Apricot Ale 2014, Oak aged – Cascade Brewing (Portland, OR, USA)

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Apricot Ale 2014 Project – “Ale Aged in Oak Barrels with Apricots” – Cascade Brewing, 7.6% ABV, 1 pt. 9.4 fl.oz., (Portland, Oregon, USA)

on the front-left label:

“This NW style sour ale is a blend of Blond ales that were aged in oak barrels with apricots for up to 15 months.”


  • Style: (apricot, oak barrel aged) Sour/Wild Ale
  • Taste: Over-the-top sour tart acidic vinegar apricot apple juice pukey woody oak
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor
  • How much: $38.70 CAD (after 10% off) – 1 pt. 9.4 fl.oz., November 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: you have to like sours

Visual: Hefty bottle, twisty wire cap and composite cork. Bottle-conditioned. Pours clear amber with a smallish head, a thin layer of retention, clusters of steady micro streams.

Nose: fruity peach-apricot mixed with puke. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: immediate heavy tartness, intense puckery sour, fizzy

Mid-palate: continuous acidic sour, (lvl-5)-sweetness, (MAIN) fruit vinegar, apricot, apple juice, pukey, woody oak

Finish: tart, candy tangy, residual sour fruity finish.

Summary: (Ouch, price tag hurts the wallet.) Fair warning, this sour is sour and it means it. Goes down better with salty food, and caution to those who have a stomach sensitive to acidic food. Very taxing on the palate and a slow sipper. It has decent flavours and body but the sourness is just too over-the-top for me.

La Bretteuse (Syrah barrel-aged) – Le Trou Du Diable (Quebec, Canada)

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  • My Rating: A-, 3.9 of 5 on Ratebeer.com

La Bretteuse (Syrah barrel-aged) – Le Trou Du Diable, 7.3% ABV – 750ml., (Quebec, Canada)

part of the back label in French:

“Le Bretteuse est une IPA vieillie 18 mois en barriques de Syrah californien envahies de brettanomyces. Il en résulte une bière trouble aux accents orangés dont le nez évoque l’eau de rose, le pamplemousse, la vanille et le cuir. En bouche, l’acidité et l’amertume s’engagent dans une longue valse nuptiale, véritable mariage des saveurs qui ne demande qu’à être consommé.”

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(google translate, being West coast Canadian, my French isn’t up to scratch..)

The IPA is Bretteuse aged 18 months in barrels of Syrah California overrun with Brettanomyces. The result is a cloudy beer with orange accents whose nose evokes rose water, grapefruit, vanilla and leather. On the palate, acidity and bitterness engage in a long bridal waltz, true marriage of flavors just waiting to be consumed.

  • Style: (Syrah) Barrel Aged Sour/Wild Ale
  • Taste: Woody med sour apple sour barnyard grapefruit hopped caramel malts
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor Store
  • How much: $26 (after 5% off) – 750ml, March 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: doubtful
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Pours deep copper brown with a magnificent ultra-creamy lasting head, superb sticky lacing, a thick layer of retention plus lots and lots of clustered streams. Awesome.

Nose: light barnyard with very woody pressed apple cider. Very clean nose. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: crisp, tingly fizzy

Mid-palate: full-bodied, (lvl-5)-sweetness, light-sour + med tangy, (MAIN) super woody, orange peel, caramel malts, pressed apple juice, vanilla, mild alcohol detection

Finish: yeasty, grapefruit bitter hops and pulp, lingering woody malt hopped finish.

Summary: Excellent complexity, moderately palate-heavy. Great flavours going on; good with a meal. One-and-done solo beer. Le Trou Du Diable is a solid brewery.

Oak Aged Bretta – Logsdon Farmhouse Ales (Hood River, OR, USA)

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  • My Rating: B

Oak Aged Bretta – Logsdon Farmhouse Ales, 8.0% ABV – 1 pint 9.4 fl.oz., (Hood River, Oregon, USA)

on the back label:

“Our organic Oak Aged Brett is made with our Seizoen Bretta that is aged for a period of time to develop the wood aged character in the beer. Oak Tannins, vanilla notes and subtle smoky spiciness soften and mellow this beer over time. The aged unfiltered beer is refermented and carbonated in the bottle with select yeast strains to provide added dryness and complexity, then sealed with beeswax for additional aging.”

  • Style: (oak) Barrel-aged Sour Ale
  • Taste: Balanced sour lemon stonefruit citrus hopped light oak /w metallic
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor Store
  • How much: $13 (after 10% off) – 1 pint 9.4 fl.oz., December 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Warning! Super gusher for a minute or two, have a glass ready to catch the 99% head. Pours cloudy orange-brown with a ridiculously large ultra foamy head, lots of sticky lacing, several slow streams.

Nose: sour barnyard, minor tangerine/orange citrus (lvl-5)-pungency.

Attack: foamy head, fizzy-tingly mouthfeel, incoming sweetness

Mid-palate: balanced (lvl-6)-sweetness, medium sourness/tang, brightness, (MAIN) (lvl-3) non-invasive barnyard, lemon, seltzer, apricot, stonefruit malts

Finish: bitter hops, oak exhale.

Summary: Initial sips had a metallic flavour from the bottle cap but subsequent sips were clean. Extremely balanced sweet-sour-tang-flavour profile, with sweetness tipping the balance slightly. Great structure with the only minus being the metallic off-taste.

It’s Alive! (White Wine Barrel) – Mikkeller (Copenhagen, Denmark)

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  • My Rating: B-

It’s Alive! (White Wine Barrel; Lagret 7 måneder på hvidvinsfade) – Mikkeller, 10% ABV – 375ml., (Copenhagen, Denmark)

  • Style: (barrel-aged) Sour/Wild Ale
  • Taste: Super woody apple-malt with some barnyard funk
  • Where I got it : Sherbrooke
  • How much: $9 (after 10% off) – 375ml., June 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: only if sour ales are your thing

Visual: Pours cloudy maple syrup brown with a smallish ultra-creamy lasting head, tons of very sticky lacing, several very active streams.

Nose: woody sour apple cider with substantial funk (7/10-pungency)

Attack: light-pukey up front

Mid-palate: controlled (5/10)-sweetness, mild sourness/tang, creamy-fizzy mouthfeel, (MAIN) intense woodiness, very yeasty, apple-malt, light-moderate funk/mild puke

Finish: residual wet-wood, soft sweet-bitter hops, woody exhale-hoppy finish.

Summary: Most woody, but actually quite drinkable after you get accustomed to it. I like the gray version better.