- Chinon00 Feb 21, 2011 04:47 PM
So the wife and I had a pretty eventful and exciting weekend of sour beer tasting. We enjoyed the following:
1) Petrus Aged Pale Ale
2) Boon Oude Geuze
3) Monk's Flemish Sour Ale
4) Russian River Temptation
5) BFM Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien
1 and 2 were the most Brut Champagne like with some yeast and bone dry. 3 was vinegary and cola like with white peppercorns. 5 was similar to 3 with more charm and restraint depite being 11% abv. Our favorite was 4 the Russian River Temptation. Stupendous nose with similar taste. Subtle use of oak. A real gem.
So what's you favorite sour right now?
I went through the sour phase a few years back, and my favorite was a blend I would make with 75% Cantillon kriek and 25% Lindemann's kriek, or 50/50 with Boon Kriek. The sweeter krieks gave the balance necessary from me to be able to drink it since I have issues with drinks that are too acidic, and the cantillon would contribute those bright refreshing flavors I associate with brett fermentation.
I only drink sour beer now at beerfests when I need to reset my palate. To me its just a novelty.
<returning my beer geek membership card....I don't want it anymore anyway>
Boon Oude Geuze Mariage Parfait. I love that stuff, and I had an aged one that was even better.
No comment on the sours but, am green with envy that your wife shares in your beer tastings. You're a lucky man.
If you liked Temptation, do keep an eye out for Russian River's other sours: Consecration, Sanctification, and Beatification. All are stellar.
You might also like Oud Beersel Gueuze, Girardin Gueuze, and Cantillon Iris - they all have that bone-dry champagne-like quality.
Another good domestic producer is Cascade out of Oregon. Their Apricot and Kriek are both very good.
The wife and I once lucked out on a trip to Vegas. We went to an Indian restaurant about 1/2 mile off the strip, and they had a crazy beer list with numerous Belgian sours, including a 4 year old Cantillon Iris for $15. We had two. They'd obviously been well kept, and when I asked why they had it, the guy said they used to have a beverage guy who ordered "all this crazy beer that nobody ever orders". To me it was easily the best beer/Indian food pairing experience of my life.
I haven't had the Temptation in some time because I cannot get it in NY but I loved it every time I had it.
In NY I really like the Cuvee de Castleton releases by Captain Lawrence. Hard to find but a really nice beer.
Jolly Pumpkin makes a number of good ones, I like Calabaza de Oro and La Roja
Rodenbach Grand Cru is excellent if you can find it.
Cantillon's Gueze is great if you like the style. Their fruit lambics are also excellent, providing some fruit without being too sweet.
Scored some New Glarus Raspberry Tart. Really enjoyed it for fresh fruit taste and mouth watering tartness. Deep complex fruit taste with a little breadiness. White peppercorns come through in the finish. Per the label the berries are spontaneously fermented in large oak vats. Then wheat and year old hallertau hops are "employed". So I'm not sure how this beer is made but it's damn good. MUCH fruitier and sweeter than Flanders Red Ale, Oud Bruin or Gueuze but no where near cloying. Perfectly balanced by the tartness.
1. Petrus Aged Pale
2. Rodenbach Grand Cru
3. Bacchus Oud Bruin
4. Duchesse de Bourgogne
5. Petrus Oud Bruin