Category Archives: Sours

Dollar Bill Brewing 2019 ‘Winter Parlay’ Australian Sour

Rating:

72651303_1199726660211477_8828860036378787840_n“Australian wild fermented botanical sour ale: 6mnth old barrel fermented wild ale rested on lindenflower, elderflower and chamomile, cypress and damiana extracts. Dry sour and botanical with intense aromatics. Suggested track: Anderson Paak – Come Down.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Bright gold with a mild haze. It forms a fizzy two finger head which quickly disappears. Minimal lace as we go.

Aroma: Quite floral with the chamomile coming out in front. Picking up lemon citrus, green tea, cracked pepper, nutmeg, weed, freshly cut wood and pot pourri as well. There’s so much going on that we’re most likely missing a lot of the scents but we simply can’t put our finger on them. It’s very Botanical we’ll say that much.

Flavour: Similar traits to champagne at times – lots of lemon citrus, pear, spiced apple and woody oak but with ten times more complex florals and spice. There’s a nice and subtle tartness to it along with a kind of sweaty and musty barnyard funk. Somewhat grainy with more mixed spice and florals in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Again quite similar to a champagne with it’s super spritzy CO2. Light on with gentle acidity. Only 4.6% ABV.

Overall: Tell ya what it’d be a lovely summer session sour…it’s bizarre that they’ve released this in winter. It’s half champagne half saison character would be perfect as a hot arvo quencher. Anywho, not our favourite parlay release but it ain’t bad.

 

Dollar Bill Brewing ‘Learning To Breathe’ BA Golden Sour

Rating:

70184517_1178404635677013_5060759324926672896_n“Learning to Breathe is brewed with Pilsner (65%), Wheat (25%), and Crystal Rye (10%) malts prior to fermentation and ageing in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay barrels. This golden sour has a round mouthfeel with a hint of brettanomyces and a deep lactic acidity that intertwines beautifully with the vinous notes from ageing in wine barrels. Complex, sour, delicious!”

Glassware: Stemmed Tulip.

Appearance: Deep orange to amber with a finger of off white head. It slowly peels off and leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass.

Aroma: Smells the real deal…it has that punchy and tart lacto sourness, subtle white vinegar and a brett/sweaty funk. There’s also a gorgeous fruity sweetness – mostly papaya, apricot and peach. Just that perfect amount of barrel complexity imparting oak and damp cedar which adds crucial depth that many Aussie sours are lacking. Brilliant.

Flavour: It’s got it all really…intense lambic-style sourness, stonefruits, musty barrel character, manky funk. It’s even got that sherbet-esque artificial sweetness that we LOVE in sours. Undertones of subtle earthy spice and green melon laying down for a rather dry and tart finish.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and zippy. Light on but enough body to hold it up though. She’s pretty sour so a 4/5 pucker rating sounds about right.

Overall: We’ve always believed these guys had something of this calibre in them. The Parlay series are great sours but this is on another level. We’re not going to say 3F or Cantillon level but it could certainly stack up. This would have to be in contention for Australia’s best barrel aged sour. Top notch stuff.

pFriem 2016 ‘Frambozen’ Lambic

Rating:

69227710_1154945388022938_4202434583544725504_n“Inhale our raspberry Lambic-style ale, pFriem Frambozen, and huge perfumy aromas of fresh fruit will tease your nose. Take one sip and your taste buds will be embraced by the flavors of lavender and fresh jam, and the tart, prickly finish will make you long for another.”

Glassware: Stemmed Tulip.

Appearance: Kind of a pastel red hue with a hint of burgundy. It forms a short and super fizzy head which dissipates instantly. No lacing…as anticipated.

Aroma: Smells magnificent. Tonnes of juicy sour cherry, mixed red berries, sherbet, hints of oak and red wine vinegar. So well balanced…more than enough fruit sweetness to counteract the lambic sourness. Smells as good as Cantillon or 3F!

Flavour: Just like the aroma – amazing. It kicks off with a bit of lacto sourness and manky funk but the sour cherry and berry sherbet quickly takes hold. Subtle peachy/apricot flavours getting amongst it while the oak adds a gentle woody note. The finish is fruity and slightly vinous but it does pull up a little short.

