Sean Coughlin's picture

Judge's Review: 95 Rating - Past & Future by Odd Breed Wild Ales

August, 2020
Judges Rating: 
24 / 24
4 / 6
38 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

Past & Future by Odd Breed Wild Ales is a saison aged in French oak and is being evaluated as a Mixed-Fermentation Sour Beer (BJCP 2015 Guidelines Category 28B).

The aroma of this beer is so incredibly enticing that it is difficult to not taste immediately. High complexity with oak, pleasant leather-like notes from wild yeast, ripened apricot, a touch of bright herbal hops, and an overarching vinous character that brings it all together harmoniously. 

This is a golden beer with decent clarity and a tight white head that, despite the beer’s effervescence, does not persist for long. 

The flavor packs a punch of tartness up front that takes the palate a few sips to acclimate to. Once the taste buds have been awakened, there is an entire world of flavor to explore. There are strong elements of oak, white grape and hay with a touch of peach skin, dried apricot and honeycrisp apple in the background. The perceived bitterness is low and the acidity is adept at refreshing the palate with each sip. Oak and some acidity carry into the finish but do not linger. 

What this beer manages to do so well is to remain understated. With all that’s going on in a beer such as this, certain attributes can be over-the-top: dominant Brettanomyces character, too much acidity, too much tannin from the oak, etc. Thankfully, this beer is a great example of how all those things can work together to make a greater whole. As with the best examples of this style, every sniff and sip brings something new. As such this is an intellectually stimulating beer to enjoy.