Today I'm drinking Ode to Mercy Imperial Brown Ale brewed by Thomas Creek Brewery in Greensville, South Carolina for Wild Heaven Craft Beers in Decatur, Georgia. I had never heard of this brewery until I was up in Atlanta this past weekend for my sister's wedding. I was yapping away about something when Twitter friend Christine asked if I had ever tried Wild Heaven beers. Later that evening, I found myself in a Kroger and this beer caught my eye. I'd probably not have even noticed it without the recommendation. So thanks, I hope.
The label shows a man playing a guitar, a bit impressionistic with its style. Simple but nice. There is a story to the side titled "Serve Your Neighbor". I'm not quite sure how that title ties into the story below it, as the story is a simple explanation of what you can expect from the beer. Best served at 46°F. 40 IBU. 20 SRM. 8.2% alcohol.
Very nutty aroma with an underlying malty sweetness. Coffee, pecans and wood follow in the nose. The flavors are a lot richer than I was expecting, quite creamy as well. Caramel sweetness is intertwined with plenty of nutty flavors in the beginning. Wood, smoke and a light roast follow.
Those initial flavors are met with an ample amount of coffee. And a really nice coffee it is, too. Great flavor and offering a balance for the initial sweetness. The alcohol can be felt in the chest, especially toward the end, but is not a distraction at all. The finish is also pretty dry. Smooth, nice texture and flavors. Very enjoyable.
You know, I think that based on the contract beers I've tasted from them (Holy Mackerel, Hatuey, Wild Heaven), Thomas Creek has proven itself a solid brewer; they could, however, probably use some recipe lessons for their own stuff.