Category Archives: Wild Ale

Boatrocker ‘Double Barrel’ BA Wild Ale


“Double Barrel is truly the sum of many parts… we blended a wild BA saison and a wild BA Berliner Weisse and put the beer into some older Starward whisky barrels for 4 months.  The result is complex, with whisky on the nose and a pronounced brettanomyces funk.  On the palate, the acidity is well balanced with the oak and wild yeast.  Complex yet refreshing and very drinkable.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Deep honey golden pour and a finger of loosely held white head resting atop. Decent retention and healthy lacing as we imbibe.

Aroma: At first meet the whiskey wasn’t all that perceptible but as it settles the distinct Apera/Sherry, pine needles and oriental spice comes to the fore. The aforementioned aromas interact beautifully with hints of lime cordial/juice, vanilla, green apple, green grapes, black pepper and wheat grains/straw. Strong wafts of oak also emanating. Solid.

Flavour: Follows the nose. Initially the whiskey is too subtle to pick up but after a couple of sips the Apera, pine needle and mixed spice opens up. Fruits like sour green apple and lime along with somewhat earthy and bretty funk making way for a citrusy, piney and kinda sweaty finish with good duration on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Light on, effervescent and refreshing. Mild-moderate body with the 5.5% ABV nicely positioned.

Overall: We haven’t come across many Wild Ales aged in whiskey barrels before so we were really keen to try this. We found it worked well with Australian whiskey as ours tend to lean more on the greener, herbaceous and spicy side and that blended well with the base sour. We dig it.

Wildflower ‘St.Henry’ Australian Wild Ale w Apricot


“St Henry is an Australian Wild Ale refermented with apricots. While the beer is named for Chris and his wife Emily’s second son, Saint Henry II was a Holy Roman Emperor during the 11th century. In 2020, this beer was made from golden mixed fermentation, barrel aged beer and 380kg of fresh, (partially) tree ripened, whole Trevatt apricots hand picked from Thornbrook Orchard in Orange, NSW.

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Slightly cloudy straw golden pour with little head formation. It immediately retreats to the rim with very minimal lace work as we go.

Aroma: Very light and fruity. We certainly detect the fresh apricots. What’s more is that it gives off hints of other stonefruits like peach, nectarine and mango. Distinct notes of wheat grains, hay and straw and then more delicate white wine qualities; lemon, sour apple, pear and green grapes. A really soft floral bouquet to it as well. Super light and summery but still well structured.

Flavour: It’s actually a fair bit sweeter than we expected. A short cameo of moderate sourness kicks it off but the apricot and mixed stonefruits that come along puts a juicy, nectar-filled twist on it. There’s a touch of passionfruit along with wheat, hay and cereal grains. Kumquat and orange citrus developing late then laying down for a fruity finish with soft creamy and funky yoghurt-esque accents on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and light with a refreshing effervescence. Kinda mineraly texture, mild-moderate body. The 5.4% ABV is nicely slotted in.

Overall: We thought we’d made our way through this whole series so this apricot expression almost got away from us! Glad it didn’t too as it’s a lovely drop. Would go perfectly on a hot summer day…instead of this wet and gloomy old Spring arvo!

Wildflower ‘St.Walter – Black Muscat’ Australian Wild Ale


“St Walter is an Australian Wild Ale refermented with red wine grapes. It is named for Topher and his wife’s first son and the Saint Walter was an 11th century monk from the Loire Valley in France and is the patron saint of vintners. At release, we see big aromatics of rosewater, turkish delight and sweet lolly. The palate is fresh but without the cloying flavours you would assume from these aromatics. Light grippiness with a fresh concord grape, vitis labrusca finish. Lots of energy and fruit in what is a very enjoyable beer to drink.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: A deep rosy pink with a rusty hue. A short fizzy head forms but quickly snaps back to the rim. A very wet lace is dragged down the glass.

Aroma: We’re picking up the delicate sweetness and light florals from the black Muscat grapes immediately. Man they work incredibly well with the tart and tangy red wine vinegar, red berries and mild lacto sourness…together they create this sweet and sour character which is delightful. Some more subtle hints of sherbet, herbals, musty barnyard and raspberry roll ups filling it out.

