BridgePort is known ... well, mainly for its IPA. Among the beer geek set, it is known for the English-style ales of Karl Ockert, who brews perhaps the most authentic versions of the Isles' originals. So it is an interesting new foray for BridgePort into the land of Belgians with the new Supris. (They've apparently tried to do a viral internet campaign, which is just embarrassing--Google "Supris" to see.)
Belgian ales--and particularly American versions--are always hard to review because you have no reference point. Supris has qualities of a Belgian golden like Duvel ("Devil"), though it's milder. Duvel is triple-fermented, Supris double; Duvel employs Styrian and Saaz hops, Supris those plus Hersbrucker. If it's not exactly a strong golden, it's lineage seems evident. At six percent, I can't call it a strong, but how about a little Devil?
It pours out with a vigorous bead; honey-colored, cloudy and golden. The head is snowy and a nitro-like tuft remained on my glass until the last swallow. The nose had a tart, cellary yeast smell that was pure Belgian (the first test). I got hints of citrus, mineral, and a candy undertone (perhaps from high mashing temperatures that produce high unfermentables?).
Supris has a soft palate, enlivened by the prickly effervescence. It is fruity but tart, and finishes with a gentle sweetness. The hopping is pretty subtle, which allows the yeast to come forward--a good, if commercially risky call. I drank it alone, but because the palate is crisp but not intense I suspect it would be great with food.
It's an authentic Belgian effort, if slightly muted. Even so, I wonder if it will find much of a market. I wouldn't call it a classic, but it's a nice beer.
Hops: Styrian, Saaz and Hallertau Hersbrucker
Alcohol By Volume: 6.0%
Original Gravity: 14.5
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