Category Archives: Sours

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.

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.