Nano-a-Nano Round Two (v.Relic)
Healthy Sample, 7.8% ABV
From my boy, Chris
Ding-ding-ding! Relic and Beer’d Collaboration… Round Two!
Except it’s not a fight, it’s a love fest. Mark from Relic and Aaren from Beer’d got together again and planned out a second release of their first well-received collaboration. The “round 2” convention works perfectly with this whole concept. The label and name is still perfect – although with Beer’d’s early 2015 expansion and growth, calling them a “nano-brewery” won’t make too much sense if they do a round three.
But that’s not important.
What’s important is that two good guys create beers that we all get to enjoy. As with the first round, the two braintrusts behind the breweries created a recipe and then worked on it separately. So, in essence, we again got two different-yet-very-similar beers.
And that’s cool.
(I should mention that Beer’d did a collaboration with Night Shift in the period between the Nanos and the same execution was followed; that is, Night Shift did theirs, Beer’d did theirs. And it was beautiful.)
But I also have to mention that label again, much to the chagrin of Mark and Aaren and Gary the label guy. Because I do believe these things matter…
The label was wrong. You probably can’t see it, but the description on the right-hand side is that of the first Nano-a-Nano release – the “Belgian Style Black Rye IPA.” No one noticed until the labels were affixed. And with such a limited run of a couple hundred bottles, I guess it wasn’t worth it to re-do them in haste.
I disagree, though I’m sure I’m in the scant minority here. I’ve no idea who dropped the ball, but to me, it does reflect poorly on someone. I just don’t really know whom.
Round 2 of Nano a Nano is a hoppy Amber ale with resinous and citrusy hoppy flavors. Big orange/pine aromas and a balanced malt backbone.
Whoa, okay. That doesn’t sound like a Relic beer. It sounds like a Beer’d beer with Relic malt. I do NOT mean that as a knock on Relic; rather, it’s just a fact. (And, to be fair, Round One sounded more like a Relic beer with the Beer’d thrown in, so maybe this was the agreement/plan from the get-go.)
Owing to my new resolution to sort of chill out with the bottle chasing and all that stuff (note: y’all can still offer to help me out if you like these reviews), I didn’t go to Stonington on a weeknight for a bottle, nor did I even make it over to Relic in Plainville. Fortunately, my friend Chris did get to Plainville and secured a 32 of each version.
Then we met up at a wonderful establishment where we were able to share some beers we’d gotten with each other. As you’ve figured, one was this Relic version of the Nano Round 2.
Smell – wow, it’s bright and hoppy and citrusy!
Drink – wow, wow, wow!
This beer is very, very good. Like, super good. Now, I will freely admit that the style of this beer is one that I happen to love (when done correctly), so like all my reviews – don’t listen to me, listen to your own palate. But yeah, Round 2 was worth the effort to have some.
(And certainly good enough to forget about the label nonsense that I should probably just ignore… but I can’t. ‘Cause I’m a jerk.)
The “malt backbone” was about as present as far as a coloring agent, but I didn’t really get much of it at all in the taste. This was a dark looking amber that tasted like a straight up New Zealand hopped IPA .
With these Nanos, everyone likes to play the “which is better” game. Which, although I’ve done it and I’m about to do it again, is just silly.
But Relic’s version was a teeny tiny bit better than Beer’d’s, but it was another draw.
I have a theory – Relic tried to out-Beer’d Beer’d (resulting in a hoppy, citrusy, piney, IPA-like amber) and Beer’d tried to out-Relic Relic (resulting in a more malty profile.)
Nice “fight” guys, may they all be such well-fought draws.
Overall Rating: A
Rating vs. Similar style: A