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Judge's Review: 90 Rating - Bosbessen by pFriem Family Brewers

November, 2018
Judges Rating: 
21 / 24
6 / 6
37 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Bosbessen by pFriem Family Brewers is being judged as BJCP category 23 F, Fruit Lambic. Served at 46oF in a Belgian tulip glass. 

The beer pours a deep burnished red, with moderate haze, throwing a light pink mixed foam that dissipates  quickly. The beer is very lively with lots of steady outgassing in the beer's column. It looks inviting and the color would catch anyone's eye as unique. 

The nose is funky, sharp and quite tart, with strong oak, hay, barnyard, aspirin, and bright berry fruit -- almost a mixture of sour cherry and blueberry. The strong Brettanomyces and apparent lactic sourness indicate a sharp, angular and relatively hard interpretation of the style, while only hints of sweet fruit form counterpoint. The fruit is there, but you need to look for it. 

The flavor starts with a big tart blast that segues into a lovely balanced blueberry note acting as dance partner to the hay, wet leather,  tobacco, and aspirin yeast notes. While relatively hard and quite pronounced in its Brett character, the late character fruit is beguiling -- fresh and ripe, but anchored with a very clean lactic tartness -- strongly fruity but still playing second fiddle to the complex sour and wild ale. The finish is  just shy of bone-dry, with low mouthfeel and a shot of oak astringency. A shadow of sweet blueberry goodness  last well into the aftertaste, along with the lasting acid and oaky-minerally notes. I can't say enough about the fruit character, other than I wish it were a skosh more prevalent and the beer slightly less attenuated. As it stands, its quite sharp, with lots of acid and barnyard character and a fruit angle that is deliciously attractive, leaving me wanting more.