Beer Profile: Straight to Ale’s Illudium

Profiled by Ken Carman for PGA

Beer-Profile1-258x300staiillPours like 30 weight motor oil. Slight off white head with hazy , amber to red highlights. Head fades very fast into nothingness, like a brief visit by a pleasant ghost with a pillow-like appearance.

The nose is cognac with some slightly darker malts in the background. Sweet overtones from the cognac and the deeply carmelized malt

Balance-wise a little more beer might help, but to be honest it is already liquid nirvana. Smooth, the cognac provides higher abv over tones and a sensationally sweet that’s not unlike carmelized white sugar. It’s sweet nature is perfect, background yet assertive behind the cognac. Fruit-wise it’s ike an incredible, carmelized, cross between a grapefruit, grapes and a plum.3

93: Beer Advocate. No rating at this time Rate Beer.

Mouthfeel is very sight carmelization followed a strong, assertive cognac sense, a hint of. Heavy side of medium body.

Here’s what Straight to Ale says about Illudium…

Illudium is a rich, complex English-style old ale that is aged for six months in a cognac barrel. Sweet, dark and potent with vinous notes and an alcohol warmth, Illudium is highly sought after as only a small quantity is released each January.

This is superb. Wine-like. The balance is close to perfect and everything presents well.



Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”


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FredricmartianKen Carman was raised by wild yeast on the fermentation plains of Moosesylvania. There is no truth to him having grown up near NYC, but not so secretly longing to live in the Adirondacks. Or that he did. Or that he moved to Tennessee. Or that when he retires he’ll move back. Or that he started brewing in 79cause most of the selections sucked. Or that he’s a BJCP judge, a columnist. it’s all lies. Right now he’s still thinking it’s all true as he sucks down Miller in the Matrix, but dreams of more complicated quaffs.

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