Fraîcheur du Soir 2011 – Brasserie Trois Dames (Saint-Croix, Switzerland)

Fraicheur du Soir (Blanche double malt) 2011 – Brasserie Trois Dames, 7% ABV, 75 cl., (Saint-Croix, Switzerland)


  • Style: Sour Ale / Wild Ale
  • Taste: Sour soft tart grapefruit apple barley malt light pukey woody clean
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek / Vancouver
  • How much: $16 CAD (10% off) – 750 ml., September 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes
  • What was the impression: sour yet clean and composed

Visual: (cellared for 5 years). Pours translucent marmalade orange with large bits of suspended yeast, no head, active tight clustered micro streams.

Nose: liquid barley malt, mild woody dank (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: sour, light crisp, soft-puckery

Mid-palate: (lvl-3-sweetness), sour fleshy grapefruit, subdued subtle pukey, apple undertones, sweet barley malt backbone

Finish: woodiness, subtle bittersweet citrus peel, residual pukey malt

Summary: It says it is a blanche but it drinks unlike any witbier I’ve ever had. With no wheat listed in the ingredients, this one drinks darker but still has bitter orange peel nuances, though I’m not getting much coriander. Great all around balance and a unique style.

Vichtenaar – Brasserie Verhaeghe (Vichte, Belgium)

Vichtenaar – Brasserie Verhaeghe, 5.1% ABV, 33cl., (Vichte, Belgium)


info from ratebeer.com:

“‘Vichtenaar’ is a beer, brewed with roasted malts, spicey hops, fruity yeast and soft water, pumped up from a 172 m deep well, guaranteeing constant quality and pureness of the liquor. After primary and secondary lagering, “Vichtenaar” gets a ternary fermentation in oak vessels during 8 months. These oak pipes are big tuns with a capacity varying between 500 and 2500 hectolitres. “Vichtenaar” is a traditional and specific Western Flemish beer, from the northwest of Belgium. Its taste can be described as mild-sourish and suitably complex, thanks to the long lagering on oak. This tart flavour makes it eminently suitable for the hot summer months. “Vichtenaar” is one of the last Flemish “Oud bruins” that are really lagered in the oak tuns, and are as such appreciated by the connoisseur, looking for authenticity. As early as 1958 “Vichtenaar” was crowned as the top in an international concours in Gent.”


  • Style: Sour Red/Brown / Flemish Ale
  • Taste: Complex medium sour-tangy woody oak plum-prune red wine vinegar
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N.Bby
  • How much: $4.50 (after 12.5% off) – 33cl., November 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: good if you like sours

Visual: Pours dark cherry wood reddish-brown with small dissipating head, thick ringed retention, clusters of steady streams.

Nose: light pukey, oaked red wine sour (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: medium puckery-tart, thicker mouthfeel

Mid-palate: wet woody oak, plum-prune, (lvl-4-sweetness), big sour-tangy hit, subtle root beer spices, red wine vinegar

Finish: residual tangy acidity, lingering woody sour barley malt

Summary: A pretty complex sour ale with a woody element that is well worked into the mids. Good overall balance and interesting from start to finish.

 

Cascade Kriek Ale 2014 – Cascade Brewing (Portland, OR, USA)

Kriek Ale 2014 Project – “Ale Aged in Oak Barrels with Cherries” – Cascade Brewing, 8.5% ABV, 1 pt. 9.4 fl.oz., (Portland, Oregon, USA)


on the front-left label:

“This NW style sour ale is a blend of Red ales that were aged in oak barrels with cherries for up to 14 months.”

wp-1477031916325.jpg


  • Style: (cherry, oak barrel aged) Sour/Wild Ale
  • Taste: HUGE puckery sour wet oak pukey-woody tart cherry-apple cider vinegar jammy barley malt cherry juice raspberry-pomegranate exhale
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $43.70 CAD (after 20% off) – 1 pt. 9.4 fl.oz., October 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: price:enjoyment ratio, no

Visual: 2014 Vintage, Hefty bottle, twisty wire cap and composite cork with their name stamp. Bottle-conditioned. Pours clear cherry wood reddish brown without much of head, thin ring with a couple of islands, clusters of micro active streams.