Mouthfeel: Tight and spritzy with a lively CO2. Light-moderate body. The acidity is there but it’s approachable so the pucker rating gets a 3/5.

Overall: The aroma is nothing less than works class. The flavour, although delicious, seemed to lack a bit of intensity…considering this is a 2016 vintage the age could have softened it a bit though. That’s as far as any criticism will go because at the end of the day it’s an absolute corker!

The Lost Abbey ‘Framboise De Amorosa’ BA Raspberry Sour

Rating:

67101852_1137004513150359_871512507183792128_n“Framboise de Amorosa is our first foray into the world of raspberry beers. It begins as Lost and Found ale and is sent into freshly emptied red wine barrels. The beer spends over a year in the wood during which time it is spiked with three additions of raspberries.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Kind of a muddy light brown affair with a wispy off white head. It slowly peels off but enough hangs around to leave a healthy lace on the glass.

Aroma: The raspberries really shine through. On one hand we get the tart fresh version and on the other we get the vinous red wine version. The latter also leads us in to the musty French oak very nicely. There’s certainly a lacto sourness but most of it is coming from the natural tartness of the fruit. Undertones of red peppers, glazed cherry and pink lady apples for extra enjoyment!

Flavour: Insanely sour. It took us a few sips but it does mellow out once the palate becomes accustomed to it. Then those luscious raspberries come through…again, fresh at first then morphing in to the more jammy and vinous raspberry synonymous with a good Pinot Noir. Lovely expressions of French oak with its subtle vanilla and musty accents rolling in to a sweet and sour fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Huge initial pucker that carries. Nicely weighted body, medium acidity and a tart and rather dry texture. We’ve only just realised this is 8.5% AbV! Very well concealed!

Overall: This is actually the first sour we’ve tried from Lost Abbey. And we’re very impressed!

Wicked Weed ‘Marina’ BA American Sour w Apricot & Peach

Rating:

66447768_1127729334077877_5629285013481586688_n“The daughter of a poor, ailing farmer, Marina was wrought with the burden of responsibility. Her father had done his best to raise her with all the love and lessons befitting a princess. Time passed and with it her father. Her worry for the land deepened and dominated her every thought. One night, Marina found a letter scribbled in her father’s hand: “Do not fear; you are the daughter of the king, sister to Medora, raised outside the kingdom to keep you safe when war was upon us.” Marina, unburdened and full of rejoicing, returned home to her sister, and it was said of them, never did such just and loving rulers watch over the people.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Somewhat hazy pale golden hue with a loose wispy overlay. Seeing some wet and streaky lace clinging to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: The earthy apricots really lift out of the glass…as do the peaches. Smells bloody magnificent! Some extreme funk going on – strong lacto acidity and a lot of manky cheese and barnyard character as well. Just a hint of the white wine barrels peeking through bringing sour white grapes, vinous fruits and oak along with it. Brilliant!

Flavour: Oh wow the initial sourness is insane…really gets the saliva glands going! Again apricot and peach for days, sour grapes, young chardonnay and oak laying the foundations. Mild hints of hard cheeses and sweaty funk midway then moving in to a fruity finish which offers more peach, earthy apricots and subtle manky funk.

Mouthfeel: Quite a spritzy texture to it. Medium-high co2 and light-moderate body. The pucker is pretty full on initially but it does mellow out so it scores a modest 3.5/5.

Overall: We’ve been loving the influx of Wicked Weed beers recently. Although they sold out a long time ago we’re still massive fans of what they’re putting out. This one included!

 

Wicked Weed ‘Persistence’ BA Cherry Sour

Rating:

65459612_1121135984737212_6854072973196787712_n“Persistence is a sour red ale aged in our foeder. One pound per gallon of Montmorency Cherries contributes a leathery accent to this Flanders-inspired ale. Once this beer reaches its peak, we blend the batch to attain the perfect balance of our house sour culture and North American cherries.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Kind of a light brown to chestnut affair with a loosely held cap on top. Minimal retention and scarce lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: The olfactory’s are met with a blast of tart cherry, sherbet, vinous red fruits, woody oak, plum, candied peach, sweaty horse blanket and a real manky old funk. Some nicely integrated earthy tones and a hint of red wine tannin making its way through as well. Superb aroma…everything marries up in perfect harmony.

