On Thursday, I met with the Sour Beers guys for a impressive bottle tasting of both sours and stouts. It was, as you know I like to say…a doozy. In such a satisfying way.
Hanssens Oudbeitje Lambic (Fruit Lambic) 6% ABV: A gift brought to the tasting! Wild herb, mild strawberry and lovely notes of stone fruit. Very little carbonation. A bit of lemony vibrancy on the palate. Good sourness, with delicacy and balance. We all thoroughly enjoyed this. With that being said, there are some good reviews and some BAD reviews on Beer Advocate for this beer. I have to think that those who gave this beer traits like, ahem, “fart” and “diaper” had tainted bottles. There was NONE of that in our beer. Thank heavens. (giggle)
Rodenbach Vintage 2007 Barrel #230 (Flanders Red Ale) 7% ABV: A beautiful, elegant, and refined offering from Rodenbach. Lots of oak on the nose, a tad too much, but still mingled wonderfully with sweet and sour cherry, red currant, and mild vinegar. The nose is very delicate, as is the palate. Smooth, and more sweet than sour. This one develops as it warms, so let it sit out awhile before uncorking. SEE PIC.
Allagash Black (Belgian-style Stout/Strong Ale) 7.5% ABV: Whoa Nelly. TONS of dry tobacco, coffee, and ash on the nose. On the palate, dark, bitter chocolate, and dried fruit dominate, with a substantially bitter finish from the roasted malt used. Quite an interesting beer. One of those beers that appeal to some and turn off others, due to its strong aromatic and flavor profile. What do YOU think?
Interesting sidenote: Allagash uses the Methode Champenoise to produce this beer!
Cascade Apricot Ale (Fruit Lambic/Flanders Ale?) 9% ABV: This was an exceptional treat brought to the tasting. I first tasted this at Oakquinox last month as my very first beer at 10 am, and loved it for it’s incredible nose and refreshingly sour palate.
According to the bottle, this beer, “based on Temptor Triple”, is a “Belgian Flanders Style Ale”, and is “brewed with apricots and aged in oak barrels.” Hmm.
A wonderful nose of Turkish dried apricots, greenhouse flowers/greenery, and Australian “jambread” (Ok, the only reason I know what this is is because I lived in Australia, and there was a woman in the neighborhood who walked around with her cart and GAVE AWAY these incredibly delicious cookies with homeade jam in the middle. Apricot, plum, strawberry, blackberry. I loved that woman.)
This beer has what I like to call “sensory perkiness”. A nice sour palate, refreshing. This would make a wonderful breakfast/brunch beer, especially on spring/summer days when you just aren’t feeling Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout or Mikkeller’s Beer Geek Breakfast!
Allagash FOUR (Quad) 10% ABV: So, what’s the FOUR about? Allagash employs 4 malts, 4 hops, four sugars and four Belgian yeast strains. AND it undergoes 4 fermentations. Wowza.
Sweet nose of maple syrup, with heavy notes of baking spice and orange peel. Dried date and a bit of toffee. Another blast of sweetness hits on the palate, with a measurable heat and a burn that hits a few seconds after the finish.
2003 Pizza Port Santa’s Little Helper: From the old school of Pizza Port. Smokey, with lots of tobacco, and rich dark chocolate on the nose and palate. Rich, delicious, and balanced, this beer has aged very well.
Churchill’s Finest Hour: 11% ABV: Tons of oak, pipe tobacco, sweet dark extracted fruit, blackstrap molasses, and dark chocolate covered pecans. This guy is INTENSE. A considerable burn on the finish, it demands to be taken in small doses. Needs to age.
2007 Goose Island Bourbon County Stout
2008 Goose Island Bourbon County Stout
Batch 4 Supplication: You guys probably already know how much I love this beer from previous blogs. It continues to make me a happy beer girl.
Many thanks to Sour Beers for inviting me to their wonderful afternoon tasting. A fantastic and hilariously funny group. I had to wipe away the laughter tears more than once. CLICK HERE to read the Sour Beers manifesto (It’s brilliant!) and become a fan on Facebook.