Category Archives: Sours

Cascade ’15 ‘Noyaux’ BA Sour w Noyaux & Raspberry

Rating:

“Noyaux (pronounced noy-OH) is a blend of sour blond ales aged in white wine barrels for up to 24 months with fresh raspberries and apricot noyaux. Offering a complex bouquet of raspberry fruit, rose petals, toasted almonds and soft perfume notes. The Noyaux nut can be found inside of the apricot pit which we take from the fresh whole apricots we use in making Cascade Brewing Apricot.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Hazy amber with a soft reddish tint. It produced a short fizzy head which forms a halo and drags a wet lace down the glass.

Aroma: On point! Raspberries hit the olfactory’s first followed by an amazing mixture of ripe peach, apricot and raw almond. 24 months in barrel is mind blowing and it has imparted subtle hints of oak, white grapes and sour red apple along the way. Maybe a touch of rosé coming through too. Brilliant aroma.

Flavour: Like all Cascade sours the first sip is sour AF. Extremely tart raspberry, rosé and oak make way for delicious waves of peach, apricot, vanilla, white grape and candied lemon. Mixed berry sherbet forming late as are the nutty almonds which lead in to a tart and citrusy finish.

Mouthfeel: Sharp, crisp and acidic. Kinda dry. Fizzy and effervescent Co2. Pucker rating hits an easy 4/5. 8.3% ABV is fairly well buried.

Overall: Classic Cascade. Incredibly complex yet still so light and crushable. We wish we were rich as we’d fill a whole shelf of the cellar with this. Superb.

Range Brewing ‘Late Night Snack’ Imperial Blueberry Smoothie Sour

Rating:

“Late Night Snack is a beer for when you really want blueberry pancakes, but also really want a beer. It is packed to the brim with blueberry, blackcurrant, vanilla, maple syrup and lactose. It is rich, creamy, tart, full-bodied and zingy. The colour is nothing short of insane, pouring a deep purple, shining light on the truly ridiculous amount of fruit that went into it. It’s our favourite Imperial Sour to date.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Cloudy maroon with soft purple hues. A finger of pink-ish head forms but quickly retracts. It drags a wet lace down the glass.

Aroma: Like a glass of macerated sour cherries and mixed berries. Really liking the subtle maple sweetness too. Lots of creamy vanilla and milk sugars, black and red currants, Pinot Noir-like dark fruits, artificial fruits and a certain dessert quality which we can’t quite put our fingers on….cherry pie maybe?

Flavour: Absolutely awash with every kind of berry, cherry and currant imaginable. The maple sweetness runs through it while the creamy vanilla and milk sugars take a back seat. It all shifts in to a tart and somewhat savory finish that lingers nicely.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, velvety and super smooth. Did someone say sour? It’s slightly tart but it sure ain’t sour. The 8.7% ABV is really well hidden though.

Overall: Much better than previous sours we’ve had from Range. The aroma and flavour profile is brilliant but the lack of sourness is disappointing. Still, an enjoyable quaffer.

Garage Project X Cigar City ‘Out Of The Woods’ Dark Sour Ale

Rating:

“Out of the Woods, inspired by and infused with the New Zealand forest. Ten different malts create a dark complex malt base, infused with totara rimu and manuka, fermented with a mixture of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Brettanomyces in an open topped wooden fermenter, then barrel aged for over two years, before being given another infusion of Kawa Kawa. The result balances tartness with rich malt notes and bursts with complex, earthy, herbal, woody character. An utterly unique beer, brewed in collaboration with Cigar City’s inimitable Wayne Wambles.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Dark brown…almost black! It forms a thumb of tan foam that holds its shape and weaves a fine lace down the walls of the glass.

Aroma: Super complex and very unique. Out first thoughts are Galliano, dried eucalyptus and sour cola lollies. It just keeps on evolving too, offering up hints of nutmeg, oregano, pine, aniseed/fennel, forest floor, black tea, damp wood, rotting leaves and cardamom. Sheesh! The olfactory’s have been taken on a trip. We’d admit we’re a little envious as we can’t even leave NSW!

Flavour: Holy shit what have we got here. The palate is scrambling trying to isolate one certain flavour. Getting all types of licorice (aniseed, fennel, Galliano) and that’s the main taste. Behind it? Well let’s go: spicy black tea, damp tree bark, forest floor, nutmeg, vines, kombucha, gum nut and acorn. What the hell is this?!