Flavour: They’ve really dialled up the funk. Very musty and lots of barnyard and sweaty horse blanket. There’s still a bit of sweetness from the grapes creeping in and the somewhat sharp and tangy red wine vinegar has been squeezed out. Vinous red berries, sherbet and candied fruits develop late and set up for a funky finish with a touch of sweet red berries.

Mouthfeel: Light on, crisp and mineraly. Very lightly sparkling Co2. The 5.8% ABV is slotted in nicely too.

Overall: Although it’s lacking heavily in the sour department it makes up for it in balance and extreme drink-ability. It certainly isn’t short on aroma and flavour either! Another solid addition to this series.

Wildflower ‘St.Florence – Semillon’ Australian Wild Ale


“St Florence is an Australian Wild Ale refermented with wine grapes. It is named for Topher and his wife’s first daughter and released around Florence’s birthday. The Saint Florence was a 7th century abbess from Cartagena, Spain. Our first release of St Florence was in October of 2017, about a month after my daughter was born, made with Sauvignon Blanc grapes. In 2018, we made two variants of St Florence using Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. Each year, this beer aims to bring to light the interaction between native wine and beer fermentations. We as a brewery are heavily influenced by the winemaking world, well the part of it that ferments with native yeasts and doesn’t use additives or excessive procedures. We are continually inspired by its producers to increase the thought and integrity in our beer. It should be no surprise that these wine-grape refermented beers are a major focus for us and provoke year-long conversations about how we tweak them at the next vintage.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Quite a hazy straw yellow complexion with a wispy off white head which recedes quickly. It still manages a broken wavy lace as we go.

Aroma: Really light, zesty and crisp. Big helpings of white grape/white wine, vinous fruits, candied lemon and lime, pineapple, herbals and straw/hay. There’s a fleeting hint of white wine vinegar which boosts the acidity levels up a bit. Just the slightest touch of musty barnyard funk, peach skins and peppery spice as well. Lots of character and complexity. Diggin it.

Flavour: It comes on with a surge of tart citrus, white grapes, white wine vinegar, mild acidity and a delicate lacto sourness. It quickly develops that candied lemon/sherbet note early in the mid along with some herbals and sweet tropical fruits through the middle. The candied accents then push through the sweet white wine flavours and into a crisp and fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Light on, crisp and mineraly. The sparkling Co2 adds a lively spritzy-ness to it. Mild-moderate acidity. 5.8% ABV neither here nor there.

Overall: After trying St.Walter – Shiraz we knew we had to give the rest of the “Saint” range a crack. Same level of quality but in our opinion the Shiraz expression has a bit more happening. This could be down to the fact that we prefer red wine over white though! Still, a fine offering.

Wildflower ‘St.Walter – Shiraz’ BA Australian Wild Ale


“St Walter is named after Topher and his wife’s first son. Saint Walter was an 11th century monk from the Loire Valley in France and is the patron saint of vintners. In 2020, this variant was made from golden mixed fermentation, barrel aged beer and 720kg of hand picked smoke affected Shiraz grapes from Ravensworth Wines in Murrumbateman, NSW.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Pours candy apple red with a short and fizzy head which quickly retreats to the rim. It posts a consistent set of rings as it ebbs.

Aroma: Smells fantastic.. we’re getting subtle hints of the smoky Shiraz grapes which is quite unique as the grapes sourced for this were unusable for the winery due to the bad bushfires we endured in late 2019/20. Slightly tannic and earthy with soft red berry, spice and herbaceous undertones. Kinda funky and tart and just the slightest hint of vinegar. Magnificent.

Flavour: Wow it’s like a mirror image of the aroma; subtle smoky notes peeking through the semi sweet and tart red berries, earthy tannins and botanicals. A short and sharp acidity upfront levels off into a nice musty dryness which brings those barnyard qualities into the fold. Quite a fruity, herbaceous and earthy finish which lingers.

Mouthfeel: Mineraly, somewhat light on and flinty with a good effervescence. Mild-medium acidity. The 6% ABV is well placed.

Overall: We gotta say we’re highly impressed by the genuine quality here. We’re aware there’s another 3 or 4 releases under this ‘Saint’ label so we’re now on a mission to try them all. This release only reassures us that Wildflower are one of the major players in the country when it comes to spontaneously fermented beer.

