Nelson Crowle's picture

Judge's Review: 91 Rating - pFriem La Mûre by pFriem Family Brewers

October, 2019
Judges Rating: 
21 / 24
6 / 6
38 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

pFriem La Mûre by pFriem Family Brewers was initially evaluated as a BJCP 2015 style 33A, Wood-Aged Beer (meaning that the barrel/wood character affects the beer, but the original content of the barrel - whiskey/wine/etc - is not a significant factor). After tasting, the beer should be categorized as 28B Mixed-Fermentation Sour Beer (in which the barrel wood is not a primary/dominant flavor) and was evaluated as such (see notes below). There is certainly no penalty for choice of style guideline style (made by the evaluator - me, in this case) - and especially styles that are flavored (fruity, smoky, woody, barrel-aged, etc.) should be very lenient in trying to pigeonhole a sample to a specific style. The beer pours a murky opaque deep purple (the color is just so dense from all the fruit) with a small head of tiny dark purple bubbles that quickly settles into a ring, but regenerates when swirled. Huge tart jammy raspberry and blackberry notes introduce the aroma, with a bit of a funky farmhouse character - wet hay, a hint of leather, a slight cherry tobacco note.  Initial flavor is a quite tart clean lactic sourness with a big tart (and not sweet) jammy raspberry/blackberry note.  There is almost no malt or hop character in either the aroma or flavor, with a very low hop bittering - it's all about the sour fruit. There is a very low barrel wood character - maybe just a hint of woody cinnamon - but it appears that the barrel's main contribution was the 'bugs' - the Pediococcus and/or Lactobacillus doing the souring. Lots of interesting complexity brackets the sourness on one end of the spectrum versus the big jammy fruitiness on the other end. The finish is quite tart with lingering blackberry notes (and a hint of raspberry). This beer just hits you in the face with fruit - but balanced by the sourness. Pair this beer with a simple scoop of vanilla ice cream, or with a plain (low spice) chicken breast or mahi mahi with steamed white rice.