About 14 months ago, Crux sent me a few samples in a unique package. I drank one of the beers, Half Hitch, immediately. The other two, FREAKCAKE and DOUBLECROSS are part of Crux's [BANISHED] series of barrel-aged beers. It was a difficult decision, but I decided to banish the pair to my crawlspace for come quality cellar time.
Since Crux is preparing to release the 2014 installment of FREAKCAKE, I decided I would wait no longer. So after a over a year in the bottle, here are my tasting notes for 2013 [BANISHED] FREAKCAKE:
375ml corked & capped bottle. Deep reddish brown in color, with a tan head that dissipates very slowly. Aroma of plum, spice, a touch of funk, and mild alcohol. On the first sip, a rush of many flavors comes through—cherry, raisin, fig, and spicy clove. While this is a hefty 10.5% ABV beer, alcohol is noticeable, but not boozy. FREAKCAKE is medium bodied and has an almost creamy mouth feel. It's not sour, but mildly tart. It finishes with lingering notes of cherry, brett funk and warming alcohol.
My patience was rewarded! If you refrigerate this beer (I did not), make sure you let it warm to room temperature before drinking.
If FREAKCAKE sounds tasty, I suggest you keep an eye out for the new 2014 release, which will soon be available. Better yet, head down to the release party at Belmont Station on February 19. All of the details are listed below.
GET FREAKY, PORTLAND.
Join us for a toast and tap takeover as we celebrate the release of the 2014 [BANISHED] FREAKCAKE BARREL-AGED OUD BRUIN ALE. We’ll have Freakcake available on draught and in bottles—limit four bottles per person; pick up a few for cellaring. Freakcake is our take on the Flanders-style old brown ale, brewed with roasted Belgian aromatic malts and lemon and orange zest. We then induce a secondary fermentation in the barrel with Brettanomyces plus sour cherries, raisins, cranberries, and figs, for a mildly acidic ale.
2014 [BANISHED] FREAKCAKE Barrel-Aged Oud Bruin Ale
* PORTLAND RELEASE PARTY *
Plus Toast & Tap Takeover
Thursday, February 19, 5- 7 pm
Belmont Station, 4500 SE Stark Street, Portland, Oregon 97215
WHAT IS [BANISHED]? Banished Series beers are hidden away for months in oak barrels, allowing flavors to mature, meld and mellow. Some beers in this series also contain live yeast, making them good candidates for cellaring at home.
WHY THIS BEER? As you may know, we designed our 11,000-hectolitre brewery to allow for non-traditional brewing methods like oak barrel aging, wild yeast strains and experimental hops. This beer is an example of the long-awaited fruits of those labors.
ABOUT CRUX FERMENTATION PROJECT:
Crux Fermentation Project is located at the epicenter of Bend and at the crucial core of the brewing process. We’ve designed our 11,000-hectolitre brewery to allow for non-traditional brewing methods like decoction mashing, open fermentation, oak barrel aging, wild yeast strains and experimental hops. All our beer is bottled and labeled by hand in small batches right at the brewery. Brewmaster Larry Sidor is always in pursuit of the next great beer, whether by reinterpreting a classic style or abandoning it altogether.
50 SW Division, Bend, Oregon 97702