Nose: pukey caramelized brown sugar, tangy red wine vinegar, sour cherry-apple (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: crisp-big SOUR and big TARTNESS

Mid-palate: background pervasive wet woodiness, cherry & apple cider vinegar, ACIDIC-tangy, jammy (lvl-5-sweetness), puckery sour red cherry juice, caramelized barley malt

Finish: unsettling in the stomach, sour raspberry-pomegranate juice fruity exhale

Summary: The 2nd Cascade offering I’ve had the pleasure to try, the 1st being their Apricot [C+]. Yes, complex but again, so puckery sour this has to be minutely sipped. I’m liking the wet oaked woodiness and the dark fruity notes are nice, but I can’t fully endorse it as it just doesn’t hit the proper notes for me. Too vinegary acidic sour, not bright nor refreshing enough.

Elderflower Kettle Sour – Bridge Brewing Co. (North Vancouver, BC, Canada)

image

Elderflower Kettle Sour – Bridge Brewing, 4.9% ABV – 18 IBUs, 650ml., (North Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft brew)


printed on the front-right label:

“…Tart and refreshing, this beer was inspired by the Brewmaster’s Mother with fresh aromas of a spring garden. Elderflowers give a gentle floral brightness to this crisp kettle-soured ale. Lightly hopped with Galaxy and Centennial hops to provide a background of nectarine and citrus.”

wp-1463711968710.jpg


  • Style: (flavoured – Elderflower) Sour Ale
  • Taste: Mostly controlled big sour dry elderflower grapefruit flesh tangy toasty barley malt
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek / Vancouver
  • How much: $6.95 (after 10% off) – 650ml., March 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah

Visual: Pours translucent brown amber with a small dissipating 2mm head, thin layer of micro retention, clusters of fast active tiny streams.

Nose: tangy elderflower, toasty toffee barley malt, alcohol (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: acidic sour-tart

Mid-palate: continued rounded fleshy grapefruit sour, tangy-puckery-tart, elderflower, (lvl-4-sweetness), background barley malt

Finish: toasty, nectarine exhale, lingering hop gentle bitter, grainy barley malt.

Summary: Big yet mostly controlled sourness with a dehydrated elderflower taste. Decent complexity but nothing that makes it epic.

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

image

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.

Central City/Parallel 49 2015 Craft Crossing Calendar Day #1 – Rock the Bells Cranberry Sour Ale

image

Central City/Parallel 49 2015 Craft Crossing Calendar Day #1

Rock the Bells Cranberry Sour Ale – Parallel 49 Brewing Co., 7.0% ABV – 341ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

-This is the other craft beer calendar available in BC; Oh actually Spinnakers (Victoria) has a 12 days of Christmas Calendar, but only 2 of 12 are unique brews. Nah, pass.

img_20151202_191401.jpgimg_20151202_191411.jpgimg_20151202_191431.jpg

-compared to last year, which sadly, I have yet to finish:

img_20151202_191457.jpgimg_20151202_191623.jpg

on the front-left label:

“Sometimes the holidays can be sour, and we aim to uphold that tradition with this sour cranberry ale. It’s nice and tart, crisp, and stuffed with cranberry flavour and a hint of brett. But unlike your aunt Helen’s turkey, this one won’t leave a bad taste in your mouth.”

img_20151203_220017.jpg

  • Style: (cranberry) Sour Ale
  • Taste: Very tart-sour-tangy cranberry fruity malt bearable barnyard
  • How much for the Calendar: $72.40 CAD, November 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: only okay, not terribly complex

Visual: Pours opaque reddish brown with a small 2mm dissipating head, thin ringed retention, a few micro bubbles here and there, otherwise no visible activity.

Nose: fruity cranberry juice, hints of sourness, rather clean. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: superTART, very acidic sour, crisp bite, PUCKERY

Mid-palate: continuous sourness, (lvl-3)-sweetness, (MAIN) cranberry, sour-tangy malt, barnyard funk

Finish: lingering sour cranberry tartness and fruity malt exhale.

Summary: Wow, super aggressively tart and sour, starts to mellow out near the backend. Despite the big sourness, there is a general sense of balance.

Lil’ Redemption Cherry Sour – Parallel 49 Brewing (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

image

Lil’ Redemption Cherry Sour – Parallel 49 Brewing, 6.7% ABV, 650ml, (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local craft beer*)

printed on front-left:

“Lil’ Red wandered off the paths she should have taken resulting in her being eaten by a wolf. This sour red ale was finished with tart cherries after being aged in cab-sav French oak barrels for the better part of 2 years. A much more solid step in the right direction.”

Ingredients: pale munich, crystal, and roasted wheat malts, oats, hersbrucker hops, saccharomyces, pediococcus, brettanomyces, sour cherries, and water.

  • Style: (Cherry) Sour/Wild Ale
  • Taste: Sour tart acidic red wine vinegar big oakiness.
  • How much: $12 – 650ml., June 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes, good depth of flavour

Visual: Pours murky brown with a fine foamy head, a thin 1mm layer of retention, super-fast micro streams all around.

