Wrapping Up the Year in Style
A Review of Funky (e) Star by Mikkeller
Posted on 1/3/2013 by Chops
2012 has officially come and gone. Looking back on my many beer-related adventures, one in particular stands out for me. This past summer I was very fortunate to visit the Baltic region of Northern Europe, which included many fantastic experiences: bocks in Berlin, sahti in Helsinki, the list goes on and on. The highlight of the trip by far was getting a chance to visit the world famous Mikkeller Bar in Copenhagen, Denmark. I have been writing about that visit ever since and I'm sure many readers have grown weary of my tales. But, I just can't contain my excitement as a beer geek and it was a natural end-of-year reflection. So to wrap up 2012 in style, I had to bust open and toast a Mikkeller brew on New Year's Eve. After a careful scanning of my beer cabinet, the honor went to the Funky (e) Star Belgian Wild Ale. The label alone spoke ''party in a bottle'' to me. And as a side note: I have no earthly idea what the name means. No matter though, Mikkeller is on the bottle and that's all I needed to see.

In the glass, this beer has a deep and hazy honey amber coloration with a reddish tinting. It comes with a rocky light tan head that sticks around for a very long time. On the nose, I found a funky mishmash of sweet and sour notes. There's a lot of complexity to this aroma which took quite a while to get used to. The primary notes you can identify off the bat are piney hops and a sour fruity punch, namely in the form of apples. Resting underneath are some caramel notes, sourdough bread, and toasted grains. It's a strange yet intriguing concoction. I honestly had no idea what to expect from that first sip.

The first note to come out swinging is a potent pine resin. If you ever want to know what someone means by a pine resin quality in beer, this is your educational beer. From there the flavor profile spirals around a complex array of notes, namely caramel malt with a sourdough twang. The fruity flavors are all over the place. I found apples, apricots, pineapple, oranges, and other tropical varieties. The piney hops are flavorful and complimentary without being a distraction. To be perfectly honest, this beer is surprisingly balanced despite the wild flavors. It drinks really easy and has a nicely quelled alcohol burn. It has a solid medium body, finishes light and crisp, and exits with a non-aggressive combination of hoppy bitterness and fruity tartness.

Overall, Mikkeller's Funky (e) Star Belgian Wild Ale is a delicious brew with a vibrant personality. Stylistically, I'm at a loss for words. I would trip over my tongue trying to seriously dissect any Belgian Wild Ale, let alone a Mikkeller version. What I can say is that this beer certainly is a party in a bottle. I can easily recommend this beer to hop heads, Belgian fans, sour ale drinkers, and pretty much any fan group in between. Mikkeller diehards in particular will adore Funky (e) Star as yet another palate challenging creation. I enjoyed this experience so much in fact that I went ahead and scored another bottle. After all, it's never too early to start planning your next New Year's celebration. Cheers to another year of better beer!

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Funky (e) Star by Mikkeller
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