Category Archives: Sours

Boatrocker ‘Plum Lord’ BA Plum Sour

Rating:

“A vivid purple colour from the fruit, with a rich tart plum flavour, complemented wonderfully by the complex barrel aged wild ale that is Time Lord (a blend of 3 different vintages, the oldest being 5 years).”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Very eye-catching pour. Unfiltered pink-ish/purple hue and a thumb of light pink head forming on top. Decent retention and wavy lace being left on the glass as we imbibe.

Aroma: Smells sharp and acidic. Almost Lambic-like. The plum lifts off with vigour and provides tartness, acidity and also a touch of sweetness. The musty and woody oak comes through beautifully and the prickly lacto/bretty sourness adds the red wine vinegar, sweat/salty qualities, yoghurt and cheese cave. We can’t wait any longer we’ve gotta dive into this.

Flavour: Holy moly. It’s giving off some next level sourness. And we love it! It really kicks off with a sharp acidic sourness, tart blood plums, musty and woody oak. At times we pick up a blueberry note as well. Short bursts of vinegar, all sorts of funky shit, horse blanket, yoghurt, earthy spice and hay/straw before an extremely bretty finish.

Mouthfeel: Sharp, acidic and saliva-inducing sourness. Light-moderate body, spritzy Co2. The 6.7% ABV is hard to pick… don’t know if it’s the booze burn or heart burn!

Overall: Impressive stuff here. They’ve long been one of our go-to’s for anything barrel aged and this is a perfect example why. We dig it.

Batch 2021 ‘Chapeau’ Raspberry Sour

Rating:

Our annual release of Chapeau Raspberry Sour Celebration Ale!

“We brew this beer to say thank you for giving us another year to do what we love. It’s with the help of you and the people we get our produce from that makes all of this possible. Berries from Westerway Raspberry farm in Tassie’s Derwent Valley and organic Voyager Craft Malt is grown by Organically Greenwood. Now take this beer and celebrate with friends and loved ones. Cheers!”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Such a strikingly red pour. It whips up a big and frothy pink head which deconstructs rather quickly. Minimal lacing on the glass as we hook in.

Aroma: If you had a similar childhood to us then this should also invoke memories of strongly syruped pink lemonade which preceded a fantastic sugar high. Followed by the most unpopular come down! The raspberries are displayed beautifully…kinda artificial on the drive by but once the nose gets deep in the glass they provide that lovely fresh, tart and slightly musty sweetness. Yum!

Flavour: Loving how they’ve managed to pull right back on the intense raspberry flavour here. Sure, it’s still brimming with its tart and musty sweetness but the grains also front up with subtle wheat and straw. Something a little earthy in here too, which provides another layer of counter balance. Finishing with mixed berries and orchard fruits.

Mouthfeel: Light, mineraly and effervescent. Mild-moderate body and very nicely positioned 6.4% ABV.

Overall: This is without a doubt the best beer to come out of Batch. We know they’ve done it before (a while ago now) but they’ve gotta release another barrel aged version of this. We’re imagining the woody oak and more lacto/pedio to get that sharp sourness going. Ooft!

Sunday Road ‘Summer Samba’ Fruited Sour

Rating:

It’s the time you have all been waiting for – a Sunday Road sour! What better time to drink this refreshing brew then under the hot Australian sun! Let the sounds of Summer Samba dance around your ears, while waves of raspberry, bursts of boysenberry and hints of vanilla take your taste-buds on a waltz of their own.

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Pours like a gorgeous Sydney sunset; mostly pastel orange with a kiss of light pink-ish red. Only a short white cap which quickly retreats to the rim. Some patchy lace clings to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Up to its teeth in mixed berries! We get everything from raspberry, strawberry and blueberry to cranberry, mulberry and red currants. Beautifully woven through is a distinct creamy vanilla which adds a lovely sweetness to it. The grain bill actually gets a good look in too…grainy, kinda musty, a touch of hay and straw. Simple yet extremely aromatic.

Flavour: Follows on from the nose with pronounced berry characters. At times sweet and juicy but for the most part they’re tart and mildly sour. The vanilla sweetness drops off but is replaced by a tangy orange citrus. Tasting hints of wheat grains and straw along with a faint lick of nectar-filled tropical fruit. Nice tart finish with mixed berries on the back end.

