Brewed By: Une Année Brewery in Chicago, Illinois
Purchased: 750ml (1 Pint 9.4 FL OZ) bottle bought at Bottles & Cans in Chicago, IL; 2015 (Batch #X151)
Style/ABV: American Wild Ale/Belgian Inspired Blond Ale, 8.8%
More Midwest shelf turds. About Une Année:
The Xellensis is a Belgian Inspired Blond Ale brewed with Brett. The bottle reads, "A not sweet blond, brewed exclusively with brettanomyces bruxellensis. This ale will go the distance-provoking your senses and only growing tougher over time. Are you up for the challenge?"
Une Année is a brewery based out of Chicago, Illinois located near the intersection of Grand and Ashland in the Kinzie Industrial Corridor (three blocks from the Goose Island Fulton St. production brewery). The brewery was founded in early 2012 by Jerry Nelson, who is "an Architect, Marine, Siebel Institute Graduate, and Chicago native who started homebrewing in 1995 while stationed in California." Currently, Jerry is the head brewer along with Dustin Zimmerman, who also attended the Siebel Institute, and previously brewed at Hamburger Mary’s Andersonville and worked at Nøgne Ø. The name "Une Année" means "one year" in French, and was chosen to reinforce the two main ideas behind the brewery: a focus on Belgian and French style beer, and an emphasis on seasonal beers. For more info, check out the brewery's website.
Une Année Xellensis - unsexy photo FTW
This pours into a blonde-orange body, kicking up a lot of thick, foamy, white head. There is a storm of carbonation in my glass, like Duvel. Head retention is good.
The aroma here is funky, chalky, uniquely Belgian, and Brett. I'm getting a lot of apples and wheat, big yeast esters, pineapple, leather, some earthy funk, must/chalk, and some fruity and spicy phenol notes. Peaches.
Oh wow...this is really nice. I wasn't expecting this. This is a lot thicker than I was expecting. I'm also not getting as much Brett as I thought I would. The Brett comes out as mild and fruity, with apples and pineapple. This has tons of tropical fruit notes, with pineapple, peaches, pear, and apples. There's a bitter kiss of Brett at the back end, with some wheat. This is rich with tons of clove. It kind of reminds me of Pipework's Pineapple Bling. This takes the Belgian thing to an extreme, and reminds me of Duvel and various other Belgian beers.
I'm digging this. This is one of the better Une Année beers I have had to date. I don't know if it as good as their Tripel or Quad, but it is pretty close. It also hides the 8.8% very well. This is creamy, full-bodied, and moderately complex. While the complexity could ratchet up, the rest of the beer holds up for the style. I'm wondering if throwing this in your cellar for a year or two would result in some additional Brett complexity. That's my one caveat with many of Une Année's offerings...they all seem like they could benefit from aging a bit longer.
Rating: Above-Average (4.0/5.0 Untappd)
I'm feeling a Decent Above-Average on this. This is a solid beer, I'd love to revisit it with some age on it. Really, the base beer is a fantastic Belgian Strong Ale. It's approaching that top-shelf echelon. If the Brett was dialed up a bit, this would be an easy 4.5/5.0.
Random Thought: I'm really looking forward to Une Année's sour program.