Mouthfeel: Light on, mildly acidic, well rounded. Where is the 10.9% ABV?? Totally hidden.

Overall: We’re actually lost for words…we don’t even know what we’ve just drunk. Trust GP. And the fact they teamed up with a brewery as highly regarded as Cigar City also speaks volumes.

Hargreaves Hill ‘Fruitopia #1’ Berry Smoothie Sour

Rating:

“Fruitopia is an ongoing speciality series in which we explore the how far we can take the addition of fruit to beer. Drinkers are given an exclusive look into the brewing process, with varieties, additions and time frame listed on the can label. Number one is a 7.5% Fruited Sour. A smoothie style sour ale, with the additional of Blackberry, Raspberry, and milk sugar.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: One of the hardest colours to explain…kind of like a creamy Scarlet/deep magenta with a tonne of suspended sediment. It holds a frothy two finger head long enough to leave some patchy lace here and there.

Aroma: Like a boozy berry flavoured frozen yogurt. Mostly dark berries like blackberry and blueberry with some creamy strawberry thrown in the mix. Super creamy lactose/milk sugars in spades. The sourness is light and funky…the type you’d find in one of those wanky probiotic yogurt drinks. Very unique we must admit.

Flavour: Pretty much follows the nose – dark berries dominate but the typical tartness you’d find from them is offset by the milky creaminess and yogurt-like funk. Getting a late hint of fruity hops which ushers in a slightly dry bitterness that quickly lays down for a creamy and fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and well rounded. Very light on and aerated. Mild-medium body. Tell you what the 7.5% ABV has been very well concealed.

Overall: We’re proper fence-sitting here. On one hand it’s really unique and rather tasty but it looks like shit and doesn’t really have the amount of sourness we’re after. Not bad.

Boatrocker ‘Life Is Peachy’ Sour Session Ale

Rating:

“The times may not be, but one sip of this beer will hopefully make you hark back to a time when life was peachy…We added a shedload of Australian peach puree and some Italian bergamot puree to a delightful kettle sour, bringing you a refreshing sour session ale.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Slightly hazy light orange body with a wispy white head. It slowly breaks up and leaves spotty lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: Super mild. Picking up the subtle peach scents but we’re getting more orange citrus and earthy apricot if anything. Very delicate hints of kumquat and bergamot as well. Just the slightest flutter of tartness in here and that’s about it. We were definitely hoping for a bit more out of it that’s for sure.

Flavour: Very gentle touches of orange citrus, peach and apricot with even softer notes of bergamot in support. A faint hint of Bretty funk, straw and breakfast juice leading in to a slightly underwhelming finish of mild peach and apricot which pulls up well short.

Mouthfeel: Light, tangy, mildly bodied. Nice spritzy Co2. Hardly any sourness – pucker rating is a measly 1/5. Only 4% ABV.

Overall: The one and only upside is the approachable nature of it…very light and crushable. But the lack of flavour intensity and general excitement around it is pretty poor.

Ocean Reach Brewing ‘Painkiller’ Sour

Rating:

“Our twist on the Painkiller cocktail. We’ve combined 4 parts pineapple, 1 part toasted coconut and 1 part orange. … Best served with some freshly grated nutmeg and a wedge of pineapple.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Murky pastel orange with a short fluffy white head. Decent retention allowing a streaky lace down the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Super tropical. Oodles of sweet and tart citrus i.e orange, lemon and lime, ripe pineapple, coconut, sherbet, orange power and vanilla. As it settles the creaminess real begins to take shape, emphasising the coconut, vanilla and creamy pineapple. Really unique and summery…yet we’re drinking it in the middle of winter 😝

Flavour: Nice transition on to the palate. It brings over all of that sweet and tart citrus, pineapple and creamy coconut and vanilla. Super tangy…the orange citrus is really dominating. Getting more of the lemon and creamy lime late in the piece as it finishes fruity and slightly tart.

Mouthfeel: Light, crisp and clean. Mild-moderate acidity with reasonable pucker. 8% ABV! Very well concealed.

Overall: Far better than the train wreck we had a few weeks ago (oatmeal stout). This is punchy and full flavoured and definitely has the unique factor. We could only imagine how well this would go down on a stinkin hot summers day. Solid.

The Bruery ‘Beauregarde’ BA Blueberry Sour

Rating:

“The return of our first ever blueberry sour blonde ale, and we couldn’t be happier with the result. We kept adding fruit to our barrel-aged sour blonde ale until the taste was exactly what we wanted. A lovely shade of reddish purple with juicy flavors of tart blueberries.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Gorgeous cloudy maroon with a very soft purple hue. Minimal head, falling away to almost nothing. Next to no lace left behind.

