Sean Coughlin's picture

Judge's Review: 93 Rating - Squib Cakes by Odd Breed Wild Ales

August, 2020
Judges Rating: 
93
Aroma: 
21 / 24
Appearance: 
6 / 6
Flavor: 
38 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

Squib Cakes by Odd Breed Wild Ales is a Lambic-style wild ale with blueberries aged in French oak and is being evaluated as a Fruit Lambic (2015 BJCP Guidelines Category 23F).

Under normal circumstances, I write about a beer’s aroma first. Aroma is pivotal to flavor; if you cannot smell it, you cannot taste it. However, with this beer, appearance must be tackled first.  Squib Cakes pours with a visual wow factor! This beer is a stunning magenta color with gorgeous tight pink foam that sadly does not stay around to bedazzle the taster. It is quite evident that this beer spent some time with a serious amount of blueberry and the appearance alone whets the appetite. The color of this beer is in and of itself complex: deep magenta with hues of blue and violet and a hint of red when held to the light.     

We drink with our eyes first – and after such a visually stunning beer, the aroma is a bit of a letdown due to its overall muted nature. More character emerges from the glass as the beer warms, but it is still rather understated. Fresh blueberry cobbler is met with a lactic presence resulting in a profile that is more akin to blackberry or marionberry. There is a slight hint of oak and no wild yeast character detectable. 

The flavor has quite a bit more strength than the aroma due to a large presence of oak that packs a heavy punch of tannins into this beer. The blueberry is the star of the show once the palate adjusts to the tannic presence and is well balanced by a punch of acidity that complements the fruit. Following the aroma, this beer drinks like a blackberry that is more tart than sweet. The finish is perfectly dry and a bit of wild yeast funkiness noticeably creeps into the aftertaste with each swallow.   

For those that like a substantive beer or wine with firm tannic presence, this beer will check a lot of boxes. Overall, it is quite well-balanced, but the fruit weighs it down just a touch. This is a serious beer for serious beer drinkers and is highly worth seeking out if you enjoy traditional lambic or lambic-inspired wild ales.             

 

 

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