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Element Extra Special Oak

November 9, 2012

This beer caught my eye one evening simply because it was distinctive. Oak aging is something I really appreciate in most beers or wines… or whiskeys… I like things that are oaked is the point. The addition of oak flavor is always welcome in my opinion, yet I never thought of a beer dedicated to showcasing that flavor as a whole. Element is a brewery out of Miller Falls, Massachusetts, and they seem focused on maintaining strict control of their beer; they don’t contract brew, they use their own yeast strain, and much more. These guys are dedicated to the precision and artwork that goes into making a fine brew.

Their Extra Special Oak pours a rich wooden brown color with a quickly dissipating white head. The scent is of course, one of strong oak and I found slight hints of booze despite the average ABV of the beer. It had a medium body but was drinkable despite its slight heft in my mouth, not cloying but not quite smooth either. The brew hits you with a strong and sweet taste of oak, which leads to a vanilla flavoring, that finally gives way to a light hint of malt on the end. Basically it was a sweet oaky ride, and I found myself a little overwhelmed by it.

Over time I grew more tired of the heavy oak taste rather than enjoying it like I did the first sip. I felt that this beer definitely needed a little more balance to it. This is rare for me to say but I felt it might have benefited from a little more hops or perhaps darker more roasted malts to provide a bitter flavor. Overall, it’s worth having a taste for the novelty but I wouldn’t suggest drinking a full glass.

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From → Beer

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