Category Archives: Sours

Hermitage ‘Cranberry & Peach’ American Sour

Rating:

38473466_920829298101216_2158446234195460096_n“Sour Ale brewed with Cranberry and Peach aged in American and French Oak wine barrels. A blend of 18-36-month-old blonde ale, fermented with Brett and aged with tart cranberry and sweet peach.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Cloudy amber complexion with light orange hues. It forms a short head which slowly peels back to a ring. Some spotty lace as we go.

Aroma: Nice and funky with tart red berry overtones, stone fruit and subtle woody oak tannins in support. Rather floral, apricot and peach skin also opening up as it settles in the glass. Mild acidity – getting a lot more tartness from the berries rather than from the lemon/lime juice. Crisp, fruity and refreshing. Nice aroma.

Flavour: Ooph…sour, tart and lip puckering! Tonnes of lacto acidity, bretty funk, lime juice and uber tart red berries upfront. We’re picking up the peach notes in the background which are unfortunately overtaken by an unpleasant acidity akin to white vinegar – quite a turn off! It finishes with further notes of white vinegar, white grapes and muted oak musty-ness.

Mouthfeel: Sharp, acetic and sour. Fairly light on with moderate Co2.

Overall: This is probably our least favourite sour we have had to date. The aroma is fine but the flavour is muddled and unbalanced and actually started making us feel sick. Hardly any barrel character on show either. Quite disappointed as we had heard good things about this brewery.

Wildflower Brewery & Blending ‘Blend #12’ BA Amber Sour

Rating:

37886218_912122575638555_3325099651190751232_n“Amber is a blended, barrel aged Australian Wild Ale. Blend #12 is a blend of four barrels. 1733 (6 month old Amber), 1746 (5 month old Amber), 1748 (7 month old Amber) and 1754 (7 month old Amber).”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Amber with a touch of red. The pour only manages a short and loosely held cap which peels back to the rim. A wet lace drag is left on the glass as we imbibe.

Aroma: Smells nice and funky. Kind of dank and cheesy with subtle tart citrus that are offset by a light toasty character, caramels and a well rounded oak profile. We keep picking up what appears to be dried cocoa powder and oats which makes this aroma somewhat unique. Undertones of berries and cellar musty-ness to boot.

Flavour: Typical sour/tart citrus and bretty/lacto funk to the fore. Slightly dry and musty oak giving rise to subtle cocoa powder and delicate caramel sweetness. Just a flutter of acetic citrus peel leading to a finish with abrupt acidity but prevailing toasty and woody oak tannins in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Relatively light on, effervescent and acidic. The 6% ABV plays a good support role without overdoing it. Mild-medium Co2.

Overall: Personally we rather the amber sours over the gold. In saying that though, there really isn’t a lot of contrast between this blend and the ones before it. We’d love to see these guys get a bit crafty with some fresh fruit. If not for fun then at least for a bit of distinction.

Fieldwork Brewing Co. ‘Cherry Parfait’ Kettle Sour

Rating:

37817163_910215905829222_4132107324456173568_n“Fieldwork Parfaits are a series of tart beers where we take a big and creamy base of oats and milk sugar, then sour them in our kettle until they are bright, acidic, and effervescent. We then ferment and condition the beer on heaps of pureed or whole fruit until the beer is almost opaque with color looking almost like a melted crayon. Each fruit variation will look, smell, and taste quite a bit different, but all should be their own version of a blended fruit parfait with a tart, creamy, and fruity finish.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Candy red with a kiss of pink. 100% clarity. It forms a cm of frothy pink foam which persists and works a fine and intricate lace down the glass.

Aroma: Kind of smells like a fire engine with its artificial sweet syrup and refreshing lemonade characters. Just loads of cherry, raspberry and strawberry alongside subtle vanilla notes, sherbet and crystallised sugars. There are so many other sweets it reminds us of – cherry slurpee, berry flavoured snowcones and raspberry fanta. Takes us back to our childhood.

Flavour: Very subtle but still displaying a lovely cherry sweetness, mildly tart berries and vanilla cream. Tasting that fire engine character again which just begs for another sip. Hints of creamy lactose and cherry candy to finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and luscious, made even more so by the use of oats. The feel is light and effortless but there is still a nice plump body filling it out. Spritzy co2 and very mild acidity.

