Sal Mortillaro II's picture

Judge's Review: 86 Rating - High Tea by Streetside Brewery

July, 2018
Judges Rating: 
21 / 24
6 / 6
35 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
16 / 20

High Tea by Streetside Brewery is being judged as a Wild Specialty Beer (Category 28C in the 2015 BJCP Guidelines).

This beer pours a dark gold with an orange hue with hazy clarity and a very thin white head that quickly fades but leaves a persistent ring around the edge of the glass. The aroma consists of a prominent sweet melon-like aroma with noticeable acidity, which is clean. A low sweet, doughy malt note is noticeable as the beer warms with no noticeable hop aroma. On the initial sip, very high clean acidity is noted. As the acidity gives way, a medium sweetness manifests itself, but the lingering acidity makes the malt flavor somewhat nondescript. Melon and cucumber are apparent in the flavor of this beer as well as a slight floral note. 

In this beer, the balance is actually provided by the malt as it is extremely acidic. The aftertaste is of acidity, malt sweetness and melon -- akin to an extremely sour Jolly Rancher or War Head candy. This beer features a medium body with tongue-prickling carbonation. This beer does not have warmth from alcohol, creaminess or astringency; however, there is a puckering note on the sides of the cheeks and tongue from a notably low pH level, which is very salacious and perpetuates the drinker to take another sip. 

Overall, this beer is extremely aggressive in the intensity of its sourness. As one who tends to gravitate towards sour styles, I would suggest this beer is not for drinkers who are beginning their journey into the sour realm. A higher pH would bring balance to this beer and the manifestation of flavors, which are likely hiding behind the biting acidity. The high acidity in this beer unfortunately masked the use of the wine barrel, hibiscus, and tea used in its production and therefore the extra steps, care and work that went into this beer.