Flavour: As your standard WW sour goes it comes on with a serious amount of lacto sourness. This one is supported by a delicious fusion of sour cherries, raspberry, plum, red berry sherbet, mild oak tannins, candied lemon/lime and a hint of those somewhat earthy vinous characters. Excellent duration on offer as well.

Mouthfeel: Nice and tight with a slightly lifted co2. Quite sour initially but it mellows out so we’d give it a pucker rating of 3.5/5. Well concealed AbV of 7.6%.

Overall: An absolute corker right here! It’s got everything we want in a sour – tart and vinous fruits, a good display of oak and the most important…that slightly candied sherbet sweetness. We love that! Dead set this is the best WW sour we’ve had to date.

Wicked Weed ‘Myrtille’ BA American Sour w Blueberries

Rating:

65182681_1113081892209288_4977116305715888128_n“Myrtille is a golden sour ale aged in neutral wine barrels. Two pounds per gallon of fresh, whole blueberries contribute an earthy and tannic backbone to this uniquely southern sour. When the time is right, the barrels are blended to achieve ther perfect balance of blueberries and house brett culture.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Candy apple red with 100% clarity. The head literally disappears in front of our eyes leaving nothing but a few foamy islands floating about.

Aroma: Smells unbelievable! The blueberries really lift out with their earthy and mildly tart characteristics. There’s a certain sweetness in here…almost like golden raisins but also akin to a well aged port. Apparently this sour was aged in “neutral” wine barrels but we can detect a fair amount of vanilla which really pulls some of those tannic scents back in to line. Superb aroma!

Flavour: As standard WW sours go this one also purses the lips! But not as much as others before it which is a plus. Lots of lactic acidity on entry but a well integrated fruit profile balances it out. Funk and barnyard through the middle and then oak, vinous fruits, blueberry and earthy spices rounding it out. Maybe just a flutter of jasmine or hibiscus on the rear.

Mouthfeel: Still somewhat prickly but the acidity is well restrained so the pucker rating sits at a healthy 4/5. Spritzy co2 and medium body makes for pleasant drinking.

Overall: Quite impressed with this one we must say. Out of all the WW sours we’ve had this probably tops the lot. The peeled back sourness allows the balanced sweetness, soft tannins and oak to really shine through. We dig it!

 

Wicked Weed ‘Recurrant’ BA American Sour Ale w Blackcurrants

Rating:

61889463_1104406616410149_8138964481913913344_n“Recurrant begins as a deep amber sour ale and is blended onto copious amounts of black currants. It is then laid to rest in 500L cabernet puncheon barrels. The larger, red wine barrels lend a delicate complexity to the final blend.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Deep crimson with candy red highlights. It struggles to hold on to what little head it produces…retreating to the rim yet still managing a wet lace as we imbibe.

Aroma: The sourness is almost enough to wake the dead! Extremely high acidity underlined by lemon, white vinegar, tart cherry, unripened plums, black currant roll ups and pretty much every vinous red berry under the sun! A musty barrel accent opens up as she settles as does a barnyard/horse blanket funk. Plenty of depth on show here.

Flavour: It comes on like a lemon warhead…with the eye-twitch and all! What’s so good about it is the background sweetness which makes the insane sourness bearable. We’re noticing a little less lemon and vinegar and more tart cherries and berries as it rolls in to a fruity finish which reveals traces of a good vintage red on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Acidic and ultra sour…the pucker rating hits a full 5/5. Some dryness with moderate body and co2. 7.7% AbV well positioned.

Overall: It’s an absolute corker but we feel it needs to be laid down for a considerable amount of time. It’s a bit brash and in-your-face how it is now. That’s in no way a criticism though…just an observation. Top drop.

