I try a sip of Modern Times’ Keeper of Secrets Alt before committing to it and it’s quite interesting, so I go for a small pour.
The nose has a distinct candied orange quality, which is about as unusual as you could get for an alt ale. It’s so distinct that I triple check myself, just to make sure that I’m getting the nose right.
The beer is also a horse of a different color. While there are still elements of orange and sweetness, especially in the middle, the beer finishes those with a quality of smoke.
It’s not strong, which is good; smoke is the kind of thing that frequently overpowers everything else but it’s so unexpected that I don’t quite know how to process the Keeper of Secrets.
I could definitely see drinking this from some eerie looking cup in a secret society setting. Every new person wondering what the heck they’re putting in their bodies, the senior members knowing it’s just beer, the senior senior member knowing it’s soul extraction.
You get smokey orange. You lose your empathy for poor people. Sure, it isn’t a fair trade but that isn’t why you joined the society, is it? Not for fairness. Nah, brah, you’re here so you can keep people under your thumb. And what better way to anesthetize your soul to crushing them than with the taste of smoked candy orange?
Truly, you have made it.
It’s a good ale, but the smoke does what it inevitably does, sticking to your tongue a lot longer than any other flavor. Still, it is admirable like that the brewers kept the smoke light enough that, even though it’s lingering in your mouth, you can still taste the sweet orange on every sip.
The second glass holds much the same as the first, but now I’m noting the effervescent pop to help clear my palate. I’d say, though, at 15 ounces through, the combination which was unique and interesting up til about now, really starts to wear out it’s welcome.
Should you drink it? Yes, I think so. It’s definitely worth one glass. There’s enough going on to keep my attention and despite the density of flavors and alcohol overall, the finishing pop makes this beer far more drinkable than something made by someone less skillful.
But be cautious about that second one.
Today’s second pint goes to No More Deaths.