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Final Absolution

Other reviews for this beer:
Jill Jaracz one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer read it ›
Dragonmead Microbrewery
Warren, MI

Style: Abbey Tripel
ABV: 8.5%

Eddie’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Outstanding within its style.)

The word absolution means the act of setting a person free from an obligation or the consequences of guilt. Basically, a forgiveness of sins. Now if this beer, Final Absolution from Dragonmead Brewery in Warren, Michigan, was made as some form of penitence, the brewer or brewers who put this beast together must have committed one doozy of a sin, along the lines of pantsing Jesus, Buddha, and Allah on their birthdays in front of the girls they had crushes on.

Another entry in a (sort of) long line of Midwest brewers taking a stab at what may be the holy grail of beer styles—the Belgian trippel—Dragonmead may have done it. I think they’ve produced a beer worthy of Eddie’s four-mug rating. I’m sure the bottom of your jaw hurts since it just bounced off the desk (from yawning). But it’s true: this is a damn fine beer.

This bottle-conditioned brew pours a pale, glowing gold. That’s right, I’m telling you the damn stuff glows as I pour it into a heavy Schlitz goblet. The head doesn’t do the beer any favors, though, as it comes out a bit thinnish and small-bubbled, but nice and sticky. Despite this, the nose is nice and strong, dominated by the typical Belgian yeast spiciness with some orange zest along the edges. See, from here on out, this is where the oil meets the ointment, so to speak. Where the wheat gets separated from the chaff. Where a brewery can prove it can run with the big boys, at least when it comes to Belgian trippels. Let’s get it on.

The body starts light and spritzy, buoyed by strong spiciness and hints of orange and lemon peel. The backwash follows through with some maltiness that balances things out and adds a touch of body, then … what’s this? A tiny trace of Saaz hop pop nips the end of the sip off to lend a dry, quenching finish, making this a delicious, dangerously drinkable beer. That 8.5 percent ABV is completely hidden all the way to the last sip. Pow! This is a great beer. It won’t rival the best of what Belgium has to offer, but it’s good enough to stand out amongst its peers. You folks at Dragonmead, whatever naughties you’re guilty of, consider yourself forgiven.

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on February 6, 2008.
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