Cambridge Brewing Co. has been pouring great beer in Kendall Square since 1989, but only recently did the brewpub begin bottling its beverages.
It started last fall, when CBC put its hot-selling fall ale, The Great Pumpkin, in 22-ounce bottles. Now the brewpub is selling two year-round beers -- a Belgian tripel called Tripel Threat and a Belgian IPA called The Audacity of Hops -- as well as a rotation of single-batch beers, the first of which is a Scotch ale. Here's a look at those three beers, each of which retails for $7 to $8:
Tripel Threat is a beautiful beer -- bright golden with a 1-inch head of foam and lots of carbonation bubbles rising to the surface. The aroma is big: lemon, banana, passion fruit, even bubblegum, and yeasty esters. With 10 percent alcohol by volume, this a major-league tripel, with an immense body and fruity profile marked by candi sugars and a lemon tang. Remarkably, there's almost no aftertaste.
The Audacity of Hops is an aggressive marriage of a Belgian-style IPA and a double IPA. The color of apricot nectar, this beer (8 percent ABV) has only a small -- but frothy -- head, which is unusual as Belgian IPAs go. The hop-forward aroma attacks immediately with notes of citrus fruit and Belgian yeast. Indeed, this is a hop bomb -- very dry, with a good dose of grapefruit and a longlasting bitterness that refuses to fade.
Bannatyne's Scotch Ale, a style also known as a wee heavy, is almost the opposite of those two. Dark brown with mahogany accents and a short, tightly beaded head, its aroma is a bold, sweet fusion of dark fruit, vanilla, and a bit of cherry. The beer (9.2 percent ABV) explodes with flavor: molasses, brown sugar, fig, prune, bready yeast, and warming alcohol -- however, it's not sweet. A world-class Scotch ale, Bannatyne's is immensely pleasurable on a cold night.
More on Cambridge Brewing Co. and its newly bottled beers in the 99 Bottles column in Saturday's Globe and on BostonGlobe.com...
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