Overall: This is the epitome of what we’d classify as a “chicks drink”. It’s fruity, sweet, light and effervescent. It would be quite the sessionable refresher on a hot day although the 6.4% ABV (well hidden mind you) would suggest otherwise! Not bad at all.

Wicked Weed Brewing ‘Oblivion’ BA Sour Red Ale

Rating:

37328861_903099666540846_6088367608120213504_n“Oblivion is a sour red ale aged with blackberries and dates in red wine barrels for up to 12 months. This ale is then carefully blended to create depth and balance that will envelope you in its complexity.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Mahogany with some strawberry red highlights. It generates a thumb of tightly held foam which holds its shape and leaves a healthy residue on the glass.

Aroma: Nicely balanced. There’s a lovely impression of vinous red fruits, dry and musty oak barrel and cassis with some funky brett/lacto characters – Swiss cheese, horse blanket and mild vinegar. There’s some chewy caramels and boiled candy/candy cane scent with those typical lemon peel and lime juice aromas. Just a lovely and well structured Flemish style nose.

Flavour: The tart blackberries come through nicely upfront. Fresh at first then progressing in to a jammy/cassis note which gets enveloped by acetic lemon juice and sour berries mid way. It softens in to an oaky/musty tannin which offers that delicious fruit tingle flavour in the finish. Some gentle barrel dryness and artificial candy notes endure on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Dry texture with a light spritzy-ness. Medium body. The 8.7% ABV is very well buried.

Overall: This is our 2nd sour from Wicked Weed and both have been top notch. This one was a very nice interpretation of a Flemish-style red. Fine offering.

Wildflower Brewery & Blendery ‘Blend #9 Gold’ BA Golden Sour

Rating:

37054912_898783313639148_5496568857587875840_n“Gold is a blended, barrel aged Australian Wild Ale. Blend #9 is a blend of three barrels, 1718, 1723 and 1601. At blending, the beer in 1718 was five months old, coming from our fifth batch of Gold. 1723 was six months old holding beer from our fourth batch of Gold from March 31 2017 until blending. The Gold in 1601 came from our sixth batch of Gold and was four months old.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Light straw yellow with a fizzy champagne head that quickly retreats to the rim. We’re seeing a fairly good lace stick to the glass as we imbibe.

Aroma: Smells of mild lemon acidity, young white wine, fresh oak barrel, white grapes, light florals and unripened peach. It has this kind of lemon cheesecake character which is quite alluring. Unfortunately not a lot else is happening, very minimal sourness – more tart if anything. It’s also lacking that barn/farmyard funk which we’ve come to enjoy from really good sours.

Flavour: Even more restrained than the nose! A very short cameo of tart lemon on entry moving in to further citrus (albeit very delicate), vinous notes and a somewhat wet hay/straw thing going on in the mid. Just a flutter of hop dryness before it finishes on a soft lemony note which pulls up a bit short.

Mouthfeel: It has that lovely mineraly texture with mild-moderate body. It’s almost a little thin but it’s saved by a reasonable co2 and a super subtle hop bitterness.

Overall: We much rather the amber to be honest, this one just seems to be lacking in multiple departments. It’s a little weak and insipid whereas the amber had good body and strong sour characters along with a robust and well balanced malt profile. Average.

Wicked Weed Brewing ‘Lost Toys Blend #2’ BA Sour

Rating:

36929660_894597840724362_3425240056397299712_n“We remember our lost toys. Once beloved, then outgrown, but never forgotten, these playthings lay collecting dust in the corners of our minds. We are reclaiming the relics of our pasts, and putting them to new use. Our barrel collection contains treasures from across the world. We are combining these rare beauties to create an entirely new alchemy.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Light brown with a finger of finely beaded foam topping it off. It gradually reduced to a ring with reasonable lacing.

Aroma: A lovely blend of sweet berries, red grapes, melon and cherry with oak, wine tannins and subtle vanilla. The sourness is portrayed with fresh lemon/lime juice, citrus rind, sour apple and pomegranate. The overall balance is brilliant, impressive actually when we consider everything that’s going on – a bit of sweetness, a bit of tartness, some barrel and earthy notes…all working together harmoniously.

Flavour: Big and sharp acidic sourness on entry, it’s like biting straight in to a fresh lemon. Sour grapes and unripened cherry shifts in to candied fruits and sherbet before subtle oak and wine tannins form late in the mid. The finish is mild, maybe a little spicy with a hint of caramel and or toffee riding it out on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth texture with medium-high acidity. Medium body and moderate co2. 6.4% ABV.

