If I were left to forage, I'd die. End of story. When the folks from Scratch forage, they make good beer. Their Black Trumpet Bière De Mars is a great example of that. Made with (you guessed it) black trumpet mushrooms, this beer was every bit as interesting as it was delicious.
You can tell by the label in the pictures that this one was handed to us before its official release. Our 2nd most read beer review of 2016 belongs to Scratch Brewing Company out of Ava, IL.
This beer was brewed with several dozen pounds of black trumpet mushrooms we harvested in the woods around the brewery. It's a clean-drinking, amber and malty French farmhouse-style beer that finishes earthy and chocolatey. This bottle-conditioned 750 ml bottle is 6.9% ABV and has been cellared for about 6 months for your enjoyment now or can be kept in your home cellar for another couple of years.
|Aroma - The aroma isn't overwhelming but it is complex and features a dry, chalky chocolate, ripe plums, spiced raisins and a pleasant earthiness from the mushrooms. The more it warms up, the more the raisin and chocolate character comes to the front.|
|Appearance - The beer is a clear, deep amber/brown with a thin, sparkling tan head made up of tiny bubbles. The head doesn't stick round long but as the head goes down, it begins to stick to the sides of your glass creating nice lacing.|
|Flavor - The first thing that I noticed was the fact that this one was both sweet and dry. As you drink it, the beer begins with brown sugar and caramel with a brief toasted quality, then it becomes bread crust and subdued tobacco, and finishes dry with the ripe plums and earthy mushroom lingering on your tongue. The other thing that sneaks into the mix is a little bit of alcohol that is small enough to be pleasant but big enough that it makes itself known.|
|Mouthfeel - The carbonation is high and the body is medium. The brightness of the carbonation scrubs your palate from the sweet malts and when you factor in the dry finish, after each drink you're left ready for your next sip.|
|Overall Impression - Based on the "label" in the picture for this review, we're sure you figured out that Scratch was kind enough to let us sample this one early. If you haven't heard of Scratch yet, don't worry. They're a little bit outside of STL (across the river and south about 1.5 hours) and their first bottled beer, another mushroom based beer, was released just this past May. Based on Black Trumpet's unique special ingredient and the way it was foraged, it's nearly impossible to truly recreate this beer in the future. That fact alone makes this one worth picking up but the flavor profile is truly unique and won't disappoint.|