Mouthfeel: It has a bit more resistance than anticipated. Still quite crisp and refreshing though. Medium-high Co2, mild-medium body. The 5.2% ABV adds a bit of extra zing as well.

Overall: We must admit it’s not as sessional as one would expect from a fruited summer sour. We don’t mind the extra body at all we just weren’t expecting it. Alas, a very solid drop.

Rare Barrel ‘Stone Age Love’ BA Sour Blond with Cherries

Rating:

“Cherries paired with golden sour beers stand the test of time, which is one reason why we wanted to blend Stone Age Love, our golden sour beer aged in oak barrels with tart cherries. With 84 pounds of tart cherries per oak barrel, Stone Age Love radiates with flavours found in summer stone fruits. This sour showcases notes of fresh-picked cherries, juicy peaches, and tart plums with hints of melon.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Looks like freshly squeezed watermelon juice! It forms a short foamy head which settles to a collar. A real fine lace clings to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Woooowwww! It’s been so long since we’ve had a Rare Barrel sour we forgot how God damn good they are. Sweet yet somewhat tart cherries hit the olfactories first followed by a gorgeous musty oak, a sweaty and super funky sourness, unripened peach, apricot, mixed citrus and that certain sherbet-esque/rock candy sweetness. Just a pinch of fennel, raw almond and melon for extra measure!

Flavour: Absolutely delicious. Getting more of a candied cherry note as opposed to the sweet and tart characters on the nose. The almond comes through with a distinct earthy-ness but it’s well countered by a mix of tart citrus, stonefruits and subtle pepper. While all of this is embraced by the gorgeous oak it hits a soft sherbet note late in the piece which then finishes rather sweet and nutty. Good endurance on the back end too.

Mouthfeel: Refreshing, light and crisp with a vibrant Co2. Mild-medium body. The 7.2% ABV was incredibly well concealed.

Overall: Honestly how good is Rare Barrel?! If only their beers were a bit more friendly to our wallets 😆 nah, this was a cracking sour. It went down like water on this hot Sydney arvo. Brilliant!

Side Project ‘Bruin’ Flanders Oud Bruin

Rating:

“Missouri Sour Brown that aged for more than a year in Oak. Bruin is our base beer for Balaton with lots of funky, Brett notes.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Mahogany complexion with deep crimson hues. It produces a fizzy tan head which quickly retreats to the rim and drags a wet lace down the glass.

Aroma: Extremely rustic and complex. Wave after wave of sharp lacto sourness is followed by this bold, sophisticated and rugged quality that’s very hard to define. Each time we take a whiff we feel like we should be sitting in a dimly lit man cave on old leather chairs puffing on cigars and talking about how successful we are. Nutty, toasty, woody oak, vinous fruits, red wine vinegar, musty barrel room and freshly sliced apple. Amazing.

Flavour: The punchy lacto sourness shocks the palate initially but as it tapers off the typical peachy flavours come through then the tart vinous red fruits, subtle red wine vinegar then the earthy tobacco, woody oak and dried apple. Getting a really subtle touch of sherbet developing late which lays down for a rather funky finish of bretty horse blanket, woody oak and dried fruits.

Mouthfeel: Pretty sharp and acidic upfront but it mellows into a smooth and slick texture. Fairly low Co2, medium body. The pucker rating hits a deserved 3.5/5.

Overall: Let’s see if we can sum this beer up in anything less than an essay. Complex, rugged, earthy yet sharp and fruity. Plenty of red wine qualities throughout, the barrels displaying the woody oak beautifully. Everything is cohesive. Wow…just wow.

Molly Rose ‘Peach!’ BA Peach Sour

Rating:

“Two barrels of beer were sitting quietly alone together for many, many months. Until one day their silence was excited by buckets of peaches! Over time the quiet old beer and buckets of peaches joined forces and they formed a single entity…Peach! was born.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Slightly hazy straw golden complexion with a rapidly vanishing head. Absolutely zilch in the way of retention and lacing.

