Ode to a Russian Shipwright is my tribute to the brewing legacy of Peter the Great. I use rye and spruce, ingredients that were important to the Baltic region and sailors, to create a porter honoring the time and tastes of Peter. And true to legend, I've brewed it strong enough to survive a cold winter voyage (from the brewery to the house).
Rye, spruce, and roast highlight the nose and flavor, with complementary fruit and spice emerging as you drink. The flavor is malty and balanced, with a slightly sticky mouthfeel.
Ode to a Russian Shipwright is designed to be served at cellar temperatures, 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pour with or without the lees; a good way to distribute the lees is by pouring the first half of the bottle, gently swirling the bottle, and then finishing the pour.
I highly recommend cellaring this porter. It has aged remarkably well in the year since it was first produced in winter 2011, and I expect it to continue for at least another.
The spruce flavor has ebbed over time, but is still present after 12 months. The fruit and spice notes of the young ale faded after 6-9 months, leaving a roasty smokiness to dominate.
The 2012 release has a pronounced spruce character resulting from an exceptionally early and dry spring. As with the 2011 release, this year's release was made with hand-picked spruce tips and raw barley grown on our family farm.
The 2011 release was my first winter seasonal, brewed with spruce tips hand-picked from our Norway Spruce trees and using our own farm-grown raw barley.