Dollar Bill ‘2021 Autumn Parlay’ BA Australian Wild Ale


“Blueberry wild ale made with locally sourced whole fresh blueberries and wild fermented sour ale, delightfully tart, hints of squashed ants, vanilla and ripe berries with gentle tannins. Suggested track Overdoz – Last Kiss.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Pours a very attractive candy red with a rapidly diminishing head. Almost no head left whatsoever and as we all know…no head = no lace.

Aroma: Very shy. We have to give the glass a really good swirl to coax out the slightly sweet and tart blueberry, pink lemonade, vanilla, subtle formic acid (now we understand why they mentioned “squashed ants” on the label 😆) and barnyard characters i.e hay/straw, musty funk and sweaty horse blanket. Not overly sour at all…bretty if anything.

Flavour: Again, lacking in the sour department but quite strong on the funky barnyard qualities; earthy, hay/straw, musty, a bit of blueberry, soft red wine tannins and a super subtle lick of vanilla. It keeps real earthy, mildly acidic and musty as it continues into the slightly less than impressive finish. Very short and lacking any real intensity.

Mouthfeel: Light on, mild-moderate acidity and a nice sparkling Co2. The 6.7% ABV was surprisingly well disguised though.

Overall: A rare strike out for this usually brilliant brewery. For us it seems to lack direction plus it’s quite muddled with no stand out flavour or structure. This is literally the first Parlay we’ve been indifferent to so that’s not a bad ratio! We’ll still be looking forward to the next release.

Dollar Bill ‘2020 Spring Parlay’ BA Wild Ale


“Spring Rhubarb Sour Ale. A blend of wild ferment ale and barrel aged golden ale rested on fresh spring rhubarb. Light sour refreshing and funky with a hints of rhubarb the perfect spring beer. Joe White Australian malt fermented on indigenous yeasts and mixed ferment golden ale aged in ex-pinot barrels. 65% Pilsner malt 20% wheat malt 15% rye malt 19 IBU mosaic hops 200g/L spring rhubarb.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Pours like a slightly dark rosé…maybe a bit of amber fused through. There’s a short fizzy head which forms a halo and weaves a fine lace as we imbibe.

Aroma: Gorgeous wafts of rhubarb initially. Soft red berries, rosé, French oak, pomegranate, mild lacto, spring onion and a flutter of crystallised sugars. There’s also a really faint earthy-ness that opens up as it settles. Beautiful aroma, it’s got a bit of everything.

Flavour: Certainly a lot drier than we anticipated. The rhubarb provides a subtle tart edge while the red berries and rosé come in with its sweetness. A nice little spike from the lacto that adds a short cameo of sourness too. Red berry sherbet late in the piece then on to a dry finish of more sweet red berries.

Mouthfeel: Mineraly with a slight dryness. Mild-moderate body and Co2. Only 5.2% ABV so it’s somewhat in session territory.

Overall: Another superb addition to the Parlay series. Rhubarb just works so well with it (and generally for the style). DB are without a doubt the best sour brewery in Australia at the moment.

Dollar Bill ‘Summer Parlay 2020’ BA Australian Wild Ale

90441839_1338231809694294_7004971765763932160_o“‘Summer Parlay 2020‘ is an Australian Wild Ale brewed by Dollar Bill. The ale is fermented with indigenous yeasts from Pinot Marc and blended with spontaneous fermented ale. It is then aged for 12 month in French Barriques before bottling.”

Glassware: Teku

Appearance: Hazy orange with an amber tone. Absolutely no head whatsoever. Somewhat flat-ish Co2.

Aroma: Quite a complex little number actually. Can’t pick up any stand out scents but there is plenty of tart citrus, Angostura bitters, floral botanicals, dry woody oak, peppery spice, orange peel and dried wheat. Smells more like a Saison if anything. Definitely has that farmyard funk going on. Some yeast esters as well. We were a bit unsure at first but we’ve come around.