Aroma: Smells fantastic. The alluring scent of fresh peach fills the nose with sweet yet slightly savoury and acidic notes. It also gives off suggestions of watered down pine-lime cordial, light florals and peach skins. Well integrated wafts of sherbet, green grapes, almond, freshly sliced pear and rock candy as well. The description mentions barrels were used to age the beer in but we aren’t really detecting much there. Alas, it’s still an excellent aroma.

Flavour: We won’t lie we were hoping for a bit more punch from the sourness. Especially as the quality of the aroma was up there. Still getting a lovely exhibition of peach with its delicious sweetness and mild acidity. Like the aroma we’re getting watered down pine-lime cordial, florals, peach skins and green grapes which lay down for a sweet, slightly tart and tangy finish which lingers.

Mouthfeel: Light on, crisp and zesty. Really nice and refreshing effervescence to it. 5.4% ABV is neither here nor there. Pucker rating an approachable 2/5.

Overall: Solid little sour this one. We haven’t really been blown away with anything from MR just yet but they definitely show promise. Would have loved to see a bit more sharpness from the lacto here but essentially it’s a decent entry level fruited sour.

Slow Lane ‘Outback Sky’ Barrel Aged Flemish Red

Rating:

“Flemish Red Ales are often referred to as the Burgundy of Belgium due to their deep reddish-brown hue and wine-like characteristics. Outback Sky is our interpretation of a Flemish Red Ale. Brewed with a blend of Belgian Abbey and Brettanomyces yeast together with Lactobacillus and Pediococcus souring bacteria. Aged for 11 months in ex-wine barrels. Complex flavours of cherry and oak with balanced acidity.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Pours a garnet red with next to no head formation so there’s no surprises once it all disappears rather rapidly.

Aroma: Wow, just like a red IPA balances its sweet malt with its hop profile this does almost the same but sub out the hops for a delicate red wine vinegar-like acidity. Embracing this are sweet and sour notes of candied sour cherry, soft wine tannins, sherbet, blood plum, toffee apple and a well embedded woody oak character. Very classy and very elegant aroma.

Flavour: There’s more twists and turns than a Tarantino movie! Initially it comes on with a rich malt sweetness but the direct sourness cuts right through it then opens up to a fruity and vinous middle which provides red berries, tart cherry, blood plum and overripe watermelon. Some yeasty funk and spicy esters enter the fray then it finishes quite malty sweet with lingering cherry notes.

Mouthfeel: A little chewy, a little sticky, but the gentle acidity really lifts it up. Flat-ish Co2, medium body. The 6.4% ABV is well behaved.

Overall: This is our first crack at Slow Lane and they’ve gone over and above our expectations. This is a very well polished Flemish Red. Look out Wildflower there’s another big player in the sour market here! Potentially…

Seven Mile ‘Barbara’ Strawberry & Rhubarb Sour

Rating:

“Aged on smashed strawberries and rhubarb, this beer plays around with sour, sweet and bitter in delicious harmony. Pairs great with cheese, seafood or any dish you’d pair with white or sparkling wine.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Dark orange with a fluffy two finger head. It gradually peels off and weaves a wet and wavy lace down the glass.

Aroma: The strawberry is lifting out beautifully; very sweet with a subtle tartness. It’s obvious they’ve used real fruit in the brew as it literally smells like freshly pureed strawberry. Then add in the slightly tart rhubarb which provides hints of lemon/lime, green apple and green grapes. Not a whole lot else coming off but honestly just the strawberry and rhubarb alone is enough to make the aroma.

Flavour: Yummo! Once again that fresh strawberry sweetness mixed with the tartness of the rhubarb is absolutely delicious. Fleeting hints of lemon and lime, wheat grains, mild herbals and rosé creeping in through the mid. It all holds together nicely as it finishes fruity with a nice little fusion of sweet and sour going the distance on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Quite gassy and a little frothy with lively Co2. Minimal sourness and next to no acidity. 4.5% ABV doesn’t show at all…as expected.

Overall: This was our 2nd crack at 7 Mile and we’re 2/2! This is a very approachable entry level sour but it’s proper tasty. If we had our time over we probably wouldn’t be cracking it in the middle of winter but we can picture a scorching hot summer’s day with this in hand. Boom. Lovely stuff.

