Antigoon's Revenge From Lakewood Brewing Is a Beast of a Beer, But Not An Infallible One.
Welcome to On Tap! Each week in this recurring feature, we'll take an in-depth look at one of the many beers now available in the suddenly crowded North Texas brew scene. The goal here is to look at these area beers without our local goggles on and to wonder aloud, “Is this beer good or do I just like it because it's local?” Should be a fun experiment, no? Cheers to that!
This week, we sipped on Lakewood Brewing Company's Antigoon's Revenge.
Fast Facts on Lakewood’s Antigoon's Revenge.
• Style: Belgian-Style Golden Ale.
• ABV: 12.4 percent.
• International Bitterness Units (IBUs): 41.
• Color: Medium dark amber.
• Availability: Special release.
Antigoon's Revenge represents Lakewood Brewing Company's latest entry into its Legendary Series of beers inspired by a combination of Belgian and local mythologies. Past entries in the series have included an excellent India Black Lager in Goatman and La Dame Du Lac, a Beire de Garde that kind of missed the mark.
Antigoon's Revenge, in particular, is meant as a counterpart of sorts to the brewery's very first entry into the Legendary Series, Brabo's Cut, a Belgian-Style Dark Ale. As the legend goes, Silvius Brabo was the Roman soldier that slayed the giant Druon Antigoon, who, while guarding a local bridge, had a propensity for chopping off the hands of travelers that couldn't afford the toll to cross. Growing tired of Antigoon's antics, Brabo chopped off Antigoon's hand, killed him and tossed his severed hand into the river below. Consequently, this is the how the city of Antwerp got its name. (Antwerp is derived from Antwerpen, which is basically a combination of Dutch words for “hand” and “to throw.”)
With this beer, Antigoon is out for revenge. And it's worth noting that the two represented beer styles of the main characters in the legend exists opposite ends of a similar spectrum.
Background on Belgian Golden Strong Ales.
Though marketed as a Belgian-Style Golden Ale, Antigoon's Revenge probably fits best under the Belgian Golden Strong Ale category according to Beer Judge Certification Program guidelines. These beers pour clear, yellow to medium gold and with a large, thick, white head. Aromas should have very complex aromas with high levels of fruity esters (resulting in scents of pears, oranges and apples), medium spicy phenols, and some potentially floral character. Expect the flavor profile to mostly mirror the aromas as fruity esters combine with spicy phenols, soft and spicy alcohol notes and a low to moderately spicy hop character. Belgian Golden Strong Ales can taste quite bitter and typically finish dry.
Antigoon's Revenge pours a clear, medium dark amber with an almost burnt orange hue. Typical of many Belgian-Style beers, Antigoon has a very thick, frothy and slightly off-white head. You'll likely need to give the beer several minutes to settle after pouring it into a glass.
Up front, Antigoon's Revenge boats subtle yeast aromas with notes of alcohol, candy sugar and lots of pleasant fruity esters. Try to drink this from a tulip or snifter style glass and give the beer a good swirl or two to really get a good nose on the aroma.
This beer's got a heavy — but not completely unpleasant malt sweetness — that’s supported with medium levels of piney, spicy hops. There are definite notes of brown sugar, molasses and some sweet smoked wood.
Antigoon's Revenge is thick and chewy, with medium to medium low levels of carbonation.
There's a lot to appreciate and enjoy with Antigoon's Revenge. It's one of those beers that rewards multiple sittings as you'll likely pick out different flavors and aromas every time. It's this flavor complexity that is the beer's greatest asset — and why many will count it as one of Lakewood's finer beers.
But the beer also suffers from some balance issues. And, viewed through the lens of a Belgian Golden Strong Ale, it's not quite up to size. Many typical Belgian characteristics of yeast, fruity esters and sweet alcohol drown out any potential spice, pepper or hop flavors. Meanwhile, the sweet malt flavors that lead to the chewy mouthfeel are just a bit heavy-handed. The beer also doesn't finish nearly as dry as it should.
Still, these issues are relatively minor for what is, at the end of the day, an enjoyable beer. I definitely recommend grabbing a bottle before this revenge story is complete.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I'll give Lakewood Brewing Company’s Antigoon’s Revenge a 7.5.
What's happening in the area beer scene this week? (Powered by Dallas Brew Scene.)
• Friday, May 9. An Evening with Deep Ellum Brewing Co. at Total Wine & More (Plano East).
• Saturday, May 10. North Texas Beer & Wine Festival at the Irving Convention Center.
• Saturday, May 10. From Homebrew to Microbrew: The Lakewood Brewing Story at Total Wine & More (Dallas).
Previous On Tap Reviews:
• Peticolas' Royal Scandal: 10.
• Community's Mosaic IPA: 10.
• Lakewood's Temptress: 9.5.
• Lakewood's Goatman: 9.5.
• Community's Public Ale: 9.5.
• Revolver's Blood & Honey: 9.
• Martin House's Imperial Texan: 9.
• Community's Trinity Tripel: 9.
• Peticolas' Irish Goodbye: 9.
• Four Corners' Block Party Porter: 9.
• Cedar Creek's Belgian Dubbel: 9.
• Deep Ellum's Oak Cliff Coffee Ale: 8.5.
• Rahr's Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer: 8.5.
• Lakewood's Raspberry Temptress: 8.5.
• Lakewood's Punkel: 8.
• Four Corners' El Chingon IPA: 8.
• Martin House's Day Break: 8.
• Deep Ellum's GOURDzilla: 8.
• Peticolas' The Duke (Aged 12 Months): 8.
• Peticolas' Wintervention: 8.
• Martin House's Rubberneck Red: 7.5.
• Community's Texas Pils: 7.5.
• Lakewood's Zomer Pils: 7.5.
• Deep Ellum IPA: 7.
• Cedar Creek’s The Lawn Ranger: 7.
• Lakewood's Till & Toil: 7.
• 903 Brewers' The Chosen One: 7.
• Martin House's Gateway XPA: 7.
• Armadillo Ale Work's Quakertown Stout: 7.
• Peticolas' The Duke: 6.5.
• Deep Ellum's Double Brown Stout : 6.5.
• Cedar Creek's Elliott's Phoned Home Pale Ale: 6
• Grapevine Craft Brewery's Lakefire: 6
• Lakewood's La Dame Du Lac: 5.5.
• Franconia Wheat: 3.
• Miller Lite: 1.