Monday, August 26, 2013

Monkish Brewing Company - Seme Della Vita

Last weekend, my girlfriend and I were driving around Los Angeles looking for what was supposed to be the best mochi place in the city. I'm not what you would call "great with directions," so I ended up turning approximately 16 blocks before I was supposed to into what looked like an industrial complex. But as fate would have it, this complex happened to hold a brewery. We weren't on a tight schedule, so we decided to check it out.

The brewery we stumbled upon was a small business called Monkish Brewing Company. They're fairly new to the scene and specialize in Belgian styles with a twist. For example, when we were there, they had a Belgian single brewed with elderflowers, a saison that was dry hopped with hibiscus and chamomile and a brown brewed with rose hips (just to name a few). One that caught my eye was a Tripel brewed with vanilla and pistachios- Seme Della Vita.

Seme Della Vita pours a clear apple cider color with a thin, bone-white head. The smell was intense and sweet with huge pistachio and pound cake notes jumping out of the glass. I also picked up some toasted biscotti and hazelnut. Everything about the smell of this beer had me really excited to try it.

The taste opens sweet, with a good amount of Belgian yeast and hints of hazelnuts coming through first. The middle shows just a hint of prickly booze along with some dry, chalky yeast. The finish brings the pistachios, both meat and skin and finishes fairly clean without coming off too sweet. The flavor didn't quite live up to the smell, but this was a pretty tasty beer, nonetheless.

I don't think it should come as too much of a surprise when I say that craft breweries are popping up virtually everywhere in Southern California (even Los Angeles). But what's more surprising than the quantity of breweries is the quality. With this many new breweries popping up, you would think a good amount of them would be sub-par. But the more I visit new breweries, the more impressed I get. Monkish, and their Seme Della Vita, are a great example of what new breweries are about. They're pushing boundaries and new takes on brewing while paying homage to the classic styles and breweries that started it all. Monkish was definitely worth the trip. And we even ended up finding our mochi afterwards.

Final Grade: B+

Top 250 Beers Tasted: 127

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