Overall: It just so happens that Wicked Weed sold out to AB inBev in early 2017. That’s news to us. Much can be made about indie brewers selling out but if the quality of the beer is kept to a premium standard (like this one is) then you won’t hear any complaints out of us. A fine drop.

Wildflower Brewery & Blendery ‘Blend #8’ BA Amber Sour

Rating:

36723607_892434044274075_8409690516987314176_n“Amber is a blended, barrel aged Australian Wild Ale. Blend #8 is a blend of three barrels, 1746, 1715 and 1739. A four month old barrel, the beer in 1746 was from our sixth batch of Amber put to barrel in July 2017. 1715 was filled with our fifth batch of Amber on 16 June and aged there until blending. 1739 comes from our fourth batch of Amber and at packaging had spent over five months in barrel.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Very deep and murky amber with a steady two finger head resting on top. It is retained rather well and leaves a superb lace clinging to the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Really interesting in the way that the sourness is subdued and the amber characters really come through – caramel, toasty malt, earthy truffle and nutty tones. Big impressions of musty oak barrel and cherry with more subtle vinous notes fused through. A flutter of tart lemons and sherbet add a somewhat sugary/artificial accent to it as well.

Flavour: There’s a discernible shift from the nose. Upfront there’s a substantial lacto funk with citric acidity and musty/woody oak barrel in support. Detecting the slightest hint of caramel in the background but it’s quickly eclipsed by fruit tingles and cherry sherbet late in the piece. The finish is artificial-sweet and candied with a hint of tart lemons on a length.

Mouthfeel: Effervescent and moderately bodied. Mild acidity. 18 IBU and 6% ABV – both hidden nicely.

Overall: Well this is officially our first crack at Wildflower’s range and we can say with certainty that we’re impressed. This one is a well balanced drop, good for entry level sour drinkers like us but also offering some lovely barrel complexity and tart fruits. Very well constructed.

CellarMaker Brewing Co. ‘4:1 Peach’ BA Sour Ale

Rating:

36621262_890185944498885_4194864587721408512_n“In October of 2016 we brewed what became our first barrel-aged sour ale. Its working title was “Sour Project #1.” Incorporating some hot side lambic techniques and some techniques of our own, we brewed a beer meant to age and sour over time in a barrel. Sour Project went into used red wine barrels for 8 months. In July of 2017 we received a delivery of the freshest and no doubt the finest local peaches and nectarines from Frog Hollow Farm in Brentwood. 4 lbs per gallon of Gold Dust and Flavorcrest peaches were added to three oak barrels to ferment and mature for three months. We then racked out of barrels and bottled each fruit beer, nectarine and peach, separately.”

Glassware: Stemmed Tulip.

Appearance: Unsurprisingly peach coloured with a wispy layer of loose white bubble on top. The head quickly retreats to the rim with average lace work on the glass.

Aroma: Incredibly aromatic. As to be expected the peach dominates but it’s lovely how it throws out a bunch of adjuncts too – light florals, apricot and a somewhat musky vanilla tone. Oh man it is just so enticing! A hint of oak in there with the slightest kiss of tart lemon on the flank. Gorgeous!

Flavour: Characterized more by the tart lemon sourness as opposed to the aroma. Some fleeting hints of peach and assorted stonefruits mixed in with a little bit of yeasty funk around the mid palate. It moves in to artificial citrus, candied lemon and the crowd favourite (fruit tingles) before it finishes slightly acidic but nicely softened by a late injection of peach.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, slightly lip puckering, medium body and quite light on. Effervescent with a nicely masked 6.5% ABV.

Overall: Most definitely worth waiting for! The line up for the release day was at least an hour but it has more than made up for it. Now we’re kinda wishing we bought a few more for the cellar! Dammit! Sensational.

Two Metre Tall 2014 ‘A Forager’s Ale’ Barrel Aged Sour

Rating:

36522054_888175834699896_2025774758846529536_n“The banks of the River Derwent are littered with the detritus from over 200 years of European settlement. From this briary tangle can, nevertheless, be harvested wild hops, wild berries, sloes, hawthorn buds & wild fennel. Steeped in an ale made using water from the river, wild-fermented in wooden casks with yeasts & bacteria indigenous to locality & ingredient.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Bold amber with fairly decent clarity. The head is loose and bubbly, it doesn’t seem to form until it retracts to the edges of the glass. Much to our surprise though it leaves a fine lace trail in its wake.

