection is another can, resulting in both a difficult extrication from the calendar and the possible compromising of the remaining structural integrity. This should not have a tremendous impact upon the contents unless a catastrophic failure ends with the top row plummeting upon the bottom row without warning. I do hope that the calendar's purveyors are planning improvements for next year's edition, since it is likely that even more cans will be warranted.


As far as the beer itself goes, it comes from Aviator Brewing in North Carolina, and is named after an ominously sobriqueted campground in those parts, where Old Scratch himself is reputed to spend time pacing about, ruminating upon ways to trouble humanity (as if we need any help in that regard). He certainly seems to get around, what with that tower in Wyoming, but I imagine that is to be expected.


Devil's Tramping Ground does what it says on the tin, pouring a clean gold with a brilliantly white and effervescent head that proceeds through lace and then a ring or pearls as the beer warms. As a rule of thumb, apparently there is an inverse relationship between the alcohol content of a beer and how cold it should be served; at 9.2%, this tripel is ideally suited for just a few degrees below room temperature, and a lot of the affiliated glassware is meant to be held in the palm of the hand, akin to a brandy snifter.


9.2% ABV also means you should have all of your driving-related and fine motor skill responsibilities out of the way before imbibing, playing hob with my plans to do this post earlier in the afternoon.


These Trappist-style ales are always a treat for the olfactory, and Devil's Tramping Ground is no exception; behind the esters and yeasty goodness of this liquid bread are traces of the promised sugars, and the tingle of crisp fruit such as apples and pears.


The first sip felt dominated by sourness to me, but subsequent samplings let the sweetness come into play, along with the fruitiness hinted at in the aroma. A pleasant, winey mouthfeel and strong, sweet finish make this devilishly apellated brew a surprisingly appropriate pick for the Christmas season.


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