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Review: Mystic Descendant

Posted by Steve Greenlee  March 23, 2012 09:42 AM

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mystic descendant 006.jpgDescendant Suffolk Dark Ale, from Mystic Brewery in Chelsea, is not easily categorized. Mystic says it's a hybrid of a dry Irish stout and an English porter fermented with saison yeast. I think of Descendant as a Belgian stout.

The beer is tar black with a nice tan head, and it gives off a strong aroma of chocolate malt and coffee beans. The flavors come in waves: first Belgian yeast, then semisweet chocolate and roasted malts, and then a bitter, flowery finish.

It's a strange, but strangely satisfying, brew. Lemony, citrus flavors don't often show up in dark beers, never mind a certain bitterness that almost becomes astringency. It's perfumey at the same time it's malty with espresso undertones. What kind of stout finishes with rose petals and pepper?

These are unusual combinations, but they work. This is a very good, and very different, beer.

Descendant is 7 percent alcohol by volume. A 750-milliliter bottles cost $9.50.

Gary Dzen

About 99 Bottles

Gary Dzen writes about craft beer here and in the Globe when he's not covering the Celtics for He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GaryDzen.

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