Aroma: Crisp, refreshing and quite alluring. It’s well layered but what’s better is the balance that has been struck between the slightly sour notes, the barrel characters and the fruity vinous tannins. All three work together so harmoniously. Then come the reinforcements – lemon acidity, fruit tingles and vinegar with a subdued hint of musty cellar room to finish it off. Magnificent.

Flavour: Excellent progression from the medium sourness on entry to the smooth and almost medicinal notes on the rear. Tart lemon citrus, vinegar and a kiss of oak makes way for fruity red berries, fennel seed and plums. We then pick up those fruit tingles late in the piece before it rounds off on a spicy and citrusy finish.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, moderate carbonation. Not overly acidic with the 7.4% ABV carried nicely.

Overall: A really impressive drop, we can’t believe it has taken us this long to actually try something from the 2mt range! It’s probably one of the best Aussie sours we have had to date. Worth seeking out again.

Almanac Beer Co. ‘Farmers Reserve’ Citrus Sour

Rating:

36471519_887140514803428_7729307219866419200_n“Citrus and beer have made a great pair ever since the first lemon wedge was added to a frosty wheat beer. Here we expand on that tradition, melding a sour blond ale with the intensely aromatic zest of Buddha’s Hand citrons and meyer lemons along with the bracing tartness of Yuzu and Blood Oranges from Hamada Farms. Pair harmoniously with sushi or flakey white fish or contrast with earthy roasted root vegetables.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pale golden orange with two fingers of fizzy white head which quickly peels back to a ring. Leaving a wet lace drag as it ebbs.

Aroma: Dominant sour citrus overtones, barnyard funk, blood orange, grapefruit, oak and subtle vinegar notes. Definitely picking up the vinous characters – smells of sour grapes and chardonnay. The malt backing is quite dry and grainy, almost pilsner-ish with crackers and hay at the base. Very crisp and refreshing aroma.

Flavour: Dry, tart and citric. Much like the aroma we get the lemon citrus, lacto funk and vinous white wine tannins upfront. The lip puckering sourness hits a crescendo early in the mid as it brings vinegar and super tart flavours of yuzu and grapefruit. The grainy/crackery malts are introduced before it moves in to a mild finish with orange peel, funk and earthy oak tannins on the rear.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, mineraly texture. Light-medium body with good acidity. 7% ABV – well hidden.

Overall: It has been an unusually warm winters day in Sydney today so something light and refreshing was on the cards. It went down well enough but we’d have to admit we’ve had better sours recently. All in all it wasn’t too bad.

Smog City Brewing Co ‘Benny & The Bretts Vol.2’ BA Sour Red Ale

Rating:

35415397_872641472919999_3298931785550790656_n“Sour red ale aged in Sangiovese barrels.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pouring a gorgeous crimson colour with a super fizzy two finger head sitting atop. Reduction is slow and steady but it eventually settles to a ring with sparse lacing as we go.

Aroma: Intricate and very well layered! The sourness is there, obviously, but it’s nicely offset by the sweet and rather juicy red malts and subtle oak additions. Along with those divine notes of red wine and tart cherries is a kind of artificial-like scent of candy canes and raspberry sherbet. So much depth and character on this nose.

Flavour: The sourness is showing a bit more intensity, ever so slightly though. Pronounced vinegar and lemon juice comes forward but it’s quelled by sweet candy and oak-driven vinous notes. Picking up hints of tart cherries late in the piece as it leads in to the smooth and slightly dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Prickly, slightly acidic and well carbonated. Relatively light on though.

Overall: We’re suckers for a good label so this one drew us in instantly. Good form Smog City! But also well followed through….superb balance but still showing plenty of sour character. Impressive.

Smog City Brewing ‘Bluet’ BA Sour Blond w Blueberries

Rating:

35059775_868608349989978_2143708023854465024_n“White wine barrel-aged sour blonde w/ blueberries.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Very interesting colour. Almost mauve-esque with a cherry red tint. It forms a finger of super fizzy head which dissipates instantly. And no head = no lace!

Aroma: Smells of spent wine barrels, tart blueberries, glazed cherry, wine tannin, sherbet, musty oak and a delicate barnyard funk. The bottle states over 800 pounds of whole blueberries were used and we can definitely smell them although it’s not overdone, they’ve been used to perfection. Intriguing aroma.

