The Keel

New Jersey
United States
Cape May Beer The Keel Sour
Judges Ratings 
1 Review
94
Aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Appearance:
5 / 6
Mouthfeel:
10 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20
Description 

Laying the keel is the first (and most significant) step in constructing a ship. We like to think of this ale as the foundation to our reserve series. The beer's been in the works for more than two years -- that's how long portions of the blend have been aging. For the last 10 months, its undergone a second fermentation inside French oak red wine barrels where 20 different microflora have introduced exotic flavors -- expect a rustic, earthy profile that balances a sharply lactic and acetic finish. Now, this still-evolving, bottle-conditioned beer is ready for sipping. Prepare to weigh anchor.

Profile

ABV: 
6.6%
IBUs: 
10
Served at: 
45 - 50° F
Hops: 
Saaz
Malts: 
Pilsner, Caramunich III, Carafa III
Judges Review 
Sandy Cockerham's picture
Judges Rating:
94
Aroma:
23 / 24
Appearance:
5 / 6
Flavor:
38 / 40
Mouthfeel:
10 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Up front, this wine barrel-aged sour exhibited fairly clean lactic sourness and a whiff of oak. It had medium-low notes of toasty malt and dark fruit (plum and cherry mostly) and no hops in the nose.  As it warmed up notes of red wine grapes emerged and the wood aromas blossomed.  Very inviting!

The beer poured a deep, ruddy brown color. Light shone through the glass, giving off a striking, ruby glow. A moderate ivory head with fine bubbles hung on for quite a while, especially for a sour ale.

The beer presented itself with a near-perfect balance between medium toasty malt with a hint of sweetness and a moderate tart character. Bittering was medium-low and no hop flavor was apparent. The balance shifted towards tartness in the finish with slight alcohol warming. I also perceived a low note of cocoa. The flavors weren't huge, but they were gently and elegantly interwoven. With a medium body and mild carbonation, this beer was tart but didn’t abuse the palate with overly puckering elements. Very light wood tannins on the tongue were not harsh, but rather rounded out the mouthfeel nicely.  

This was a delicious barrel-aged sour ale that had a pleasant sour character that mostly lactic in nature, but the slight acetification lent a bit of complexity to the flavor. Definitely worth seeking out.

Brewery Introduction

Three guys and a beer — that’s how Cape May Brewing Company came to be. Back in 2011, Ryan, Hank, and Mop Man brewed their first batch of Cape May IPA, kegged it up, and sold it to a bar up the street…

…and began... Read More

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