Aroma: Quite a punchy sourness… definitely spurred on by the ultra tart blueberries. Really strong barrel character too – old, woody but fairly dry. Lots of candy and sherbet, acetic lemon and lime, subtle red wine vinegar and some tannins. Really boisterous but that’s what we love about American sours…you know what you’re in for!

Flavour: Boisterous alright! Near eye-watering sourness upfront with extremely tart and acetic blueberries, lemon/lime and vinegar. It tapers off straight in to delicious candy and mixed berry sherbet with mild barrel musty-ness fused through. It finishes with more pronounced oak, sherbet and blueberries and really draws out nicely.

Mouthfeel: Sharp, dry and tannic. The pucker rating gets a well deserved 4/5. Quite highly carbonated and the 6.5% ABV is well concealed.

Overall: Cracking drop. We’re loving the move in to 500ml tinnies as it’s cheaper than the 750ml bottles and much less of a commitment. Not as good for ageing though…say what you will we just don’t like the idea of aging beer in cans. Anywho, this is a brilliant sour.

Garage Project ‘Beyond The Pale – Off Piste’ Blood Orange Beet & Mint Sour

Rating:

“This year our favourite festival turns 30 , and to celebrate we’re going off piste- a kettle sour spiked with Beetroot and infused with blood orange and mint. It creates a startling crystal pink beer with citrus palate and lifted aromas. Go Fringe Festival.”

Glassware: Poured into a tulip.

Appearance: effervescent raspberry pink with a 10mm bubbly light pink/white silky head that retains wonderfully and settles very slowly. Almost a sheen to the surface.

Aroma: very light citrus here with a flat lemonade like nose. Slightly herbal and spritzy. Almost berrys, like your having a rose.

Flavour: bit more going on here. More orange citrus, with mild mint and a touch of earth from the beetroot. Has a touch of berry also Its certainly a typical gose like beer. Almost salty.

Mouthfeel: full of bubble and almost sizzles on the tip of the tongue. Medium carbonation here. Bitterness is low. Mouthfeel really light and body light also. Its sitting at 4.2% alc vol so a nice 1 standard drink. Sourness on the palate dominates but not overpowers.

Overall: its a nice, zesty sparkling little number. Be nice to get a bit more mint out of it.

Range Brewing Apricot Sour

Rating:

“In this volume of our sour ale series, we begin with a tart and refreshing Belgian sour ale. Blended with apricot, we get a tart and refreshing sourness which leads to a slightly sweet and balanced apricot notes.”

Glassware: Teku

Appearance: Hazy orange/apricot with a short but finely beaded head which eventually forms a halo. Patchy lace as it subsides.

Aroma: Apricot dominates as expected. There’s plenty of support in the way of orange citrus and other stonefruits such as peach and mango. Light florals and passion fruit also creeping in. Quite a shy aroma…we really had to dig our noses in to get a decent whiff.

Flavour: Tasting more passion fruit than apricot. It kind of reminds us of Batch’s Pash. The apricot is here, albeit very mild and slightly earthy with a delicate jammy sweetness. Maybe a flutter of coconut as well. Really weak finish though…faint apricot pulling up pretty short.

Mouthfeel: Nice and spritzy, light and a little gassy. Next to no sourness.. could almost pass as a fruity Mid-strength.

Overall: Somewhat tired and lacking any form of oomph. If it’s an apricot sour we want to smell and taste a whole lot of apricot! To be fair it is here but as mentioned earlier it’s very tame. Back to their IPA’s we go.

Wicked Weed ‘Botanica’ BA Sour w Strawberry & Rhubarb

Rating:
89162634_1319424144908394_6346074497807810560_o“The next release in our Canvas Series is Botanica. This gin barrel-aged sour sour ale ages on 1.5 lbs per gallon of bright strawberries and earthy rhubarb. Gin lovers rejoice! Available at the Funkatorium and Brewpub now.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Bright amber orange with 100% clarity. Hardly any head as it all settles at the rim. Very minimal lace as we go.

Aroma: Truly world class stuff. Every ingredient just shouts at us yet it still maintains such balance and poise. The strawberry and rhubarb just sings in all of its sweet and tart glory while the subtle characters of the gin barrels and direct lacto sourness provides the stage. Really liking the subtle herbals/botanicals provided by the gin too. Brilliant.