Flavour: Real tangy. Unripened mandarin, tart marmalade, stonefruits and sour apple to the fore. Peppery spice and Angostura bitters really moulding that Saison shape again as it dries out bringing in the oak barriques, orange peel and dried wheat grains. Nice rounded finish with citrus fruits and subtle farmyard funk on a length.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, light on and effervescent. Light-moderate body. The 7.4% ABV is seriously well hidden.

Overall: Very interesting. It’s somewhere between a wild ale and a Saison but it’s been well executed so it drinks super easily. Not overly sour either but it’s certainly funk-tastic. Another solid drop from DB!

Wildflower X Jester King ‘Nothing Fancy’ BA Australian Wild Ale

87392873_1312294885621320_4928862515649052672_o“This is a very pretty beer. It shares the best parts of the WF and JK cultures with a meld of citrus and stonefruit that carries from the nose directly to the palate. Luke, Boots and I shared this beer after a warm, busy day of cellar work at the brewery and it was just about as perfect as it can get, immensely refreshing, subtle funky complexity and very high drinkability. I’m really proud to put our name on this beer.”

Glassware: Stemmed Tulip.

Appearance: Pale gold with a mild haze. Very minimal head with the little amount retreating to the rim. Patchy spots of lace as we go.

Aroma: Crisp, fruity and showing subtle yet gorgeous barrel character. Bright notes of dragon fruit and peach, lime, lemon sherbet, lacto funk, citric acidity, vanilla and cheese cave. Kind of has that musty old sweaty sock thing going on. Absolutely on point aroma. Perfectly balanced too. Superb.

Flavour: Good transition from the nose – again, bright and crisp flavours of zesty citrus (lemon and lime), peach, dragon fruit, passion fruit and subtle tropical fruit. Nice tempered sourness…gentle acidity with some sweaty funk, farmyard and wheat. Keeps nice and dry as it rolls in to a snappy finish full of zesty citrus and soft barrel musty-ness.

Mouthfeel: Crisp (apologies for sounding like a broken record with this word), light on and perfectly carbonated. 5% ABV…again, spot on. Mild-moderate acidity. Sour drinking at its finest.

Overall: We’ve pretty much summed it up already. This collaboration with JK is simply flawless. Wouldn’t mind seeing a bit more aggressive sourness but that’s a personal preference plus Wildflower’s base Golden Sour is meant to be more entry level anyway. Brilliant drop.

Magic Rock X Wild Beer Co ‘Ghost Zapper’ BA Wild Ale

59347642_1079567888894022_4664071103176507392_n“Brewed back in 2017, Ghost Zapper started as a relatively simple recipe yet evolved through spending over 14 months in one of our Napa Valley red wine foudres, highlighting how yeast and bacteria can build layers of complexity and depth, without the need for further blending.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Copper with a mahogany tint. A finger of loosely held bubble forms but it quickly retreats to the rim. Blotchy lace clings to the glass as we imbibe.

Aroma: Dark fruits, blood plum, musty oak and wine lees in abundance! Fairly vinous, emphasized further by the subtle red wine vinegar and blackberry/cherry notes. It offers a restrained sourness…certainly manky/bretty with a hint of tart lacto acidity cutting through. Very well layered.

Flavour: Getting that dark fruit sweetness, a bit of musty oak and barnyard, some grainy and wheaty accents getting amongst it too. The vinous notes working quietly in the background. Tangy red fruits developing late and rolling in to an oaky, tart and mildly acetic finish.

Mouthfeel: Light, sparkling texture with mild-moderate body. The pucker rating scores a 2.5/5 as it’s actually rather timid.

Overall: A well structured and surprisingly approachable Flanders red. Light enough for the entry level sour drinker but enough there for the more seasoned. Solid drop.

Dollar Bill Brewing 2019 ‘Summer Parlay’ BA Wild Ale

52993382_1044942122356599_5839869540632100864_n“Wild fermented on organic tempranillo grapes. Citrus. tobacco and cherries with light bitterness and bold acidity. The perfect summer refresher. Suggested Track: ODB – Baby, I got your money.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Kind of a rosy pink colour with a light orange fused through. The pour doesn’t muster up much head, with it quickly receding to the rim and leaving spotty lace as we go.

