About Specialty Ales

About Specialty Ales
This category is, practically speaking, a catchall for beers that don’t fit neatly in an existing category. Specialty beers may be flavored with, or affected by, unusual ingredients (ginger, chipotle peppers) or fermentation agents (Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus), or brewed with unusual fermentables (buckwheat, sweet potatoes, maple syrup). This category also features the growing number of ultra-high gravity “extreme” beers that push the limits of alcohol. In addition, the base beer may be related to almost any classic beer style. Given the variation possible in this category, there are no established standards for appearance, aroma or flavor. Instead, beers in this category are defined by a pleasing combination of the beer’s elements, and overall drinkability.

Top Picks for Specialty Ales

The Great Dane Pub & Brewing Co. Belgian Prairie Belgian-Style Tripel blended with Fumé
88 points
Hazy amber color. Attractive aromas and flavors of lemon herb muffin, caramel on raisin toast, champagne vinaigrette, and playdoh with a satiny, vibrant, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, long finish that shows shades of melon, grapefruit gelato, and watercress finish. A complex, vinous ale with great table appeal.
Cervecería Kross K15 Experimental Chilean Grape Ale
87 points
Pale golden yellow color. Sulfurous, grassy, green aromas of omelet, minerals, pizzelle cookies, and cloves with a syrupy, shy, finely carbonated, moderately sweet medium-to-full body and a smooth, breezy sprouting barley, lemon cookie, ginger, and allspice finish. Complex spiced beer to share with friends who like something a little different.