Nose: wine-stained wet oak, light funk, sour undertones. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: incoming heavy sour-tangy tart, crisp-sour

Mid-palate: continuous sour acidity, (lvl-7)-sweetness, heavy body, (MAIN) cherry syrup, red wine vinegar, pukey sour, red wine alcohol,

Finish: cherry pie filling, cinnamon, fruity-oaked exhale.

Summary: Great depth accompanied by good drinkability. Certainly better than their previous sour cherry iterations. (Lil’ Red Sour Cherry Berlinerweisse, my review: Fail)

Passionfruit Sour Ale – Breakside Brewery (Portland, OR, USA)

image

Passionfruit Sour Ale – Breakside Brewery, 4.6% ABV, 1 pt 6 fl.oz., (Portland, Oregon, USA)

from ratebeer.com:

“One of the two beers brewed specifically for our second anniversary is a collaboration between Breakside’s Sam Barber, Lompoc’s Irina Bierzynski, and 10 Barrel Brewing’s Mayme Berman, all alums of Lewis & Clark College. It is a sharply sour German wheat ale made from a 100% sour mash, infused with the tart and tropical flavors of passionfruit.”

  • Style: (passionfruit) Fruit Wheat Ale
  • Taste: Overwhelmingly sour acidic clean passionfruit wheat malt
  • Where I got it : Liquor Barn @ Hastings/Burnaby
  • How much: $8 (after 10% off) – 1 pt. 6 fl.oz., December 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: if you like your sours VERY sour

Visual: Warning – gusher! Very difficult pour; It is golden light orange with abnormally almost all head, very long lasting, not very sticky lacing, clustered activity everywhere.

Nose: real passionfruit and orange syrup, authentic. Light metallic. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: invasive sour-puckery, light funk, high acidity, fizzy-tingly backdrop.

Mid-palate: persistent acidity, (MAIN) tangy passionfruit, orange citrus,
light wheat malt.

Finish: mild breadiness, light tart, fruity exhale.

Summary: Even eating passionfruit the fruit isn’t this sour, why is this so sour? I found out that optimal drinking temp is around 16°C; Straight out of the fridge into a chilled glass makes this it way too numbingly sour that inhibits any fruit flavours from emerging.

The Craft BeerAdvent Calendar 2014 Day #5 – Krampus Speciale (Sour Ale)

image

The Craft BeerAdvent Calendar 2014 Day #5

Krampus Speciale – Birrificio del Ducato, 7.0% ABV – 330ml., (Roncole Verdi di Busseto, Italy)

-Apparently this beer is only available in Canada via the BeerAdvent Calendar, lucky us! Now if only I liked it…

  • Style: Sour Ale/Wild Ale
  • Taste: Extremely sour tart vinegar red wine oak cherry pukey
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: only for sour lovers

Visual: Pours reddish brown with a small dissipating head, ringed retention, scattered steady micro streams.

Nose: HUGE sour cherries, puke. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: extreme tartness, incoming sourness

Mid-palate: extreme puckering sourness! (lvl-3)-sweetness, (MAIN) red wine, vinegar, oak, cherry

Finish: light pukey aftertaste,

Summary: Knee-jerkingly, whiplashin’, scrunched-facingly sour; This one is not for those adverse to sour ales. Flavours aren’t bad, it’s just way too sour for me to enjoy properly.

Imperial Flanders Red Ale – Storm Brewing (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

image

Imperial Flanders Red Ale – Storm Brewing, 11% ABV – 1L., (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

I’ve had a couple flanders red ales before (Bruery, Duchesse de Bourgogne), but this is my first IMPERIAL rendition of one. Looking forward to the big flavour.

  • Style: Imperial Flanders Red Ale/Flemish Red Ale
  • Taste: extreme sour/acidic oak red wine vinegar prune
  • How much: $16 – 1L, bring your own bottle (January, 2015)
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: only if you like the style

Visual: Pours dark cola brown with ultra fine micro bubbles suspended near the surface, but no head, and virtually no activity.

Nose: Sour-acidic oak, tartness, almost sarsaparilla (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: incoming HUGE tart/sourness

Mid-palate: extreme sourness, very light fizzy, (MAIN) heavy oak, red wine vinegar, prune

Finish: puckery sour, mild throat warmth, woody exhale.

Summary: A very unique style of beer, and done good; ABV is well-hidden and the palate has a lot on its plate. Sour, oaky, tart, wine, acidic, and more sour.