Smog City ‘Snugglebug’ Sour Blond w Raspberry & Boysenberry

Rating:

“Snugglebug’s elegant pale pink color and crackling carbonation prepares you for potent, ripe raspberry and blackberry coupled with a clean, moderate acidity that resembles a tart sparkling berry lemonade.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Pours a gorgeous maroon with a very faint purple highlight. It forms a finger of fizzy light pink head which slowly peels off. Kind of a wet lace is dragged down the glass.

Aroma: Wow, it smells like a super sour pink lemonade with added sour apple, mixed red berries, freshly cut lemon and blueberry jam in support. There’s certainly a strong lacto quality to it, bordering on that funky yoghurt-like scent, alongside strong musty and bretty characters. Loving the subtle touch of vanillin oak that constantly comes through too. Damn fine aroma.

Flavour: It comes on with an almighty sourness which is accentuated further by the tart mixed berries and sour lemon. A touch of red wine vinegar is balanced by the subtle oak midway. It all surges forward into this candy-esque finish where we get a tonne of red berry sherbet, candied lemon and chalky vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and dry. The acidity almost has a burn to it. Super vibrant Co2, light-moderate body. Only 4.8% ABV which is surprisingly low for U.S standards!

Overall: That’s a damn fine sour. It’s really cool to see their sour range hitting our shores. We remember visiting this brewery in LA and being very impressed. Solid beer from a solid brewery.

Dollar Bill ‘Candy Paint’ BA Cherry Sour

Rating:

“Two year barrel-aged pseudo lambic rested on sour cherries. Hints of brettanomyces and deep lactic acidity intertwined with malic acid and fresh cherry flavours.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Pours an amazing bright maroon with minimal head. It settles at the rim and weaves a wavy lace down the glass.

Aroma: Instantly the olfactories are treated to a surge of sour cherry, lemon/lime and musty oak. Definitely getting the sharp lacto sourness with its funky and almost yoghurt-esque characters. Hints of vinous red fruits, lactic acid, strawberry hearts, tart green apple and hay also coming through. Quite a complex nose come to think of it. Sensational stuff.

Flavour: Nowhere near as sour as we were expecting. It displays this slightly creamy cherry yoghurt-like aspect upfront which is blended with a sugary/candy sweetness. There’s a nice barnyard funk happening, some fleeting hints of straw/hay, lees, warming booze and a nice tart yet earthy cherry finish which draws out nicely on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat creamy and aerated with a soft yet vibrant carb. Mild-moderate body. The 8.4% ABV is evident at times but it’s generally well behaved.

Overall: The second we laid eyes on this we knew we had to have it and although it’s no Learning To Breathe it’s still a corker of a beer. Could have done with a bit more sourness but the profile is still bloody good. Solid.

Cervecera Peninsula ‘Passion Tropikal’ Fruit Sour

Rating:

“Kettle sour with lactose, vanilla, passion fruit and mango for a tropical bombshell. Special for those who love sour beers.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Proper hazy pastel orange affair. Literally looks exactly like a NEIPA until the head completely disappeared. No lace as we go.

Aroma: Mango and passionfruit eat your heart out! It’s amazing how intense they are…and it smells like they’ve used real fruit. Certainly getting the lactose and vanilla too. It practically smells like a tropical fruit salad with ice cream. Fleeting hints of mixed stone fruits i.e melon, papaya and peach, pineapple, shaved coconut, pure nectar and soft florals. Who’d a thunk it was a sour?!

Flavour: Enter the sourness! Even then it’s still quite approachable. Similar to the nose in the sense of it being a tropical fruit salad with a hint of creamy vanilla and coconut. The nectar side of it is unbelievable too…we feel like we should be getting high off the fruit sugars. There’s a nice subtle touch of sherbet before the sweet and fruity finish goes the distance on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Light, juicy and mildly sparkling. 6% ABV is completely hidden. It’s pretty much like drinking sparkling fruit juice.

Overall: The sole reason we got this was because of Bloo Pie. Even with all the positives here it still doesn’t stack up to it. Bloo Pie was just in a field of its own. That’s said, we love the fact they used real fruit, it makes all the difference.