Aroma: There’s plenty happening that’s for sure, we can already tell there’s good depth to it. There’s a lovely vinous acidity, grape skins, lemon/lime, musk, wood chip, Angostura bitters, light florals, rosewater and pink peppercorns. Maybe just a flutter of raspberry and or cherry along with a soft oak tannin.

Flavour: Right on the money! (pun intended). Sour citrus, red grapes, subtle oak chips and cherries/berries to the fore. There’s a short spike of lacto acidity which softens in to the sweetness of Angostura bitters and subtle rosewater, finishing on a tangy funk that endures nicely.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat flat but it’s kept alive by a medium pucker and a vibrant acidity. There’s a decent weight to it as well…not enough to make it full bodied but there’s certainly some density.

Overall: Really enjoying what these guys are putting out…top quality sours with a catchy name and eye catching labels. I mean they’re intricate AF! P.s love the addition of the suggested track! A bit of ODB during the review is a nice touch! Brilliant drop.

Goose Island ‘Juliet’ BA Belgian Style Wild Ale – 2016 Release

52608910_1042437315940413_1128722138442760192_n“A wild ale aged in wine barrels with blackberries, tart and jammy with notes of rye, oak and tannins.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Burnished deep orange/amber complexion. It forms a short fizzy head which doesn’t hang around long. Scarce lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: Really funky and chock full of vinegary tang, tart berries and cherries, manky cheese cave and sweaty horse blanket. Picking up some lovely apricot and peach as well but we’re all over this woody cigar box character which even lends itself to a very subtle hint of chocolate shavings. Very interesting.

Flavour: It hits the taste buds with a blast of tart berries, tangy vinegar and acetic lacto sourness…bretty funk, stonefruits and wine tannins follow close behind. Candied citrus and sherbet forms late in the piece before it finishes dry, musty and funky with good duration.

Mouthfeel: Tannic and somewhat musty. Medium-strong pucker but with a really well behaved AbV (8.2%). Moderate body and Co2.

Overall: We’ve loved most of this BA sour series from G.I but we’ve noticed that they can get a little too heavy on the vinegar. This one isn’t too bad but we probably wouldn’t seek out again.

Goose Island 2017 ‘Halia’ BA Belgian Wild Ale w Peaches

50587061_1026072030910275_6242180931134685184_n“Halia is a farmhouse ale aged in wine barrels with whole peaches, resulting in bright, effervescent fruit notes in a soft, hazy body that finishes slightly tart and sweet with the pleasant character of ripe, juicy peaches. Literally meaning “remembrance of a loved one” in Hawaiian, Halia was brewed in memory of the dear friend of one of our brewers who loved peaches.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Golden orange with a mild lacto haze. It forms a collar but the head immediately disappears.

Aroma: Smells amazing! It has that sweaty and vinegary base but it’s built up with a gorgeous fruit profile (mostly peach but also apricot and white grapes). Lots of zingy and acetic citrus, peppery spice and delicate oak tannins with a faint suggestion of fibrous grain husks buried deep. Really well layered with good complexity.

Flavour: Kind of has a bit of everything upfront. Some lactic acidity, bretty funk, hints of vinegar and barnyard and that subtle yet delicious injection of peach and other stonefruits. Woody spice, straw and other farmhouse adjuncts roll in to a somewhat musty and fruity finish full of apple, white plum and peach. Really good length on it.

Mouthfeel: Mineraly texture with a light sparkle. Moderate acidity and co2. Once again G.I hide a hefty AbV (7.7%) really well.

Overall: Another epic sour rounds out their 2017 BA Wild Ale series. Some absolute crackers i.e Lolita and this one with Gillian and Madame Rose lacking some of the finesse that the other two had. All in all this was a fine offering.

Goose Island ‘Gillian’ BA Belgian Wild Ale

48270635_997945160389629_5143893609556213760_n“Inspired by an amuse bouche often prepared by the wife of one of our brewers, Gillian brings white pepper, strawberry, and honey to a harmonious blend. Partially aged in wine barrels, this Belgian style farmhouse ale is slightly tart and pleasantly sweet in a refreshingly effervescent body.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Honey golden complexion with a wispy overlay. It settles to a collar with little lace to speak of.

