Most of the time I hate it when things are too unpredictable, except lately when tasting sour beers, I have found a totally different mindset. Sour beers, which include (Lambics, Gueuzes, and Flanders red ales) probably involve the most risk, and most uncertainty of any brew process. While in the barrel, sour beer undergoes some of the most exquisite changes and complexities. Since my first taste of them a couple of years ago, I have became hooked, and prefer them to any other beer type.
When living in Seattle last year we attended the “Sour Beer Fest” and we began to see a larger selection of sours in the stores. I grabbed every bottle I could prior to leaving for St. Louis and I have continued to build and grow our collection on trips to Europe (Belgium and Italy). Fortunately, The Wine and Cheese Place and Lukas Liquor here in St. Louis have provided some worldwide favorites and I have greatly increased our inventory. I recently decided that it was time to start drinking some of these sours from our cellar. This will begin a full blog series on a selection of sour beers. There will be the Beer Advocate rating system consisting of:
Appearance, Taste, Mouthfeel, and Drinkability. Food pairings will be also described when appropriate.
Tasted on 9/11/2011
Italian Panil Barriguee Oak-Aged Sour Red Ale, Batch #12, 2010, Bottle 1947
(4.5) Appearance: Rusty deep red, minimal head, some lace
(4) Smell: Campari cherry, sharp acidic grapefruit, some barnyard and pipe tobacco leaves
(4) Taste: Sharp sour notes of lemon, cherries up front, fades midway through
(4) Mouthfeel: Tart and carbonation in mouth, medium weight
(4) Drinkability: Smooth start, sour notes hit throughout the mouth, worth trying since Red Ale’s are difficult to come by, could cellar for couple more years to develop further complexity
Serve type: 750 ml bottle poured into a tulip glass
Purchase Place Price: Chicago, IL Binnys $18.99