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Friday, October 26, 2018

Feature Beer Friday: Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast Brunch Big Blend

By Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone!  Today's Feature Beer is the perfect option for a morning beer, the Beer Geek Brunch Big Blend from Mikkeller.  The name is a mashup of the two founders' names, Mikkel Borg Bjergsø, and Kristian Klarup Keller, who started as homebrewers in Denmark before launching Mikkeller and becoming one of the pioneers of gypsy brewing.  Gypsy brewing is a concept where the brewing company doesn't own a physical brewery, but instead uses other breweries for production when space is available and also collaborating with various breweries.  

Mikkeller's first huge beer hit was Beer Geek Breakfast which was an imperial stout with coffee that has been brewed many times since, but most of their beers are one-off special releases and variants.  Since starting the Mikkeller brand has established new locations worldwide, primarily bars but some like in New York City have brewing facilities attached.  This particular beer is one that I found locally at Robert Fresh Market on Highland Rd., the Beer Geek Breakfast Brunch Big Blend.  The original Beer Geek Brunch was also an imperial oatmeal stout with even more expensive coffee, but this one is a special version that's blended from six different aging barrels.  It's a combination of beer aged in bourbon, cherry wine, cognac, tequila, brandy, and whiskey.  I know, bourbon IS whiskey, but I don't know exactly what type the second one is, but I'm guessing that it's a scotch as they released a version of Beer Geek Brunch that was labeled as "Islay Edition" and a version of Beer Geek Breakfast labeled as a "Speyside Edition" so maybe they just got the spelling of whisky associated with scotch wrong?  Enough wondering though, how's the beer? 

Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast Brunch Big Blend

As you can see, the head is massive on this one, with an excess of carbonation.  Other reviewers had the same issue, so this isn't just a localized storage problem, but a full batch problem.  Hopefully though, it's not infected and the flavors are still intact.  Past that, the beer itself is a rich dark brown as expected from this 8% stout.  The nose is rich, with all the various barrel agings coming through but none as strong as the coffee from the base beer.  The bourbon is probably the strongest barrel on the aroma, but there's also a definite fruitiness from the cognac, brandy, and wine.  On the taste there's a hint of tequila, but it's the least present barrel flavor, and again the coffee and bourbon are coming through the strongest.

All in all, a very interesting beer, but if anything there is too much going on.  It's absolutely worth a try, but be ready for some heavy carbonation and a multi-pronged assault on the taste buds.  Cheers!