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.”

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  • 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)

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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.”

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  • 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)

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.”

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  • 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)

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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)