Is it Méthode Traditionnelle spontaneous beer? Is it Colorado Whiskey barrel aged Barleywine? Is it a natural process, foot-stomped Rainier Cherry wine? Maybe it’s all of the above? Instead of trying to categorize Max Pageantry, we’ll offer you the details of how this crazy concoction was crafted, some of our tasting notes, and let you decide!
In the summer of 2018, we foot-stomped 1200lbs of Rainier cherries to traditionally macerate and release the juices of our sweet, golden, Colorado gems. The Must (juice and skins from the crushed cherries) was rested in our koelschip for the evening and the juice subsequently separated from pomace (solid portion of the Must) and fermented in open upright puncheons. Following a brief primary fermentation, this spontaneous cherry wine was blended with our one-year old traditional spontaneous beer and racked into freshly emptied Colorado whiskey barrels for a two-year maturation period. Three years in the making, this complex digestif is bottled Still (uncarbonated), a choice inspired by examples of our favorite Belgian Oude Lambic, although quite different in flavor!
Max Pageantry is our highest ABV offering to date and is wild and warming at a contemplative 12.2% ABV. Bearing only minor resemblance to any of our previous releases, we get a huge nose of deep dark forest, old library books, and swirling barrel aged spirits. The flavors remind us of caramelized cherries dried in the sun with burnt brown sugar, summer attic funk, and hints of fresh strawberries, with oxidative, herbal, and oak characteristics that trend towards Sherry and Vermouth.
This fermentation holds a special place in our heart as the last creation in our cellars stimulated by the 2018 Colorado Rainier Cherry harvest, alongside Radioactive Optics, Disgraced Nuclear Physicist, and most recently, Where The Twist Gets Even Twistier. L’Chaim!
Photo credit: Stacey McMahan @mcmacstudio