Flavour: In true WW fashion this short and sharp cameo of lacto sourness strips enamel off the teeth. Strawberry sherbet, slightly tart and earthy rhubarb, botanicals, dry and musty oak, sweaty lacto funk and juniper berry balances out with a kind of jammy sweetness. That delicious sherbet-like note returns late in the piece and helps finish off an incredible flavour profile.

Mouthfeel: Sharp-ish sourness, medium-high acidity with spritzy Co2. Mild body. Pucker rating sits at 3.5/5 and that 7.2% ABV is dangerously well hidden.

Overall: Another absolute corker from Wicked Weed! Honestly these guys deserve a spot in the top 5 best sour breweries in the States. Phenomenal.

Wicked Weed ‘La Mure Morte’ BA Sour w Blackberries

Rating:

82371163_1284695735047902_4720661562203832320_o“Barrel-Aged American Sour Ale with Blackberries.”

Glassware: Teku

Appearance: A ravishing deep ruby red with a short and fizzy head which hastily forms a collar. Patches of broken lace here and there.

Aroma: Smells freakin amazing! Even though blackberries have a much less distinct profile they’re on parade right here – earthy yet sweet and tart and fusing with the natural vinous accents imparted by the red wine barrels (which also add a lovely damp and musty oak character). Super sour notes of classic lambic too…sweaty, barnyard lacto funk. Top shelf stuff.

Flavour: She ain’t messing about. Very sharp yet short-lived rush of tart berries and lacto sourness which we can literally feel taking layers of enamel off our teeth! It really mellows out in to a fruity middle full of blackberry pulp, vinous oak tannin, spice and fruit acids which lead in to a juciy finish with mild tartness and delicate oak for days.

Mouthfeel: Quite sharp and acidic upfront but almost creamy and velvety post-swallow. Mineraly, soda water-like texture… definitely adding to the light feel.

Overall: Absolute pin point precision from Wicked Weed. Very hard to fault it as everything compliments the next. Really well balanced too which we’ve found to be a slight downfall in some previous offerings. Impressive!

Counter Culture ‘Lovely Bubbly’ Brut Rose

Rating:
79415125_1249762005207942_4975487585397768192_o“Can you feel it? That certain something in the air that calls for bubbles and celebration? Well, silly season is upon us, and nothing says ‘good times’ quite like rosé brut sour. This delightfully blush co-ferment beer with chardonnay juice, chardonnay yeast, lactobacillus and thousands of fresh strawberries, balances sweetness and soft sour pinch with a dry crisp finish. Simply exquisite, Lovely Bubbly is our fifth release and now available.”

Glassware: Stemmed Tulip.

Appearance: Pours a relatively clear bright amber hue with little head forming on top. Lovely cascading lace clings to the walls of the glass though.

Aroma: Very interesting… definitely picking up the soft tart sweetness of the strawberries initially. There’s a nice yoghurt-esque lacto sourness which provides a bit of creaminess and that flows through hints of rose petals, passionfruit, lychee and vanilla. Just a hint of dryness to it as well which acts as a bit of a counter balance. Pleasantly surprised!

Flavour: Holy moly it literally tastes like a Chardonnay/Rosé blend…just with the added phenols from the yeast and a very delicate sourness. Like the aroma we get a delicious strawberry sweetness amongst rosewater, tropical fruits, subtle spice and citrus which draws out nicely in to the long finish.

Mouthfeel: Light and spritzy but it still holds a nice weight. The 6% ABV is also very well behaved. Tough to hand it a pucker rating as there really isn’t any.

Overall: Not a bad effort but as white wine drinkers we feel the white wine-hating beer drinkers are gonna give this the cold shoulder. We applaud the edginess of it but honestly there are many others in this series that top it.

 

Dollar Bill 2019 ‘Spring Parlay’ BA Sour Red Ale

Rating:
79382417_1246874175496725_8438632931500490752_o“2019 Spring Parlay – Red Ale aged in Apassimento barrels. Spring ushers in an exciting new season of longer days and warmer weather. Cold mornings give way to sun filled days and bright red sunsets. Our Spring parlay is a complex sour ale primary fermented in stainless then aged 8mnths in barrels used to create some of Australia’s finest desert wine. Lambrusco Maestri Apassimento barrels add cocoa and dried fruit complexities along with aromas of leather and tobacco, lactic and acetic acidity.”