Resin ‘Raspberry Fields’ Raspberry Berliner Weiss

Rating:

“Say g’day to the pink-drink of your dreams: our iconic Raspberry Fields Sour. You can expect the sourness of the Berliner Weisse to hit your palate first, followed by slightly bready notes, and finally finishing with a kick of raspberry sweetness!”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Pours an attractive deep pink with peachy hues. A short fizzy head emerges but it quickly dissolves until there’s nothing left.

Aroma: Nice and tart, light and ultra refreshing. The raspberries play a dominant role as to he expected. Behind it are very subtle hints of wheat grains, pink lemonade, pomegranate and a stray flutter of lime. Maybe the slightest hint of peppery spice coming through too. Basic but very alluring.

Flavour: Like the aroma it’s super light and almost revitalizing. Tart raspberry, wheat grains, mild salinity, slight earthy-ness and pink peppercorn mostly. Nice pulpy finish with a touch more salinity rounding it out.

Mouthfeel: Delicate, tart, refreshing. Light and effervescent Co2. Pucker rating only reaches an approachable 2/5. 3.5% ABV so it’s well within marathon territory.

Overall: Lovely drop. We can envisage ourselves pounding copious amounts of this on a stinking hot day. Don’t think it’s got the finesse to beat Wayward’s version but it certainly comes close! Kudos.

Cervecera Peninsula ‘Bloo Pie’ Blueberry Pie Sour

Rating:

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: It has that beautiful maroon hue like every blueberry-infused beer should. The head swells to two fingers before it quickly retreats. Scarce lacing as we go.

Aroma: There’s a lot to unpack here. Right off the bat we get a clear scent of buttered popcorn. Then the blueberries come in to play…at first offering strong notes of blueberry yoghurt and then compote. The intensity of the crumbly and buttery pastry is nuts! It’s also crammed full of butterscotch, whipped cream and vanilla/lactose. Oopht! That’s freakin amazing!

Flavour: And it certainly doesn’t take a backward step. It comes on with a punchy yet short cameo of sourness with sweet and sour notes of blueberry yoghurt, vanilla, buttery popcorn, oats and spicy wheat grains. Mixed berry sherbet comes to the party late then punctuates with vanilla ice cream, yoghurt and buttery pastry.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, fatty, oily. Medium body, mild-moderate Co2. 8% ABV is ridiculously well hidden. Pucker rating sits at a doable 2.5/5.

Overall: Wow what a beer! We definitely weren’t expecting this level of complexity and sheer intensity. Gotta hand it to this Spanish brewery…this is an impressive drop.

Russian River ‘Beatification’ Wine BA Sour

Rating:

“This beer is very unique and inspired by breweries in the Lambic region of Belgium and, especially, our friends at Cantillon. It is 100% spontaneously fermented, meaning yeast is not added. Once the beer is brewed, it is transferred to a cool-ship or “horny” tank located in our barrel room at the pub. There it sits overnight and collects whatever funky wild yeast and bacteria may be living in the room. The next day it is transferred to oak wine barrels where it ferments wildly and ages for a few months. The end result is a wild, spontaneously fermented, sour, and tasty hand-crafted beer!”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Light golden yellow with a wispy white head which quickly retreats to the rim. Minimal lace as we go.

Aroma: Phenomenal. Our biggest concern is which scent to start with! The beautiful fusion of sour apple, pear, candied lemon and white grapes is just superb. A hint of unripened white peach coming through too. Funktastic notes of freshly drained wine barrels, musty-ness, farmyard grains, wet hay/straw, mild peppery spice and manky cheese cave. Absolutely brilliant.

Flavour: Quite dry and musty, chock-full of acetic citrus (lemon, grapefruit, rind), dry white wine, damp oak and grassy/wet hay. We’re even picking up a flutter of clean and herbal pine. Very mild touch of white wine vinegar, earthy spice and wheat grains roll in to a dry, oaky, piney and citric finish which really goes the distance.

Mouthfeel: Certainly a dry texture to it. Crisp, mild-moderate body and Co2. Fairly acidic…the pucker rating gets a 3/5. 6% ABV is well behaved.

Overall: Look, it’s a bloody ripper of a sour but we can’t see why the hype around it. Consecration and Damnation just to name a couple would have to outrank it in our opinion. Still a very good “Sonambic” as it’s cleverly named. Solid.