Dollar Bill Brewing ”19 Autumn Parlay’ BA Oud Bruin

Rating:

60336106_1087369584780519_5189205742162280448_n“Blended barrel aged dark sour beer. Wild yeasts and brettamomyces yeast. Chocolate, Liquorice, Black Currents, Plums and a hint of smoke from cherry smoked malt. Suggested track Dead Prez – Hip Hop.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: She pours a muddy brown colour with soft ruby edges. It forms a thick and creamy head which swells to about two fingers before settling to a fine overlay. The lace makes an absolute mess on the glass.

Aroma: Straight away we get an unreal mixture of candied cherries and mixed currants, fruit and nut chocolate, mild red wine vinegar, jammy dark fruits and musty oak tannins. It has a bit of an all spice quality to it as well. The sourness is certainly bretty/farmyard funk with a touch of hay/straw coming through. Brilliant aroma.

Flavour: Very complex, dry and oaky tannins with a decent puckering sourness. There’s a firm presence of cocoa/chocolate which offers a brilliant balance. A line of tart cherry cuts right through it all and carries a mild citric bitterness in to the slightly dry, oaky and toasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat gassy and drying toward the finish. Medium body with lively co2. 7.8% AbV…which is well disguised mind you.

Overall: Another impressive offering from this Victorian brewery. We’re loving everything they produce at the moment…keep em comin!

Cascade Brewing ’15 Project ‘Elderberry’ BA Sour

Rating:

57257020_1071989506318527_6138606300143026176_n“This Northwest sour ale is a blend of red ales aged in red wine barrels for up to 25 months with dried elderberries. One of our most complex offerings, Elderberry captures flavors of dried dark fruits, red wine, leather, chocolate, earth and plum.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Deep mahogany complexion with a short and loosely held overlay. It leaves a smattering of lace despite the lack of retention.

Aroma: As we were typing the appearance all we could smell were those luscious, sweet and slightly tart elderberries. Bringing the glass to the nose reveals more vinous tannins along with blueberry, plum jam, Merlot, clove, nutmeg, sour grape zappo’s, peppermint and musty oak barrels. Those vinous accents really develop as it settles in. Superb.

Flavour: Candied berries, spice, vinous dark fruits and lacto sourness to the fore. Followed by those jammy notes, spice, a hint of manky cheese and maybe even a flutter of Belgian Candi sugar through the middle. A surge of berry and or cherry sherbet forms late and shapes the tart, fruity and musty finish.

Mouthfeel: Frothy, tart with light-moderate body. Medium acidity and a lifted co2. The 7.1% AbV is well behaved. We’ll give this one a modest pucker rating of 3/5.

Overall: Another incredibly fun and delicious sour from these Oregonian’s (that’s probably a made up word). Every beer these guys brew is totally unique to the next one but one thing never changes…the quality! Very impressive!

Cascade Brewing 2016 Project ‘Blackcap Raspberry’ BA Sour

Rating:

57038321_1070834643100680_7552629479537901568_n“This NW style sour blond ale was barrel aged for 28 months before spending an additional two months on 300+ pounds of Black Cap Raspberries: think Nouveau Beaujolais with raspberries.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Dark ruby red/mahogany colour with a light pink head. Retention is poor as it retreats to the rim but still manages to weave a fine lace down the glass.

Aroma: Divine! It’s like opening up a fresh punnet of raspberries. So tart and juicy. There’s also a hint of fire engine in there…instantly taking us back to our childhood when we were allowed to load up on sugary drinks at restaurants. Love the presence of oak too, gives the aroma that added depth and structure around the lacto sourness. Absolutely brilliant.

Flavour: Where do we start? The progression of flavour is next level. Super sour lacto acidity initially moving to tart raspberry, pomegranate, lemon, blackberry. Lovely oak tannins flowing through. A quick cameo of red wine vinegar before candied raspberry and lemon roll in to a musty/oaky finish which goes the distance on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Tart, sharp and acidic. Pucker rating hits a full 5/5! Still somewhat light bodied with the 7.1% AbV well buried.

