The Call

Michigan
United States
The Call, New Holland Brewing Co.
Judges Ratings 
1 Review
92
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
37 / 40
Appearance:
6 / 6
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20
Description 

The Call is a sour ale fermented with our in-house sour culture and aged for two years before being finished on over 3,500 pounds of raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, fueling a spontaneous secondary fermentation.

Profile

ABV: 
6.6%
Served at: 
50 - 55º F
Judges Review 
David Sapsis's picture
Judges Rating:
92
Aroma:
22 / 24
Appearance:
6 / 6
Flavor:
37 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

The Call from New Holland Brewing Co. is a sour ale with raspberries blackberries and blueberries and is being judged as BJCP category 28C Wild Specialty Ale (with fruit). While the beer was aged in a foeder, I was unaware of that fact during the blind-judging and have left the review intact. 

Presented in a goblet @44oF after a vigorous pour, the beer casts a deep purpleish-red color with saturated color infusions from the fruit additions. Haze is relatively high, but likely due to the apparent high fruit dosing. The nose is sharply acidic up front, with obvious berry fruit aromas and very little malt or sweetness evident. The berry notes are well blended, without any overtly pronounced chemical/perfumey tones so often associated with use of extracts and concentrates: the aroma here speaks to fresh or superbly well-processed purees. While I could not isolate blackberries, raspberries were front-and-center backed up by a nice blueberry note. Overall, the nose is bright and fruity, with evident tartness and very low malt sweetness. The fruit aromas are nice and come across as fresh. 

The flavor character starts brisk and sharp, with a bite of lactic acid and then a full tart and lasting middle of dark berry fruit flavors, with the raspberry winning the show of dominance, with some darker berry character as first mate. The mid-palate lingers tart, with only a hint of malt and sweetness to balance the appreciable lactic acid. The finish is dry, tart (almost bordering on sour) with a nice clean lingering berry note that lasts and lasts. Finally, a small grainy, almost wheat-like malt sweetness, comes in softly at the end. Conditioning is high but doesn't seem obtrusive even with the acidic character. Mouthfeel is surprisingly full, possibly due to fruit pectins adding viscosity. 

The ferment/sour character is quite clean and lacking any appreciable funk, vanilla or other angular wild characteristics, with some faint woody character that comes out after swirling the goblet. While the beer borders on being a bit too tart for me given its balance point (finishing gravity of 2.5oP as measured), the fruit character is bright and fresh with very natural notes, and presents an ensemble berry character that highlights interactions more than direct profiles. Overall, it makes for a rounded and tart berry beer with a clean and direct tart backdrop and wonderful fruit accents that really shine here.

 

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