BeerMetalDude Rating: 3.75/5
[UPDATE: Since writing this review, and working on this actual post, I discovered that Valiant Brewing Company has since closed it’s doors. They were opened in 2013, and closed official on March 31st, 2017. So I guess with this beer being my introduction to them, it will also be my last.]
I want to say I first saw this beer on CraftBeerKings.com and as usual, I have to thank my good buddy and fellow Craft Bee Blogger, Jorge Espinoza of animebeers.com for helping me get this beer. This was my first encounter with Valiant Brewing Company from Orange, California. It was a nice introductory beer to their brewery, as I am a fan of Belgian Strong Dark Ales. See why this one was rated a tad under a 4/5 rating.
Before we get into the beer itself, let’s talk about the label since that is an important piece to me. The label is pretty simple, yet for me, it’s very appealing. I like the whole blue archway sitting on an off-white label. All text is in a Roman font, giving this beer label elegance. Sitting towards the top of the label is the Valiant Brewing tribal looking fleur de lis symbol. This logo is what caught my eye as a Metal head. Great detail on that symbol.
I poured this beer into a logo snifter style glass from Audacity Brew House. Axiom poured a thick, murky mahogany reddish-brown color topped with a 1/2 inch bubbly khaki colored head, which quickly fizzled away to nothing, leaving no lacing down the glass.
The aroma had a strong Belgian yeast character in the nose right up front with strong banana, and plantains, followed by dark cherry juice, raisins, figs, brown sugar/molasses, caramel, herbal and earthy hops, and a hint of spices. There is a bit of heat in the nose from the alcohol. The lingering aroma is herbal, and sweet banana.
Just like the nose, the Belgian yeast character is up front and dominating the palate with it’s unique banana and sweet plantain flavor. The rest of the flavor profile was dark cherry juice, raisins, figs, caramel, sweet brown sugar/molasses, herbal and earthy hops, and a handful of spices like cloves, star anise, and a hint of cinnamon, but not like these pumpkin beer spices, just very subtle in this one. There is a nice heat from the alcohol that burns on the way down. The aftertaste is banana, plantains, herbal, and spices.
Axiom’s body was thick and heavy with a spicy and dry mouthfeel. There was high carbonation, which gave this beer a high fizz which really put this beer off for me. I would have settled for no real carbonation presence rather than this high soda-like fizz. Finally, this one finished dry, which worked well with the aftertaste.
Overall, it was the high carbonation that threw this one off for me. The aroma and taste profiles were spot on for the style, but that damn carbonation though. In fact, when I opened this bottle, so much foam was gushing out of the bottle before I even poured the beer into the glass. I waited for it to settle down before I attempted to fill the glass. Lucky, it was calmed down by that time.
Metal Connection: One of the most unique bands around is definitely this little band from London, England known as Akercocke. This Progressive Black/Death Metal and has been combining a Gothic style approach with ultra brutal Death Metal, Progressive Metal, and fast shrieking Black Metal since 1997. They actually broke up in 2012, only to reform in 2016.
Antichrist was released in 2007, and has been the band’s last recording to this date. This was the band’s 5th studio full length album. On this album, there is the perfect song to pair with this beer. A song appropriately titled “Axiom.” I think you can see why I chose this song for this Metal Connection. This song is everything that represents Akercocke to it’s fullest. I mean, acoustic guitar, grinding drum beats, eerily sung clean vocals only for the song to take a turn into Brutal Death Metal, then shrieking Black Metal, back to Brutal Death Metal, then to technical Progressive Metal, back to the shrieks, then ending on a Progressive Metal note. Did you catch all that? Seriously, listen to this song, and follow what I just wrote. You’ll catch on.