Dollar Bill BA Honey Mesquite Sour

Rating:

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Relatively clear golden amber pour with a quickly vanishing head. Some spotty lace sticks to the glass as we imbibe.

Aroma: Yes, yes, yes! Straight up Lambic! Got that manky cheese cave and dirty sweaty sock scent to it (we’re aware that doesn’t sound appealing but for some weird reason it is with this style!). Mild white vinegar, lemon and sherbet also here in spades. A touch of herbals and a distinct honey sweetness which really pulls everything together. Not getting a great deal of the Mesquite though.

Flavour: There it is! We weren’t getting it on the nose but we’re picking it up instantly here…that natural smoky-ness from the Mesquite is really prominent, it almost tastes like a good Islay whiskey! The champagne-like lemon and musty-ness cuts through it nicely. It hits a subtle spicy note late in the piece then finishes with a certain sweet smoky-ness which is really hard to put in to words. Brilliant.

Mouthfeel: Light, crisp and bubbly. The Co2 is definitely lifted here. Mild-medium body. 7.4% ABV…fairly well behaved.

Overall: A very interesting set of flavours but they come together surprisingly well. All of it packed neatly on to a beautiful Lambic base. DB do it again!!

Russian River ‘Consecration’ BA Sour w Black Currants

Rating:

“Dark Ale aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels from local wineries. It is aged for 4 to 8 months with black currants, brettanomyces, lactobacillus, and pediococcus added to each barrel. Rich flavors of chocolate truffle, spice, tobacco, currants, and a bit of Cabernet. Very full-bodied, sip slowly!”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Kind of burnished copper with a deep amber tint. It forms a short head which quickly settles to a halo. Thin wavy lace as we imbibe.

Aroma: Stunning. At its core is that really manky and sweaty lacto sourness. A bit of red wine vinegar and cheese cave to ram it home. The Cab Sauv barrels provide lovely albeit subtle tannins, old damp oak and dark berries/cherry/currants. A delicate earthy-ness happening too…tobacco and truffle (as stated in the brewers description) is spot on.

Flavour: Yep, this is phenomenal. It kicks off with a fairly intense sourness but it’s pulled in to line by the old damp oak and earthy tannins. Then the juicy red berries and black currants come in to the fold and morph in to a residual sherbet-like sweetness. Very complex finish of oak, earthy tannin, berries and musty barnyard.

Mouthfeel: Balance is perfect. It’s almost chewy, full bodied with the acidity cutting through like butter. Flat-ish Co2 but it works.

Overall: Brilliant drop. Our new favourite out of their much coveted ‘ation’ series. But we have left the (potentially) best til last so we’ll see how that stacks up in the coming weeks.

Counter Culture ‘Earl Of Swirl’ Berry Cream Sour

Rating:

“Let ur love unfurl with The Earl of Swirl, our Berry Cream Sour. Hang on to your neckerchief and lose urself in the rapturous additions of over a 1,000L of blackberry, 400L of raspberry and vanilla bean, balanced on a pale malt backbone, a lactobacillus pitch and one risqué ABV. Enjoy The Earl of Swirl, the ninth release from Counter Culture – beers that go against the grain.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Kinda light crimson with a pink two and a half finger head which holds up nicely. Thick, blotchy lace clings to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Literally smells like we’ve opened a punnet of fresh raspberries. Then add a touch of strawberry sweetness, whipped cream and vanilla/lactose. The tartness is quite mild and feels mostly natural (from the fruit). It seems like a one trick pony though…maybe a hint at other mixed berries like blueberry/blackberry but that’s about it.

Flavour: Smooth, creamy and chock full of mixed red berries. But…erm…where’s the sourness? It may as well be a mixed berry smoothie…with a shot of booze! It all seems to drop off like a bad habit too. Not much pulling through other than some mixed berries and lactose.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, mineraly and well rounded. Medium Co2, mild-moderate body. 6.9% ABV is well concealed.

Overall: We feel they’ve kind of lost their way with this Counter Culture series. Take Sticky Nectar and It’d Be Rude Not To (and G3) and put them against the last couple of releases and it’s chalk and cheese.

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.