It may surprise you to discover that Trillium, known to you and on the street as a perennial plant genus distinguished by its tri-bract design (I know my kids won’t shut up about it), also happens to be an excellent up-and-coming brewer wetting the britches of beer nerds across the country. Mentioned in the same breath as other New England brew houses like Tree House, Bissell Brothers, and Night Shift, Trillium has made a name for it’s anti-clarity beers that thrive in the trade groups with anyone passing through their Boston Bay locations (Fort Point and the recently opened Canton facility) to post covetous pictures of their beer-bottled haul.
I can now count myself in this group, having traded for a stash of bottles in mid-2015 only to have another windfall thanks to my dad’s in-person stop on a vacation up the East Coast. I took up the herculean task of drinking a mass of Trillium’s finest, writing up detailed tasting notes on each for one great big info dump. While there are some notable absences, including several top Trillium street IPAs, I got to try a variety of Trillium’s offerings, some multiple times.
As most people will probably need to trade for these, I commented on the the trade-worthiness of each. This is biased to my palate obviously, so if silky wheat and fruity, citrus hop-bodied IPAs aren’t your thing, you can pass on my recommendation to give away that do-nothing toddler for a case of Melcher Street. You can always make more kids, but few can make good beer. (Note: DBR does not recommend you do this.)
Sooo, rather than prattle on like I already have, here are some quick shots on the six beers I’ve had in the order that I preferred them. Low beer first, working up to the beer worth cashing in the kiddos.
Quick Take: Easily the best beer I’ve had to date from Great Divide and I regularly enjoy their offerings. On just about every level, this beer does huge, chocolate stouts right. It is also one of the few beers I simultaneously consider overpriced and worth it. BA Yeti is on the sweeter side with no dark fruit or savory layers to give it added depth, but it is as close to a perfect BA Imperial Chocolate Stout that I’ve ever come across.
Quick Take: Mogli is a beer for people that love to huff chocolate, but like their beer flavors mellow and drinkable. While I like my chocolate beers rich and full of velvet Elvis, plenty will appreciate the porter first mentality that keeps the traditional elements from being crushed under a choco-lanche. For me, the spectacular nose didn’t quite follow through to the taste, but this is a beer that does its namesake proud.
Brewery: The Lost Abbey
Style: Strong Ale (Barrel-Aged)
ABV: 13.5 %
My Cost: $22 (375 mls)
Actual Cost: $15 (375 mls)
Glassware: Snifter, Teku
Purchased@: The Loft at Iron Abbey
Quick Take: It’s been a long time since I had a beer that really blew me away, but I’ve finally found one. Among the many stellar beers in Lost Abbey’s lineup, this is a bourbon-aged beer to be reckoned with, only lacking a stronger kick of coffee to put it into the stratosphere. To that point, I’m not even sure this beer was shown a picture of coffee beans let alone brewed with them. Regardless, this is the first Ultimate Box Set beer I’ve had, but it won’t be my last.
Quick Take: For those that love KBS unconditionally and without a care of my opinion, I’ll sum up the 2015 edition thusly. The newest take has upped the Russian Imperial (tobacco, anise, bitter cocoa) and coffee elements, but at the cost of the barrel qualities that make BB beers great. Everyone that already loves KBS will still find plenty to love, but I’m still waiting to be blown away by this highly sought after treat.