Glassware: Teku

Appearance: Deep ruby red with a short head which quickly forms a collar. Pretty decent lacing despite the lack of retention.

Aroma: Smells absolutely divine! It’s overflowing with red berry sweetness yet so nicely countered by tart cherry, currants, red toffee apple and cigar skins. There’s this distinct sophistication to it which is really intriguing…we keep picturing this swanky men’s club decked out with leather chairs and old wooden charm. So much depth and character to this nose.

Flavour: Wow. Flavour explosion! It hits the palate with a sharp yet tempered sourness which quickly moves in to tart cherry and then in to more sweeter berries and currants. It’s then met with a musty dryness which is emphasized by the oak and earthy tobacco and draws out in to the slightly dry and fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Slightly acidic yet quite meaty…certainly enough there to chew on. The pucker rates a 2.5/5 with the 6.4% ABV well concealed.

Overall: We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again these guys would have to be one of the best sour brewers in Australia. We’re loving the depth and complexity to it but most of all…it acts like a good medium bodied red wine at times. Keep it comin DB!

5 Barrel Brewing ‘Ghost Creek’ BA Sour w Peach

Rating:
74354464_1219461334904676_3825796733716135936_o“We have embraced our homebrewer roots by collaborating with a good friend, and local homebrewer to create this unique sour ale. The beer is tart and clean, with an exceptionally citrusy aroma and cleansing palate. Each variation of Ghost Creek lends on these elements to highlight the experimental nature of our homebrew culture.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Slightly hazy light amber complexion. It struggles to produce much head as it settles at the rim with streaky lace following it down.

Aroma: We can certainly pick up the peach…it’s a fruit that works so well with sours with its savoury sweetness and gentle floral notes. Lovely candy-esque sugars, peach sherbet, musty oak barrels and acetic citrus undertones also getting amongst it. So sweet and summery yet tart, crisp and acidic. Brilliant balance.

Flavour: Like the aroma the true and delicious flavours of peach comes forward first immediately balancing the initial sourness. Intermittent hints of oak barrel intertwines with delicate stonefruits and tangy orange citrus before it rounds off on a soft and mineraly finish which pulls up a little short.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, tart and mineraly. It holds a nice weight and offers an approachable pucker – rates a 2.5/5. 6% ABV is nicely contained.

Overall: This is one in a series of four releases where the brewer works off a base sour and adds different hops and fruits to each one. We went straight for this as we love the fusion of peach in sour beers but after tasting the quality we’ll be looking to bag the other three now! Good stuff.

 

Cascade Brewing ’15 Project ‘Figaro’ BA Sour Blond

Rating:
74214540_1213142032203273_1630150134207610880_o“The Figaro project is a blend of sour Strong Blond ales aged in chardonnay barrels for up to 18 months with white figs, lemon peel and orange peel. We start this blend with freshly emptied chardonnay barrels from the Willamette Valley wine region and fill them with our strong blond ale, imparting a complex white wine character to the beer with a hint of oak. After several months of maturation, we add lemon peel, orange peel and dried white figs to each barrel and allow a slow, steady fruit fermentation to take place.”

Glassware: Stemmed Tulip.

Appearance: Amber to burnished orange which caps off with a finger of sparse bubble. The head vanishes pretty quickly but still manages a wavy lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: Quite fruity at first and then the hints of Chardonnay begin to take shape. Plenty of citrus – lemon and grapefruit pulp, juice and rind. Picking up really gentle notes of green apple, peppery spice, white wine vinegar, grape skins and pine needle while the dry woody oak sits quietly in the background. Couldn’t pick up any trace of the figs which is a shame.

Flavour: Similar to the aroma in the way that nothing really comes forward. There’s flavour for days don’t get us wrong but it’s quite tempered. Citrus (pulp and rind), white wine vinegar, Chardonnay, straw, peppery spice and green apple make up the bulk of it. Very delicate hints of dry oak here and there. Again…the fig is completely MIA.

Mouthfeel: Not as sharp and acidic as previous Cascade sours. Still plenty of pucker though – rates a healthy 3.5/5. Quite a prominent burn from the 8.4% ABV on the back of the throat. Light-moderate body. Good CO2.

Overall: This is the first time we’ve been undecided over a Cascade beer. It’s not a bad drop by any means…maybe because they brew to such a high standard we have come to expect total perfection? Not sure we’re just not that sold on this one.

