Collaboration beers when done properly can be amazing, a fusion between multiple different visions, coming together to create a one of a kind elixir. In my opinion one of the more successful collaborative series has been De Proef's "Brewmaster's Collaboration". They have brewed with Lost Abbey's Tomme Arthur and the brewmaster from Bell's in Michigan among many others. They've been unique and more importantly very good. De Proef's latest collaboration is with the masters of rye Terrapin Beer. Monstre Rouge is called an Imperial Flanders Red Ale and is based off of Terrapins massively hopped beer "Big Hoppy Monster" but of course with a twist: Rye has been added to the recipe as well as some brett yeast.
The Beer: This one weighs in at 8.5% and pours a cloudy hazy hazelnut brown with a thick frothy head of foam. The nose is full of malts, lots of citrusy hops, some oaky vanilla and maybe its my imagination but just a hint of horsey notes comes through from the brett. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and my tasebuds short circuit momentarily from the layers of complex flavors. Once they come back on line I get hit by citrusy hops that leave a resiny finish, sweet fruiy malts, caramel, toffee, vanilla, and a dry oaky finish. Just a faint funky, horsey, barnyardy flavor, barely there. As I'm sitting there thinking I'd like the brett flavors turned up just a bit, I let the beer warm and it starts to come through even more. The more pronounced brett flavors start to meld with the more bourbon like qualities of this beer, then mixing with the resinous hops to create an explosion of flavors unlike many I've tasted before. A dry finish and this beer is truly one of a kind, one that I will love to see how it ages. The beer gets a resounding A from me. Folks at BA dig it, but not as much as I do.