Flavour: Revealing its sour profile on entry. Sharp but pretty well retained lacto acidity with tart blueberry and musty oak undertones. Quite a fair bit of fresh lemon juice adding an extra zingy sourness to it. She does soften nicely through the mid though, showing those artificial fruit tingles before it rounds off on a soft fruity finish with lingering blueberry notes on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Quite acidic upfront, tapering off in to a smooth finish. Effervescent texture and rather light on.

Overall: Pretty good. A bit more character from the wine barrels would have been good but ultimately it’s a damn fine drop.

Russian River Brewing ‘Supplication’ BA Dark Sour Ale

Rating:

33753516_862336287283851_4630216891049181184_n“Brown Ale aged in used Pinot Noir barrels from local Sonoma County wineries. It is aged for about 12 months with sour cherries, brettanomyces, lactobacillus, and pediococcus added to each barrel. Flavors from the cherries, Pinot Noir and oak balance each other nicely with a little funk from the brett.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: It pours an attractive copper red with two fingers of loosely packed bubble sitting atop. It reduces to a film but still manages to decorate the glass on its way down.

Aroma: Brilliantly balanced between the sweet and the sour. Sweet red wine tannins, glazed cherries, raisin and raspberry mingle with the sour notes of tart lemon/lime, barnyard, bretty funk and fruit tingles. It’s showing good depth with a strong musty cellar room character as well.

Flavour: It comes on quite strong but like the aroma it balances out really well. Lots of vinous red wine upfront, cherries, raspberry and mild vinegar to follow. Some earthiness coming through, can’t quite put our finger on it. A bit of spice and musty oak developing late as it rounds out on a slightly dry and tannic finish.

Mouthfeel: Spritzy and relatively light. Sourness is sharp and acidic but nicely tempered by the oak. Medium-high co2.

Overall: Although we prefer Sanctification the complexity and depth in this has to be admired. We used to dislike sours but it’s ones like this that are making us eat our own words!

Russian River Brewing Co. ‘Sanctification’ Sour Blonde

Rating:

33621327_861550544029092_892458774923575296_n“Technically, this is neither an ale nor a lager. The base recipe is for a Golden Ale, but we do the primary fermentation with 100% brettanomyces. The brett gives it some sour notes but not as much as if it had been aged with lacto and pedio. It’s rather refreshing on a warm day!”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pale golden hue which caps off with a wispy head that instantly peels back to a ring. Minimal lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: It certainly has a dominant funky Brett scent but it’s well tempered. The usual suspects i.e bitter/tart citrus (lemon, lime, grapefruit), spice and aged vinegar are there but with a somewhat earthy barnyard character to it. Hints of that sugar crusted candy as well – meringue, froot loops and lemon drops. Fine aroma.

Flavour: Brilliant transition from the nose. It’s funky and sour but that’s mostly from the tart lemon and vinegary notes. It softens in to a fruity middle, but not in the fresh way, more artificial-like as it hints at fruit tingles and candied citrus. Hints of Belgian yeast esters, pear/apple and earthy spice round off on a slightly dry and lengthy finish.

Mouthfeel: Light and fizzy with a rather mineraly texture. Booze (6.75%) is well hidden. Slightly acidic.

Overall: There’s something here for everyone. It is 100% Brett fermented so the sourness does come on strong but it tapers off nicely for the more novice sour drinkers (like us!).

Cascade Brewing ‘Melonious Blonde’ BA Blonde Ale

Rating:

33475220_861172754066871_3884715116557500416_n“Melonious Blond is a blend of blond and wheat ales aged in oak barrels for up to 14 months with cantaloupe and Summer Kiss melons. Showcasing Oregon-grown fruit harvested at peak ripeness, Melonious Blond offers notes of fresh summer melons, orange blossoms and sour candies, with a hint of honeycomb and green peppercorn.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Slightly hazy golden hue. She caps off with a thumb of fizzy head that reduced to a ring. We’re seeing a wavy lace pattern clinging to the glass as we imbibe.

Aroma: Smells of classy champagne, freshly cut grapefruit, citrus rind, earthy florals, pithy orange, young sauv blanc and lime juice. Something kind of chalky in there, a bit tannic and a little fleshy like melon, paw paw and peach. Rather acidic but well carried by the amount of fruits. Quite an impressive number.