Almanac Beer Co ‘Strawberry & Basil Sournova’ BA Sour

Rating:
73173346_1208719772645499_2254277928210661376_o“Strawberry Basil Sournova is the latest release in our Sournova Series. This naturally conditioned, mixed-culture sour ale was aged for months with 100% real strawberries and organic Thai basil creating a delightfully tart and refreshing brew with light herbaceous notes.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Slightly hazy golden orange with a really faint tint of red. A short gathering of bubbles atop slowly retreats to the rim and weaves an excellent lace trail on its way down.

Aroma: Crisp, fruity and super refreshing, the strawberry and basil fuse together beautifully. It has this lemon, lime and Bitters quality with a hint of ginger beer, love heart lollies, peach syrup, pink lady apple, soft spice and tangy orange. Very sweet but not at all cloying. Digging it!

Flavour: Short and sharp lacto hit on entry rolling in to the delicious notes of strawberry and basil, subtle oak and spice. She hits quite a dry note midway with hints of orange citrus, peach, melon and more strawberry and basil to finish it off. If draws out nicely too.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, light and spritzy. Mild-moderate body with a healthy yet approachable pucker – rates a 3/5. Only 5.5% ABV so it slots nicely in to the sessional summer sour category.

Overall: We’d much prefer this over the blackberry Sournova. This has a lovely zingy-ness, good pucker and ultra refreshment going on. Excellent blend of the two feature flavours as well. Two thumbs up!

Cascade Brewing 2016 Project ‘Sang Noir’ BA Sour Red Ale

Rating:
73022065_1206108609573282_8254435957567127552_o“Sang Noir is a blend of imperial red ales aged in bourbon and wine barrels for up to two years with Bing cherries. The darkest in our series of “Sang” projects, Sang Noir features notes of dark roast malts, bourbon, black cherries and port wine.”

Glassware: Stemmed Tulip.

Appearance: Deep mahogany to brown with a short cap which disappears quickly. It forms a collar and leaves fine lacing on its way down.

Aroma: Wow she’s super complex it’s pulling the olfactory’s in every which direction. The barrels play quite a strong role. Not so much in the way of bourbon but more in that damp sauna room kind of way. Lovely juicy and tart cherry notes, vinous tannins, port, clove, caramel fudge, blood plum and freshly cut green apple. A rather assertive acidity too…mostly tart lemon and vinegar. Superb aroma.

Flavour: It opens with a vigorous lacto sourness but it’s nicely balanced by the damp oak, sweet malts and vinous dark fruits. The cherries provide another layer of complexity as a very subtle touch of bourbon comes through late. It all wraps up with tart fruits and red wine tannins. Some really good length on it too.

Mouthfeel: Sharp and acidic. The pucker rating gets a healthy 4/5. Slightly dry and musty texture with delicate warmth from the 9.3% ABV.

Overall: Jeez these guys know how to brew a mean sour! The balance that oak, bourbon, malt and fruits provide is crucial. It’s complex, well layered and freakin delicious! Kudos Cascade!

Almanac Beer Co ‘Blackberry Sournova’ BA Sour

Rating:

73012916_1205207802996696_8064375219403358208_o“This is NOT a kettle sour! This naturally conditioned, mixed-culture sour ale was aged for months with thousands of pounds of blackberries. This bright, tart, and super fruity space juice is out-of-this-world tasty. Available in 16oz 4-packs and draft.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Cloudy mahogany complexion with dark purple hues. It struggles to produce much head as it instantly forms a collar with surprisingly healthy lace work as we go.

Aroma: Not really showing the intensity we were anticipating. We absolutely love the freshness coming off it though…almost like opening up a punnet of blackberries. Can’t really get a whole lot more than this fusion of slightly vinous, earthy-sweet dark berries and subtle vanillin oak character. Very one dimensional and dare we say it, kind of flat and tired.

Flavour: We were really hoping for a big and tart burst of juicy blackberry but all we’re getting is this muted sense of blackberry pulp, earthy vinous berries and French style vanillin oak. We’d be happy with this simple flavour profile if it weren’t so muddled! We don’t start tasting any true blackberry flavour until the finish…which is unfortunately short lived.

Mouthfeel: Nicely weighted initially but it literally turns to water in the swallow. Only 5.8% ABV with a disappointing pucker rating of 1.5/5.

Overall: This is our 2nd entry for Almanac and we’d admit it’s not going well. This one simply lacks the energy and cut through we’ve come to expect from top shelf American sours. Especially the barrel aged ones! Average stuff.

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.