Sandy Cockerham's picture

The Keel

August, 2016
Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
5 / 6
38 / 40
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.