“New England’s second Wooden Ram is a 7.3% French-style Biere de Garde. It is brewed in the farmhouse tradition of using fresh ingredients in autumn and storing during winter, for summer knees up! After being cellared during a New England winter in Hunter Valley Shiraz barrels, Wooden Ram II has wine and oak characters, complemented by malt sweetness and fruity aromas. Enjoy with cheeses, rich desserts, and good friends.”
Served in a tulip. Quite a contrasting range of colours in the glass – starting bright golden around the edges and working in to a light burgundy red in the middle. Short lasting white cap which still manages to stick a reasonable lace as it ebbs.
The aroma is somewhat complex. Definitely picking up the oak and subtle tannins from the time spent in wine barrels. The citrus component is acidic, tart and slightly artificial. We like the harmonious fusion of rich and sweet malt with the even sweeter dried fruit character – apricot, peach, pear and apple. Some really lovely farmhouse elements to take in here.
The flavour is a bit more heavier on the sourness than we were expecting. A touch of sour lemon and vinegar before the woody oak component softens it a little. Getting hints of full bodied red wine….the likes of Shiraz or Cab Sauv. Undertones of red berries and dried stonefruit mellow out in to a pleasant finish which offers a soft woody note in the tail.
The mouth feel is tart, well carbonated and a touch dry but ultimately smooth and approachable. The 7.3% ABV is well buried.
Biere De Garde certainly isn’t a style which we claim to know a lot about but from the relatively small amount we’ve reviewed it stacks up pretty well. Some sourness in there, woody oak, fruit, sweet malts and a hint of funky farmhouse. Practically ticks all the boxes.