Flavour: It’s a total incursion on the palate. Tart citrus, bitter hops, lemon warheads and unripe stonefruits on entry. That typical rush of saliva brings fleshy fruits like peach, apricot and nectarine before it finishes on a dry citric base which offers hints of fruit tingles and subtle peppery spice on the rear.

Mouthfeel: Chalky, dry and slightly acidic – as most of these beers seem to go. The 6.8% ABV, although somewhat strong, is well contained. Mild-moderate body.

Overall: We’re not pretending to be sour experts but this is pretty bloody good. It’s sour as hell but the stonefruits along with the earthy florals and peppery spice pull that back in to line. Very, very impressive.

Brouwerij De Ranke Cuvee

Rating:

28058389_814193965431417_1595269039963052667_n“Cuvee is an ale of mixed origin like many Belgian breweries used to make. The production process is nearly the same as for the Kriek, the difference being that no cherries are added. It’s a naturally acidified ale in which we try to reach the perfect balance between sweet and sour. This amber-coloured ale contains 7% vol. Alc. and can age really nice.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Slightly hazy burnt orange/amber. The head swells to about two and a half fingers before receding to a collar. Excellent lacing clings to the glass as it subsides.

Aroma: Tart, funky, acetic and complex. Lemon warheads, semillon, angostura bitters, lime juice, fresh pear, passion fruit and salted vinegar make up the bulk of it. A fair bit of citric acid and some oak undertones add another layer of depth. Just a suggestion of sweet malt there at the base. Brilliant.

Flavour: It doesn’t come on overly sour or funky, which is how we’d rather it. Plenty of lemon/lime juice, grapefruit, citrus rind etc. Tasting that lacto funk in the background – kind of dry, a little fruity and vinous in its delivery. Sour apples, a bit of straw and a touch of musty oak to finish.

Mouthfeel: Quite light on actually. Approachable for a 7% sour. Vibrant co2 – Spritzy and gassy. Mild bitterness. Very drinkable.

Overall: Absolutely hitting the spot on this scorching 35 degree arvo. Probably one of the first times we’ve ever truly enjoyed sipping on a sour. We’re not huge fans of the style but we really savoured this one. That’s saying something!

8 Wired 2015 Grand Cru – Pinot Noir Barrel Aged Sour

Rating:

22281691_757034254480722_5368377065850443332_n“Aged on currants and cascara with brettanomyces and pediococcus in Pinot Noir barrels. Then blended into a red wine foedre for further ageing..”

Served in a tulip. This attractive little number boasts a crimson red body and a short tan head. Retention is poor as it rapidly reduced to a ring with spotty lace following it down.
The aroma is super complex. There’s certainly no lack of woody oak and vinous tannins. Quite earthy, spicy and tart with plums, cherries and pomegranate making a distinct appearance. The sourness is bold but bearable, taking on a somewhat sour apple and slightly acetic approach. Some faint hints of aniseed, barnyard, alcohol and musty cellar room to further complicate things! Quite nice actually.
The flavour profile is similar to the aroma but with a more pronounced sourness. The strong oak, vinous tannins, the slightly tart plum, pomegranate and cherry…all here along with a lifted booze and spice character. Our main concern would be that it gets a bit too vinegary by the end but then again in light of this the subtle earthy note does take a bit of the edge off.
The texture is sharp, tangy and acidic with pretty good co2 considering the two years spent in the bottle. Medium body.
Yeah we can’t say that we’re blown away but there is definitely some potential here. We’ve locked a couple more of these away so here’s hoping a few more years will be kind to this slightly unrefined ale. Good but not great.

 

Moon Dog ‘Fruits Of The Forest’ Wild Ale

Rating:

image“The fruits grew wild on the dark forest floor. Delicious, we’ve got berries galore. Into the wild, ale these berries do fly. Creating a brew that’s like sour berry pie.”

