Phew, how the hell do you categorize this beer? I’m going with Flanders Red based on the taste profile, but I wouldn’t argue with anyone that wants throw in a Brett category (Wild yeast) or even list this as a fruit beer. Here at Aleheads though, categories are simply subjective titles that really have nothing to do with what we enjoyed in a beer. The only reason I’m looking for a category is to ease a search for this beer at a later point (That point of course will involve several levels of drunkenness).
Poured from one of the funkiest looking bottles I’ve ever seen, kind of a cross between a brew kettle and a Mrs. Butterworth bottle, this beer poured a nice reddish-amber with some moderate carbonation. The nose is what gives off the wild yeast notes. If you’ve ever cracked open a Liefmans Goudenband, one of my favorite beers in the universe, then you’ll know what smell I’m thinking of. In fact, it’s the nose on this beer that adds more than anything else – Sour, lactic acid, ripe fruit. The taste was quite pleasant with notes of sour apple, absurdly ripe strawberries, and an overly bready finnish. To add another comparison, if you’ve sampled Rodenbach, you’ll know where I’m at. This brew is very light on the tongue and gives a nice, tart pluck to the tongue from first sip to last. One of those beers that would go well before a meal with appetizers as well as after dinner as a digestif. Very difficult to pick up on the 9% ABV – Makes it dangerous in the 750 ml size.
I’m looking forward to the rest of the Barrel Room Collection from Sam Adams. Just so cool to see Sam breaking out of their commercial role and grabbing the attention of us true beer geeks. I’m giving this one 3.5 hops. I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up another.