Fifteen years in the brewing business is definitely cause for celebration. While Tim Suprise and the crew at Arcadia Brewing Company celebrated the accomplishment, we took a taste at Arcadia’s XV and 15 brews — which take the common traits of an Arcadia brew — and add a bit of a kick.
So, we’ll start with Arcadia XV. A brown ale with cherries aged in oak wine barrels, XV has sour and tartness at the forefront. It pours a deep reddish, brown with a slightly substantial foamy head. The first sniff is reminiscent of a Shock Tart with apparent grape, cherry and sour scents.
At first taste, the tartness is at the forefront, followed quickly by sour and cherry, and tempered by a slight maltiness. There are definitely wine-like qualities. Smooth and creamy, it is a very drinkable brew with some prickliness from its carbonation. Throughout, the cherries are very apparent (but likely this is on purpose) and it’s not done in an overwhelming way because the balance is there.
For an aged brew, XV is more drinkable for those who wouldn’t normally try aged beer. Overall, it’s a very likeable brew and one we’d crack open again. Cheers.
Now, the 15 Ale is best described as XV’s “evil stepchild.” While the cherries once again surrounded each sip, everything else is kicked up a notch. The smooth brew pours a very dark brown color with a low head, and contains smells of malt, nut and chocolate.
The taste is just what you would expect from the smell. All of the flavors are balanced throughout — nothing dominates the other. The malt, nut and chocolate are surrounded by a hint of cherry sweetness. This is much flatter than the XV, which you would expect with it being a bourbon aged brew. But unlike most bourbon beers, this one doesn’t burn — rather it contains a moderately smooth finish.