Aroma: Quite the fruit-forward nose with a strong bretty/funky sourness. Lots of berries, woody oak, white grapes, dried apricots, peppery spice, barnyard and a subtle sweaty note also present. It’s actually crisp and rather refreshing…prefect for this warm Sydney arvo.

Flavour: Damp wood/old sauna room notes with subtle apricot, pear and unripened strawberry upfront. Getting that distinct dry and spicy pepper note flowing through as well. It maintains the dryness through the mid and picks up the funky, sweaty and barnyard flavours late as it finishes dry and spicy.

Mouthfeel: Nice and spritzy with light-moderate body. Very little acidity – which we’ve only just realised! Very approachable for 9.5%.

Overall: We’d put it between Madame Rose and Lolita. The latter being the pick of the bunch so far…although we’re yet to try Halia. It’s a decent sour but the price tag would probably turn most people away.

Goose Island Beer Co ‘Madame Rose’ BA Belgian Style Wild Ale – 2016 Release

41376746_948953301955482_8411068969561096192_n“Madame Rose is a crimson colored Belgian style brown ale fermented with wild yeast and aged on cherries in wine barrels. Layers of malty complexity, sour cherry, spice and wood notes make Madame Rose an ideal beer to suggest to Bordeaux enthusiasts and beer drinkers fond of Belgian Kriek and Flanders Brown Ales.”

Glassware: Stemmed Tulip.

Appearance: Deep amber almost light mahogany coloured body with a finger of finely beaded foam capping it off. It snaps back to the rim and leaves a spotty lace down the walls of the glass.

Aroma: Nicely built up with dank cherry overtones, musty red wine barrels, oak tannins, farmyard, tart berries and a subtle hint of cocoa powder. Certainly getting a tangy red wine vinegar coming through along with a rather juicy blood plum character. As it warms it starts to reveal more of its malt profile which sits somewhere between toasty and wheat/grainy.

Flavour: It opens with a short and sharp burst of lip puckering sourness emphasised by vinegar and acetic lacto funk. It follows on with sour cherries, musty oak and a line of vinous fruit cutting down the middle. Again it hits a strong vinegary note late in the piece as it finishes slightly dry and tannic with a hint of green apple on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Fairly tart, dry and well weighted. Nicely carbonated with just enough booze (6.8%) to keep it interesting.

Overall: It’s like a lovechild between a kriek and an oud bruin. Displaying traits of both with its macerated cherry and hints of cocoa and toasty malt. A lovely sipper but a difficult one to session on.

Goose Island Beer Co ‘Lolita’ BA Belgian Style Wild Ale – 2016 Release

41174950_948185455365600_2409089268480737280_n“Lolita is a pink rose colored Belgian style pale ale fermented with wild yeast and aged on raspberries in wine barrels. Aromas of fresh raspberries, bright jammy fruit flavors and crisp, refreshing body make Lolita ideal for beer drinkers fond of Belgian Framboise.”

Glassware: Stemmed Tulip.

Appearance: Amber body with a super fizzy head which disappears almost instantly. Not a skerrick of lace in its wake.

Aroma: Quite a complex little number. Lots of berries hit the olfactory’s…a mix of tart and sweet with a dense and jammy viscosity. The musty oak barrels present firmly along with an earthy stonefruit character – mostly apricot and peach. It has that funky farmyard/bretty sourness spiked with a tart framboise-like fruit profile. Lots of depth and complexity here, really impressive.

Flavour: Really well balanced. A slight rush of tart berries is casually softened by the complex oak tannins and earthy apricot. A bit of funky sourness and cheesy tang hinges on the musty cellared oak notes and vinous grape juice in the middle. Again we get berries alongside a touch of vinegar, medicinal cherry and acetic funk converging in a dry finish which endures.

Mouthfeel: Moderate intensity. Rather light on, spritzy at first becoming a little flatter as it warms. Mild-medium acidity, 7.9% AbV – well concealed.

Overall: It certainly doesn’t pull any punches. It offers a framboise-like sweetness, rich musty oak, tart berries, sour farmyard funk and hints of stonefruit. It kind of has it all!

