Coming (Very) Soon: Next In The Devils Backbone Limited “Trailblazer” Series: Azrael
Following up the inaugural edition of their “Trailblazer” limited release series, Belgian Congo, Devils Backbone Brewing Company is currently rolling out the next beer in that line, a “Belgian inspired Golden” ale called Azrael. Currently available at their Outpost production brewery in nearby Lexington, Va, six packs of the beer is likely to begin showing up in stores possibly within the coming week. Previously available on draft at their brewpub location near Charlottesville, the beer has been planned as a limited release for some time. It is a “golden”, or pale, Belgian style ale, and flavors to expect from this kind of beer include light to moderate fruit like tastes, such as pear and green apple, perhaps a noticeable sweetness, a powdery-yeasty like flavor, and maybe a bit of spiciness. Bitterness is typically moderate, generally not at all like an American pale ale.
One of the things that really set the better examples of these beers apart from the rest is how well these flavors play out together. The flavors move in and out of your tasting experience instantly but softly, without as much as a peep, before disappearing again, almost like playful, silent ghosts. Combined with a trademark wheat-like, “fluffy”, almost airy mouthfeel, neither heavy nor too thin, and tasting the well crafted versions of these beers makes for one of those more rare “wow” moments. The impact isn’t the knockout punch of an ipa hop bomb heavyweight boxer, but more like hearing an impeccably played string instrumental from the highest quality speakers. There are sounds – or in this case, flavors – delicately riding through the air, coming at you from all corners.
These light-ish, fruit like flavors and the not too heavy quality of the beer make a great fit for warm summer days, so the timing of this release couldn’t be better. Azrael is a “strong” version of this kind of beer, meaning the alcohol content is higher than in other Belgian style golden ales, so it’s definitely one to sip on while watching the sun go down, or while taking a permanent break from the yardwork, or just taking the afternoon off altogether.