Overall: Holy moly what an absolute ripper of a beer. Been trying to get our hands on this for a while and thank god we finally did. Totally lives up to the hype. Phenomenal drop.

Cascade Brewing 2015 Project ‘The Vine’ BA Sour Ale

Rating:

56770686_1068160163368128_6516453324999360512_n“This Northwest Style Sour Ale is a blend of soured Triple, Blonde Quad and Golden ales that have been refermented with the fresh pressed juice of white wine grapes. The beer spent more than six months of lactic fermentation and aging in small oak barrels.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Hazy golden orange complexion with a fast fading head. It fizzes away completely with no lace to be seen.

Aroma: Smells super fruity…lots of lemon and lime, pomelo, unripened apricot, rockmelon and white grapes. The latter forming more of a vinous accent as it settles in the glass. There’s also a lovely crisp and tart funk which is balanced extremely well by the musty oak tannins. Just a subtle hint of that candy-esque sherbet coming through too. Superb!

Flavour: Sharp, zippy and bursting with a tart and acetic line of sourness. Quite vinous like a young Sauv blanc with its lime and green apple characteristics. A hint of candied peach developing late as it finishes with mildly tart citrus and subtle musty oak on the close.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, fairly light and mineraly. The 10.1% AbV is incredibly well hidden. Pucker rating…a sturdy 4/5.

Overall: We truly believe these guys are America’s answer to Cantillon. What an exquisite drop! So well balanced yet absolutely jam packed with flavour and aroma. Sensational.

Hope Brewing Raspberry Sour

Rating:

56165165_1065518716965606_319702878589550592_n“Hope Estate Raspberry Sour is perfect for a Summer’s day. Lovely and fresh with a decent amount of raspberries and a light sourness.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Hard to say actually! It’s like a blend of pink, orange, red and a bit of amber. It hangs on to a wispy overlay which leaves a cascading lace down the glass.

Aroma: Super refreshing and fruity with an initial blast of tart raspberry followed by cereal grains, orange citrus and a sweaty gose-like salinity. If we didn’t know any better we’d almost say it was raspberry soda!

Flavour: Very light tart raspberry upfront. Maybe hinting at other red berries like strawberry and gooseberry with subtle rose hip florals and cereal grains. Getting mild hints of orange citrus (mandarin mostly) rolling in to the light finish which displays more raspberry on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Light on, mineraly texture. Moderate co2. Mild-medium tartness and low AbV – 3.7%. A mid summer beer that’s for sure!

Overall: Good raspberry flavours and aromas, it’s light, tart and crush-able as a Berliner should be. It hits its mark really. Tough to criticise when it’s doing all the right things.

Hop Nation ‘Site Fermentation’ BA Sour

Rating:

52688494_1042736219243856_4713068158808752128_n“Blonde Melange had 9 months fermented and aged in PX Cherry and Chardonnay barrels. Blended and bottle conditioned.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Bright gold with a mild haze. It forms a ring which struggles to produce much lace.

Aroma: Of light sourness and Belgian tripel-esque sweetness. We say that as the latter posseses those yeast-driven fruits such as apple and pear along with subtle spice and orange peel. There is a fair amount of white wine tannins and grape juice…hinting at a dry, oaked chardonnay with just the slightest hint of wood coming through. Quite a nice aroma actually.

Flavour: Comes on with a crisp vibrance with white wine, peppery spice and tangy citrus to the fore. It has this distinct buttery note to it where the lemony citrus and unripened pineapple cuts through. The finish is dry, oaky and a little spicy and it endures rather well on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Dry and spritzy with a crisp acidity. The pucker rating is low with medium body. 5.5% AbV – well positioned.

Overall: It’s a funny one because at first we were ready to pan it as the sourness was practically MIA. But we see that it’s not all about the pucker…there’s a certain pronunciation on this kind of wine/beer hybrid idea that adds another layer of complexity. Solid offering.

Beachwood Blendery ‘Little Secrets” BA Belgian Sour w Raspberries

Rating:

51191950_1028963207287824_958138312462172160_n“Belgian style sour ale with raspberries and dry-hopped with galaxy and mosaic.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: It hits the glass with that gorgeous rosy pink hue. A very fine head is formed which snaps back to a collar. Little lace left behind as we go.

