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Favorite Sour

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?

  1. Josh Feb 21, 2011 06:07 PM

    Great list.

    Recently cracked an '08 Dissident I put down for aging, it was delicious.

    I really like Jolly Pumpkin's Oro De Calabaza. Excellent sour with strong grapefruit component.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Josh
      JRSD Feb 24, 2011 05:50 PM

      Did you try the latest batch of Dissident to compare? I was only able to get 1 bottle and had not heard great things about it so am trying to decide whether to cellar it.

      1. re: JRSD
        Josh Feb 24, 2011 09:11 PM

        I heard the same, and Hamiltons is charging the proverbial arm+leg for it so I haven't tried it.

        1. re: Josh
          JRSD Feb 27, 2011 04:00 PM

          They have it at Toronado as well but not sure of the price.

    2. l
      LStaff Feb 22, 2011 07:37 AM

      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>

      2 Replies
      1. re: LStaff
        J.Dish Feb 22, 2011 08:47 AM

        Pretty new to the sours. I had the Flemish, it was my first, and I thought it was pretty mild.

        Drank one at a tasting that was Rose coloured. It was tasty. I look forward to putting down some sours this summer when I'm not drinking IPA.

        1. re: LStaff
          Chinon00 Feb 22, 2011 08:51 AM

          "I only drink sour beer now at beerfests when I need to reset my palate. To me its just a novelty."

          The ones from Belgium are a novelty too?

        2. s
          Shaggy Feb 22, 2011 08:51 AM

          Boon Oude Geuze Mariage Parfait. I love that stuff, and I had an aged one that was even better.

          1. c
            chimay5 Feb 22, 2011 12:00 PM

            Can't forget Rodenbach Grand Cru. When Alexander was available it was a treat too.

            1. JAB Feb 22, 2011 12:55 PM

              No comment on the sours but, am green with envy that your wife shares in your beer tastings. You're a lucky man.

              1. Josh Feb 22, 2011 02:09 PM

                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.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Josh
                  pushslice Mar 7, 2011 08:20 PM

                  as good as Cons., Sanc. are, IMO RRB's Supplication seemingly hits it completely out of the park (to the deepest part of center field, no less) with its superb mix of barrel aging, color, and of course making my tastebuds dance.

                2. Chinon00 Feb 22, 2011 06:33 PM

                  And is there a food friendlier subset of beers than sours? It's almost like they are made for dining.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Chinon00
                    Josh Feb 22, 2011 09:24 PM

                    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.

                    1. re: Josh
                      Tripeler Feb 22, 2011 11:05 PM

                      Here in Tokyo a restaurant serving Burmese food used to stock the Forbidden Fruit beer from Hoegaarden, which went really well with their cuisine. Sadly, they closed a few years ago.

                      1. re: Tripeler
                        Josh Feb 23, 2011 10:02 AM

                        Not familiar with that beer. Sounds intriguing, but never seen it in the US.

                        1. re: Josh
                          Jim Dorsch Feb 23, 2011 10:30 AM

                          Forbidden Fruit was sold in the US a long time ago, but withdrawn. I tried is subsequently on a visit to Hoegaarden, but don't know if they still make it.

                  2. b
                    burntwater Feb 24, 2011 03:22 PM

                    One of my all around favorites is Ithaca Brute.

                    1. j
                      JRSD Feb 24, 2011 05:52 PM

                      Red Poppy from Lost Abbey just came out a week or two ago and is generally one of my favorite sours. I would definitely not classify it as dry or like Champagne, though.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: JRSD
                        Whisper Feb 24, 2011 07:25 PM

                        Girardin Gueuze 1882 black label, Fantome Saison, Cantillon Gueuze and Russian River Supplication are among my favorites

                      2. MVNYC Feb 25, 2011 10:37 AM

                        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.

                        1. Chinon00 Feb 27, 2011 07:06 PM

                          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.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Chinon00
                            Josh Feb 28, 2011 09:51 AM

                            I've heard from a reliable beer geek that both the Raspberry Tart and the Belgian Red Cherry age very well. He said they lose some of the intense sweetness and the sourness becomes more pronounced.

                            1. re: Josh
                              cwdonald Feb 28, 2011 10:34 AM

                              panil "barriquee" - an italian sour red ale - triple fermented...The italians are doing some crazy stuff. Scored a bottle of this from Capone's bottle shop. It is amazing.

                              That said.. Russian River temptation, and Monks Flemish Red are both consistently drinkable beers.

                              1. re: cwdonald
                                californiabeerandpizza Mar 3, 2011 12:28 PM

                                On any given day Duchesse de Bourgogne is my favorite beer on the planet.

                          2. dandyessex Mar 7, 2011 05:20 PM

                            1. Petrus Aged Pale
                            2. Rodenbach Grand Cru
                            3. Bacchus Oud Bruin
                            4. Duchesse de Bourgogne
                            5. Petrus Oud Bruin

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