To date, Southern Star Brewing Co. has released its Blind Ambition one. The Conroe, Texas-based brewery created the 7.2 percent ABV bière de garde by using French yeast as well as French and Czech hops before tank-conditioing the beer for two months It was then bottled in a unique ceramic swing-top bottle that was screen printed with art by Christopher Forgues — otherwise known as CF.

Southern Star Blind Ambition Bottle

Blind Ambition was the third release in the so called Alchemic Ale series, each of which features original designs by different artists printed on earthenware bottles filled with beer from a different brewery. The first Alchemic Ale release in 2010 named Yeast Hoist 15 featured the art of Ron Regé, Jr. and was filled with St. Sebastiaan Golden ale by Brouwerij Sterkens N.V. in Belgium, while the second bottle released at almost the same time named Monsters incorporated art from Mat Brinkman and was filled with Bokrijks Kruikenbier strong ale from the same brewery.

The Southern Star Blind Ambition pours a hazy, yet light golden straw color, with minimal head retention and almost no lacing at all. Aroma from the glass is quite sweet with some touches of yeast, honey, generic fruit and caramel along with a slight pepper note.

Southern Star Blind Ambition

The bière de garde starts off with very distinct flavors of earth, grass, wheat, white pepper and bitter yeast. I can taste some gentle honey sweetness on the finish, which does bump up the complexity of the overall profile a tiny amount, but sadly, the sweetness is just not strong enough to really affect the other flavors in any major way. There is a moderate amount of carbonation, but that works to the advantage of this specific beer, and it has a very crisp mouthfeel.

As it warms, the Blind Ambition loses most of the grass and wheat flavors, but adds a floral note that combines well with the honey sweetness that has only gotten stronger. The carbonation dissipates quickly, leaving the beer almost totally lifeless and the entire profile turns into a sweet and flat mess.

Southern Star Blind Ambition
BREWERY: Southern Star Brewing Co.
LOCATION: Conroe, Texas
STYLE: Bière de garde
ABV: 7.2 percent
IBU: n/a
PRICE: $19.99
RELEASE DATE: November 2012
AVAILABLE IN: 750ml bottle
I enjoy the bière de garde style quite a bit, and while the Blind Ambition was no slouch, it was just not complex enough to keep my attention for the entire time I was drinking it. The profile was fairly standard — even with the honey sweetness and white pepper notes that were present on the finish — and it seemed to play it a bit too safe for my tastes. Having said that, the unique and reusable container is a treat and kept the beer nice and carbonated for more than two years with no signs of oxidation that I could detect. The Blind Ambition is perfectly drinkable, but Southern Star makes much better beers in Black Crack and Buried Hatchet, which I would recommend before this.
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