BALTIMORE, MD — The “Uncharted Waters” Series by Heavy Seas Beer will soon welcome its first new beer in 2015, Phantom Ship. This limited release will be available from March – April in all 18 states where Heavy Seas beer is distributed.
Phantom Ship is an exciting Belgian-style tripel aged in bourbon barrels. Goldenrod in color with a dense head and creamy mouthfeel, this robust, bold brew presents phenolic flavors of white pepper and peach skin from the warm fermentation, along with vanilla and subtle spiciness from the bourbon-barrel aging.
According to brewmaster, Chris Leonard, “We are very excited about Phantom Ship. We had such good response to Plank III last year that we wanted to revisit the Belgian-tripel inspired style by working it into our “Uncharted Waters” program. With Plank III, we aged a fairly traditional Belgian-style tripel with some exotic wood (Jamaican allspice) in the tank. Phantom Ship is a stronger version, clocking in at 9.5% ABV (Plank III was 8.5%). We used the same Trappist yeast as we did for Plank III, so while the spiciness and phenolic ester characteristics of that beer style get all of the hype, I’ve always tried to develop an underlying vanilla flavor via higher (than normal for us) fermentation temps. In fact, the subtle vanilla component was quite integral to Plank III’s success, helping to balance the hops, spice, and phenolic flavors. It seemed to me that it would be fun to tweak that beer a bit, age it in bourbon barrels, and exploit the vanilla and fruit flavors to develop a more cohesive flavor experience for Phantom Ship. We had sought a different dimension of flavor in Plank III by adding the Jamaican allspice wood – disparate flavors combining in one complex taste experience. With Phantom Ship, we’ve taken a proven beer style and (hopefully) accentuated a subtle flavor to produce a new spin on such a well-known “predictable” style. Both beers are dynamic and flavorful in their own ways; born from similar flavor profiles, yet designed to finish as very different beers. This type of exploration speaks to the core goal of the “Uncharted Waters” Series, allowing us to delve deeper, reach further, and chart a bolder course.”