Aroma: The olfactory’s are filled with bright floral perfumes, raspberry, watermelon, subtle lemon, minty herbs, peach and a hint of fresh oak. It’s amazing how little funk there is and it’s even more amazing how much it reminds us of a raspberry and mint gravlax. Just the slightest suggestion of strawberry sherbet in there too. Very nice.

Flavour: Now we know where all the funk in the aroma got to…it’s here! Really nice punchy sourness integrates with the natural tartness of the raspberry and vinegary notes upfront. Mint, mixed berries, lemon and a touch of tropical fruits roll in to the slightly funky finish with lingering red grape and raspberry on the rear.

Mouthfeel: Plenty of pucker. Somewhat dry with good acidity. Light-moderate body and a nice spritziness. Very refreshing!

Overall: We’ve really been enjoying this cheeky little shipment of Beachwood. They’ve all been classy and very elegant offerings. We’ll certainly be on the hunt for more!

Batch Brewing 2018 ‘Chapeau’ BA Sour w Raspberries

Rating:
Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: It pours an attractive raspberry red with very little head retention. Looks a bit like raspberry cordial!

Aroma: Smells a bit like raspberry cordial too. As it settles the fresh raspberry aromas begin to lift out and as they do they reveal that natural tartness. We literally can’t smell anything else…but what they’ve done really well is capture that scent you get when you open a fresh punnet of raspberries.

Flavour: Obviously raspberry-dominated with what only seems to be the natural tartness from the fruit coming through. There’s a mild suggestion of lacto sourness but it’s somewhat muted. Picking up candied raspberry late in the piece as it finishes with a slight bitterness that endures.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy and kind of furry texture. Medium-high co2. We must admit the 6.5% AbV is well concealed.

Overall: We first tried this on tap and it was bloody delicious. The bottled version is a little less inspiring though. Although it’s hard to pan it…it is a very bright and refreshing drop it just needed a bit more depth in our opinion. Not bad.

 

Beachwood Blendery ‘Come In Grape’ BA Belgian Sour w Muscat Grapes

Rating:

50414393_1022702457913899_7153595449729875968_n“Come in Grape, Your Time is Up’ is a seasonal series based around the grape harvest. In fall we collaborate with various wineries to create beers that blur the lines between wine and beer. In this version we partnered up with Castoro Cellars from Paso Robles, CA and used late harvest Muscat grapes. We first created a blend of one year old lambic-inspired base beer, then let that beer sit on the grape juice and must for 8 weeks to go through a secondary fermentation.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Cloudy light yellow to golden complexion with no head. Almost looks like a NEIPA!

Aroma: We can certainly get the muscat grapes. They offer that distinct raisiny character while notes of floral honey and this almost dessert wine-like sweetness can also be picked up. Really strong impressions of oak coming through. Maybe just a hint of lacto sourness with its candied lemon/lime and subtle vinegar. Intriguing!

Flavour: It’s like grape juice-infused slightly sour lemon soft drink…if there was such a thing! Not getting as much dominance from the muscat grapes – it presents as more of a vinous tartness with a bit of sweaty/manky funk. A bit of a peppery spice through the middle with either peach or melon (or both) forming the finish.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy and rather light on. It hides the 8.5% AbV incredibly well. Mild-moderate body. Matches this 30+ degree heat perfectly!

Overall: It’s one of those beers that passes muster but won’t be all that memorable. There’s a hefty price tag on it too! Not bad.

The Rare Barrel ‘Home, Sour Home’ BA Sour

Rating:

48377806_1006249729559172_1223156061121282048_n“Home, Sour Home is a blend of golden sour beers aged in oak barrels with peaches, cinnamon, and vanilla bean. Notes of baked peaches, with hints of cinnamon spice and smooth vanilla will leave you craving some homemade peach cobbler. We originally released Home, Sour Home as our first Founders Club release. In its 2014 debut, DRAFT Magazine considered Home, Sour Home one of “The 25 Best Beers of 2014.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: A kind of milky off-yellow complexion with a wispy head which retreats to the rim. Laced fairly well considering the lack of retention.

