My third entry for this first Flagship February/Washington division, is a brilliant, quicky, uber-wonky brewery located in one of America’s true high-octane brewing small towns. It’s a Belgian-style, 100% original, homebrewer-crafted ale that doesn’t so much defy description as chuckle at the entire notion. This is possibly Washington’s flagship Belgian-style ale. I give you…
Sound Brewery “Monk’s Indiscretion”
Sound Brewery, is located in a tiny chunk of Far West Norway, Poulsbo, Washington, just across Puget Sound from downtown Seattle and about three miles up a genuine fjord…If owners Mark Hood and Brad Ginn had never done anything else, (they’ve done a TON more), they came right out the chute, back there in 2009 or so – opening a professional brewery, after a LONG period of homebrewing – with one of the damnedest, most bewitching and addictive ales ever brewed in the West.
“Monks Indiscretion Belgian Ale” gives only scant indication of a specific style. That’s because it doesn’t neatly slot into one convenient Belgian-style pigeonhole. It’s built sorta like an Abbey ale, tastes sorta like a rather exotic farmhouse ale or maybe a spiced wheat ale, and sorta like…well, nothing else brewed by anybody. It is guaranteed to confound anything you know about beer or Belgium and the major miracle of it is that, when Sound first opened, there were more pygmies playing in the NBA than Belgian ales in Washington. It came almost literally out of NOWHERE and landed with a chorus of astonished exclamations of surprise. I introduced a friend to it, at the brewery, on a sunny August day, and he almost wept. “This…this…isn’t like anything else!” Duh. I told him so.
In the years that Monk’s has been tweaked and experimented upon, there have been two daring and wonderful variations, such as a batch aged in a cask that started life as a Kentucky Bourbon barrel and was then used as a Gin barrel by Seattle’s Captive Spirits and dubbed…”Monk’s G’Indiscretion” (I hear you groaning). There’s been a Bourbon barreled version in wet whiskey casks. While both were snapped up avidly by the brewery’s fervent legion of fans, I believe that the true classic remains the original, with its wild, jazzy, festival of flavors and aromas and a propensity for continuing to develop in keg or bottle and deliver grace notes that nobody saw coming.
Beautiful luminous amber in the glass, aromatic as a South Georgia high school prom, as vividly flavored as a smorgasbord on a Tahitian beach, Monk’s (as we hip Sound fans call it) is pretty much inarguably Washington’s flagship Belgian-style ale and it is UNBELIEVABLY delicious!