Wow. Just wow. That was my reaction after one sip.
Halcyon Barrel House is an upstart brewing project in Vankleek Hill, Ontario (circa May 2017), and part of the Beau’s family. It has a decidedly different direction and vision than its parent brewery, with a focus on barrel-aged, small batches.
The first such product was Infinity Mirror, a barrel-aged, bottle conditioned, Brett IPA.
I was drawn in by the sleek bottle design, which is the same upscale style that many wineries use for their products. It is a nice touch for the 750 mL format, and encourages sharing. However, the flavour did not. This is one beer that I was not in a rush to be generous with.
I am really enjoying the increased use of brettanomyces, a wild yeast known colloquilally as brett. It is used most commonly in Belgian ales and saisons.
While brett has an interesting history of ‘contaminating’ the flavour of beer, itts use in a barrel-aged IPA allows for a lot of unique, complex flavours to come out in the finished product.
Infinity Mirror pours a gorgeous, hazy, deep golden colour. I don’t even know where to start with the flavour. I can say with certainty that I haven’t enjoyed a new IPA as quickly as with this one in a very long time.
The tasting notes are diverse, but not to the point of being overwhelming. It is funky, smooth, sweet, tropical, and just a little bit winey. It is a real lip-smacker, and despite being relatively rich, it is quite refreshing.
There is a hint of bitterness, but it is subtle compared to typical IPAs.
I shouldn’t be surprised that such an incredible product came from Vankleek Hill and the Beau’s brand, but I will reiterate: wow.
I can’t really find the words to adequately describe this one and do it justice. To have such a complex, funky flavour while still being refreshing makes for just a fantastic beer.
I will go out of my way to try everything that Halcyon puts out in the years to come!
- ABV: 6.5%
- IBU: N/A
- Style: Brett IPA
- Taste: Smooth and hoppy
- Rating: 5.0/5.0
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