Served in a beer tulip. This funky looking drop pours a somewhat rosè-like colour with a touch of candy red mixed through. It arouses a big and foamy three finger head that rapidly reduced to a ring with scarce lace work on the glass.
It actually smells quite pleasant with a firm pronunciation on tart berries – everything from raspberry, strawberry and boysenberry to lilli pilli’s and cranberry. We’re detecting a very subtle hint of cinnamon and white pepper along with more discernible notes of lemon juice and sage. Jeez, it’s that sweet it could be reduced to a jam! We’d have it on our toast tomorrow morning.
It’s predictably light and gassy in the mouth. Kind of has that champagne fizz to it. Slight acidity but ultimately it’s quite mild. High Co2, moderate body.
The flavour develops nicely. There a short and sharp burst of tart berries and zesty lemon juice that lays down for this somewhat buttery lacto yeast midway. From there it seems to fall away a bit with a faint hint of acidity on the rear.
We tend to steer clear of sour/wild fermented beers but we’d have to say that even though this is primarily a “chicks beer” it’s actually not half bad. Our rookie error was to crack this in the middle of winter! We could only imagine how refreshing this would be on a 30 degree summers day in Sydney. Kudos Moon Dog.

8 Wired Brewing ‘Le Fut’ Flanders Red

Rating:

13423732_526942090823274_1573009451550877980_n“Le Fut or “the Barrel” is a Flanders Red ale aged in Barrel for 2 years. Mouth wateringly sour and amazingly complex it was well worth the wait”

Served in a beer tulip. The attractive mahogany pour reveals edges of crimson when held to the light. A short beige head quickly retreats to an island of microbubble with next to no lace trails being left behind. Nice balance here on the nose. Definitely getting some citric acidity but it’s well countered by notes of vanilla, wood chips, vines and a soft mustiness. Undertones of ripe berries, cherry, crystallized sugars and raisin all offer an aromatic balance between sweet and sour that provide good bottom end and add that extra layer of complexity. The texture is actually quite light and palate-friendly with an initial short and sharp sourness that gradually tapers off. The body and Co2 is mild-medium which is finished by an effortless swallow. The sourness certainly crescendos early on. Hints of sour candied lemon and yeasty funk (probably more Brett than Lacto) ease in to soft oaky tannins and tart berries through the mid. A subtle red wine-like dryness in turn delivers a woody but ultimately fruity finish with assorted berries that last a lifetime time on the back palate. Incredible length on offer here. What we like about this is that the brewers haven’t overdone the sourness, it’s well contained and allows traditional flavours like oak and berries to play their integral role in the make up of this beer. We’ve noticed the shift to sour beers from 8 wired and in response we’ve been a little hesitant but this one they’ve nailed. We aren’t huge fans of sour beer so we must give credit to these master brewers.

Le Trou du Diable ‘Le Coq’ Sour

Rating:

image“The Rooster is a safe assembly rye beer aged up to two years in oak barrels of Banyuls to which have been added, for a maturity of one month, 450 pounds of sour cherries. The result is an amber and proud beast, the tenacious cap which has at nose lambiquées notes on a background of cherries and candy. Her slim body sings at dawn bright notes, the very generous fruity, striking attack that awakens the senses. The whole stretches in a vinous finish, slightly oxidative, real ode to refresh that grows recidivism”.

This sour marks our 2nd entry for this French-Canadian brewery. Quite rare and very hard to find in Australia, the only bottle shop stocking them is the oak barrel in Sydney city. We served this beverage in to a beer tulip. Quite an attractive appearance here, the EBC in a way resembles a rosé wine with it’s light magenta body and deep pink hue. Very active carbonation off the pour which arouses this frothy 2 finger cap that maintains for a short while but eventually peels off to a collar with meagre lace trails. Where do we start with this aroma? The depth in complexity is noteworthy as we pick up cidery scents of tart/sour cherries, oak, vanilla, raspberry/strawberry, funky/bretty notes, musk, vinegar and subtle spice to round it all off. Aahh the wonders of wild yeasts. The texture of the beer in the mouth is quite oily with a sharp peppery spiciness on the tongue. The carbonation is moderate and the body is nice and light on. We admire how the sourness works the palate in stages. Initially it’s more tart cherries, spicy pepper and alcohol warmth on entry. As it gradually moves through the mid the sourness really develops, taking on extra acidity and forcing the taste buds to release saliva. A hint of oak forms late leading in to a slightly vinous and sour finish. Good length, we get a hint of balsamic vinegar on the back end. The 7.5% ABV also plays a bit of a role too. It’s delicately fused into the spicy, acidic flavours throughout the beer. Well one thing is for certain, this makes it an easy 2 from 2. The ‘La Tracteur’ saison was delicious and this sour is definitely something memorable. A tonne of character and complexity on offer here. Very nice.