De Garde & Jackie O’s ‘With Friends Like These’ BA Wild Ale w Muscat Grapes

40969237_947100962140716_406199864913821696_n“A Wild Ale fermented & aged in oak with late harvest Muscat grapes. Brewed & blended by de Garde Brewing in Tillamook, Oregon with special help from our friends at Jackie O’s. Enjoy with friends of your own. Do not drink bourbon with Brad.”

Glassware: Stemmed Tulip.

Appearance: Golden orange with a heavy haze. It forms a thumb of fizzy white head which gradually recedes to a film leaving a wet and streaky lace down the walls.

Aroma: Displays a fresh citrus profile i.e freshly cut lemon, orange peel, grapefruit and white grape juice (yes we know it’s not citrus but it ties in with it so well!). It has a distinct saison-esque spiciness, a bit like white pepper and woody spice…the latter maybe more of an adjunct scent from the time spent in oak barrels. Mild tartness, low acidity. Quite approachable!

Flavour: Super refreshing. Oodles of candied citrus, fruit tingles, sweet grape juice and orange peel upfront. The middle is where it’s at! It develops a delicious candy-like flavour – kind of like grape flavoured sherbet with a soft oak tannin and tart citrus notes in support. The finish is nice and smooth, fruity and revealing a barnyard mustiness on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Light on with a spritzy texture. Mild-medium body. Sourness/acidity is quite low. Very smashy for 6.4% AbV.

Overall: Outstanding drop. Although we love our muscat grapes the more subtle use of them here as opposed to ‘The Lucy’ is why we would favour it. That along with its approachable character and fine aroma and flavour. Very very impressive.

De Garde ‘The Lucy’ BA Wild Ale w Muscat Grapes

40243255_943403099177169_1820955100009463808_n“A spontaneous wild ale aged in oak barrels with late harvest muscat grapes.”

Glassware: Stemmed Tulip.

Appearance: Light straw gold with a soft haze. It doesn’t produce much head with the remaining foam retreating to the rim. Frosty lace clings to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Displaying that hallmark tart lemon along with punchy notes of wet pine, lime juice, floral perfumes and sour green apple. The muscat grapes are a very interesting (and clever) addition to this ale as it imparts a certain touch of exotic fruit like passion fruit and lychee. Minimal barrel character coming through but hey when there’s this much happening already it doesn’t matter!

Flavour: It opens with a short and sharp burst of acetic lemon, lacto funk and vinous fruits. More zesty notes of lime juice and pomelo carry it across the mid palate. Faint floral undertones and the distinct muscat grapes deliver a fruity finish with subtle dryness and musty barrel characters in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp with a champagne sparkle. Acidity is mild-medium. Some tartness to it.

Overall: A very impressive wild ale, certainly leaning more towards a lacto tartness than a bretty/pedio funk. The addition of muscat grapes was well polished and the drink-ability must also cop a mention. Our first crack at this brewery and we like!

Moon Dog ‘Fruits Of The Forest’ Wild Ale

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.

Hopdog beerworks ‘Holy snappin turtles’ Sour

imageWe thought it had been way too long since we quaffed a Hopdog brew so when we saw this Sour it was an instant purchase.

Served in a beer tulip the cloudy yellow/gold pour whipped up a bubbly 1 finger white head that simmers down to a thin dusting on top. Average lacing. What we’re dealing with here is a very complex aroma. The use of Shiraz barrels being subbed as fermentation tanks means subtle aromas of oak, damp wood and earth are backing up the sour overtones of lemon, raspberry and phenols. Plenty of yeasty funk and acidity from the addition of Brettanomyces offer the characteristic spice and farm yard aromas while a muted background of butter adds even more depth and complexity. Very interesting. In the mouth the slightly oily texture and mild carbonation tricks the taste buds before the clingy sourness takes hold of the tongue. Similar to the aroma, the palate is complex with an obvious tangy sourness kicking things off. Lemon rind, unripened berries and a slight mustiness meet a tart finish with a hint of sour cherry and oak on the rear palate. The length is a little short but when we factor in a well hidden 9.6% ABV we are pleasantly surprised. It has been subdued nicely, no harsh alcohol burn at all. We’d have to say this is a well executed beer, wild ales really aren’t our most favoured styles but this was quite approachable. Good offering.