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Joseph Formanek's picture

Heirloom Ale

April, 2016
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
5 / 6
37 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Lazy Magnolia’s Heirloom Ale is a complex American Sour ale aged on Pinot Noir oak chips. The wine character delivered by this aging is quite assertive, tending to overwhelm the base beer in some aspects.

This brew pours a clear reddish-amber, with a head stand that dissipates rather quickly. Carbonation level is low to moderate. The aroma exhibits a very wine-based character with a background of oakiness and lactic tartness. As expected from the aroma, the flavor features berry-like pinot noir notes along with a strong lactic/acetic sour flavor punch from the middle through to the finish. Interestingly, the sour taste itself is somewhat low. The flavor of this sourness has a red wine vinegar character with some oxidized sour notes that are a bit distracting. There is a moderate level of rich brown malt flavor, but the balance is certainly towards the sour wine flavor side. This same character is retained through the quite dry finish and aftertaste.  

The American Sour style is incredibly diverse. Heirloom Ale is firmly planted in the Flanders Red school of sours, perhaps even pushing the envelope in regards to the wine character demonstrated in this brew. Overall, it works well.