Ralph

Ralph, The Ale Apothecary
Judges Ratings 
1 Review
92
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Appearance:
5 / 6
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20
Description 

Ralph is our wild fermentation barrel aged beer with aged cascade hops and white fir needles added to the boil. Aged in fresh wine barrels for 18 months with another dose of white fir needles prior to packaging and finally bottle conditioned with honey.

Profile

ABV: 
9.0%
IBUs: 
20
Served at: 
55º F
Hops: 
Aged Cascade
Malts: 
Multiple Crystal Malts
Judges Review 
Jason Johnson's picture
Judges Rating:
92
Aroma:
22 / 24
Appearance:
5 / 6
Flavor:
38 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Ralph by The Ale Apothecary is judged as a mixed-fermentation sour ale brewed with fir needles, honey, and aged in wine barrels.

Pouring the beer, it’s orange in color with a little bit of haze. It pours a very small loose head that dissipates fairly quickly. The aroma is great. A low bit of fruit, mostly I notice tart cherries, a woody pine aroma similar to what you think of when you put up a Christmas tree. The malt aroma is low with a soft bready character. I do pick up some oak, but it’s reserved. I don’t really detect much wine character from the barrel in the nose, though. In the flavor I pick up big tart fruits, mostly cherry to me. The oak is a lot more noticeable in the mouth than it was in the nose and it’s enjoyable. The beer is very refreshing for an oak-aged beer. The beer is low in bitterness but does have a noticeable pine-like quality that mildly reminds me of a hint of menthol, obviously from the fir tips. I do not detect any Brett character from the barrel aging, and that’s OK; it’s not required or necessarily expected. It’s just when some people are thinking barrel-aged sour beers, they may be looking for that funk, and you will not find it in here. It’s a clean, tart, slightly malty and fruity ale. The malt is refined with a little toast and a light sweetness. The beer is medium bodied and moderately carbonated. There is a mild oaky astringency, but it’s not off-putting. All in all this is a very good barrel-aged beer. The fir needles are detectable and add a great depth to this beer.