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Michael Heniff's picture

94 Rating: Dryades by NOLA Brewing Co.

December, 2017
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
37 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

Dryades by NOLA Brewing is a Belgian sour brown (Oud Bruin) with plums and cherries and is being reviewed as a Wild Specialty Beer (2015 BJCP Style Guidelines category 28C).  Oud Bruins are known for their complex malt and fruity characters with a light sourness that often creates a sweet-and-sour character.  Versions of Oud Bruins with fruit typically have an even higher level of complexity.  The level of sourness can vary with age and/or blending.  The sourness is traditionally from a Lactobacillus (along with Saccharomyces) fermentation; acetic/vinegar flavors are inappropriate in this style.

This beer pours dark brown with ruby highlights.  The clarity is excellent and a small, wispy off-white head tops the offering.  The aroma is complex displaying a moderate-light lactic sourness among rich bready malt, prunes, plums, vanilla, and sherry.  The flavor showcases an even higher level of clean, lactic sourness and is balanced well by sweet, bready malt resulting in a pleasant sweet-and-sour experience.  The sweet, bread-crust-like malt is complimented well by cherry and plum fruits, prune and sherry esters, and black pepper phenolics.  The beer finishes lightly bitter with a lingering sweet-and-sour character and a generous helpings of plums, prunes, and cherries.

This wild beer is expertly crafted.  The well executed Oud Bruin base style is complemented well by the additions of plums and cherries.  The sweet-and-sour character is very enjoyable and allows the wild character to showcase without an aggressive acidity.   Cheers!