Aroma: As far as sour aromas go this is right up there. The peach notes coming through are incredible! Also picking up tangerine, orange sherbet, sweet earthy spice, vanilla, peach skins, candied lemon and buttery flaked pastry. She certainly shines full of lacto sourness…almost has that yoghurt-like scent to it. Magnificent!

Flavour: Lovely focus on the peaches again…definitely front and center with strong support from the slightly acetic lemon juice, woody oak, creamy vanilla and subtle apricot. The peach flavour really carries through nicely, across the mid and in to the finish which reveals more stonefruits i.e apricot and rockmelon.

Mouthfeel: Frothy and nicely carbonated with good pucker. Medium body. A rather fine little quaffer.

Overall: Our only gripe with it is the lack of oak character and spice. Thing is there’s more than enough aroma and flavour already happening so we can forgive them for that. All in all it’s a respectable sour.

5 Barrel Brewing BA Flemish Red

Rating:

48389426_1001870636663748_7839580754299322368_n“My first exposure to a Flemish Red was one of intrigue. It was like no other beer I had ever had before. The depth of flavour evident in this beer comes from the blending of a mature 18-month old barrel with a younger, more youthful beer. The act of blending smooths out some of the rough edges and allows the rich malt character to develop on your palate with some familiarity. The acidic bite is strong, yet approachable and finishes with a lovely funky quality.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Works its way from burnt orange to a kind of rusted red/brown. Nice pillowy head which persists. Laced reasonably well.

Aroma: Tangy cider and vinegar notes with spicy pepper, cigar box, plums, woody oak, farmyard and tart berries/cherries in support. We’re getting a real manky cheesy character from it….hints at dirty old socks and sweaty horse blanket. So wrong but so right!

Flavour: More of a funky/tangy sourness upfront moving in to mixed berries, red fruits, cider and plums midway. A hint of caramel sweetness getting amongst it as well. Sharp-ish red wine vinegar develops late and helps shape the dry, tannic and fruity finish with lingering oak accents on the rear.

Mouthfeel: Rather light on with a somewhat soapy texture. Carbonation is mild-moderate. Just feels like it’s missing something though.

Overall: We’ve been impressed by 5 Barrel’s barrel aged sour range. At the moment the cherry sour is way out in front. This one hits its mark but fell short of wow-ing us. Not a bad offering.

Van Dieman Brewing ‘Hedgerow’ 2016 Barrel Aged Sour

Rating:

48218175_997337293783749_9005146397812457472_n“The release of our 2016 Hedgerow, is the third vintage of this award winning beer, and arguably the finest vintage to date. We’ve sat on it for long enough in both barrel and bottle, and are proud to finally offer it up for release for other beer lovers to thoroughly enjoy! For those that have tried our previous 2012 or 2014 releases, you’ll know what delight you’re in for. For those discovering this beer for the first time, or have developed an appreciation for sour beer since our last release – you’re in for one hell of a ride!”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: After an almighty battle with the cork we eventually get to see this brown coloured beauty. Pours with little head and hardly any lace as we imbibe.

Aroma: Getting a nose full of oak barrel, vinous notes, strawberry/raspberry, candied lemon, red wine vinegar and mulled wine. The time spent in French oak barrels impart a flutter of vanilla and toasted coconut. Magnificent aroma.

Flavour: There’s a keen sourness that hits and lingers nicely. Surrounding it are the woody and at times musty oak tannins, vinous red wine vinegar, mixed berries, subtle earthy tones and dark chewy fruits. The finish is funky, fruity (in a weird yet wonderful way) and a tad vinegary. Fairly good legs to it as well.

Mouthfeel: Regrettably thin and slightly watery. Very little co2 adding to their woes. In view of that it doesn’t detract too much from the overall experience.

Overall: This is our first entry for this brewery. The aroma was fantastic but unfortunately it didn’t translate in to flavour as convincingly as we’d hoped. Not bad.