Game Day Beer Review: Oskar Blues / Sun King Chaka Belgian-Style Strong Pale Ale
(8.00% ABV) Billed as a "CANlaberation between Oskar Blues Brewery of Longmont, Colorado and Sun King Brewery of Indianapolis, Indiana, Chaka Belgian-Style Strong Pale Ale marries the king of craft beer in a can (Oskar Blues) with a true up-and-comer in the brewing world (Sun King), and represents the first -- to my knowledge -- of Oskar Blues' new 16 ounce line of cans. With it's bold new shape -- including a resealable cap, which can be screwed back on to save some beer for later-- and four extra ounce of quality product, this is an advancement that will be warmly greeted by the craft beer drinking public. With that out of the way, let's get down to the rebiew: Chaka pours a clear as a bell reddish-brown, almost amber, with a lively off white head. The smell is yeast and bready maltiness. A certain sense of Belgian candy sweetness also comes through, as well as a tangy sourness that reminds me of apples -- it could be the Shagbark Hickory Syrup, which was added to the beer by Sun King.
Chaka has a rich and tangy flavor -- definitely reminiscent of the many Belgians I've drunk over the years, but also representing something new. It's got some cidery notes upfront, and a bit of sourness on the tail, but in between it's a rich, yeasty and spicy sweetness. It's got a medium mouthfeel and sufficient carbonation to keep the taste buds involved. At approximately $16 for a 4-pack, it'll be interesting to see how this new beer is received, but I've made up my mind already: I'll have another. A-