Townsite Lil’ Red 3.0 Sour Red Ale

townsite_lil-red-3Brewer: Townsite Brewing, Powell River, BC
Style: Sour Red Ale
ABV: 6%
IBUs: 20

Description: “A Belgian ale made with candi sugar and bottle conditioned with Brettanomyces Bruxellensis.This year Cédric and team decided to bring this punchy red ale to the next level. Brettanomyces Bruxellensis was added to the bottles for natural carbonation. Which means there are 2 versions of this beer this year. The bottle and the keg will be different, one a sweet and tangy refresher and one with a layer of horse blanket funk.”

Tasting Notes: This year’s Lil’ Red is just as charming as last year’s. And it was once again a nice addition to a season of sours that have been too damn vinegary! The combination of red malts, candi sugar and brettanomyces creates a beer that has notes of tart fruit, a hint of sweetness, and some serious yeasty effervescence.

Advertisements

Fuggles and Warlock Rei Boysenberry Sour

fuggleswarlock_reiBrewer: Fuggles and Warlock Craftworks, Richmond, BC
Style: Kettle Sour
ABV: 6.5%
IBUs: 7

Description: True to form for F&G, this limited-release beer is a rather interesting combination of styles and tastes. It combines wheat and barley malts, which are then brewed in the Kettle Sour fashion to create a mild sour ale that is then fortified with boysenberries to become especially tart and refreshing.

Tasting Notes: This is my first review for Fuggles and Warlock, though not the first beer I’ve tried by them. And this beer was a nice departure from some of the more overpowering sours I’ve tried lately. The malts makes for a smooth and refreshing base, while the wild yeast and boysenberry add up to a tart finish that is tart and fruity without being overpowering. Like sour lemonade, its good at slaking thirst!

Appearance: Rudy-pink, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Gentle wheat malts, wild yeast, tart, acidic fruit
Taste: Smooth malts, tart fruit, lactic acid, yeasty effervescence
Aftertaste: Lingering tart fruit, smooth malts, quite refreshing
Overall: 8/10

Driftwood Latus 2016 Sour Ale

Driftwood_LatusBrewer: Driftwood Brewing, Victoria, BC
Style: Flanders Red
ABV: 6.8%
IBUs: Unlisted

Description: Latus is Driftwood’s latest relaunch, this time of the beer that launched their Bird of Prey series. Superior Pilsen, Cara 33, Cara 120, Cara Pils, Aromatic Malts, and is then bittered using Hersbrucker Hallertauer hops. And of course, this is then fermented using wild lactobacillus yeast and aged in American and French oak barrels for a year.

Tasting Notes: This was my favorite of the Bird of Prey of series. It is also the beer that started my love affair with sours, which has turned a bit (ahem!) sour of late. So I was quite pleased to see they brought it back. Much like its original incantation, this beer packs a lot of sour cherry, plums and apricot flavor into the mix, as well as a discernible oaky flavor that is reminiscent of a robust red wine. It was a bit lighter than I remember (and possibly lower in alcohol content), but still very appetizing!

Appearance: Deep crimson/brown, opaque, good foam retention and carbonation 
Nose: Rich malt, yeast sour cherries, orchard fruit, oak and red wine tannin
Taste: Sour fruit, cherries, plums, apricots, yeasty effervescence, oak and red wine flavor
Aftertaste: Lingering tartness and sour fruit flavor, yeasty spice
Overall: 9/10

Le Terroir Wet Hopped Sour Ale

LeTerroir_lNew Belgium Brewing has been on my radar ever since my brother-in-law introduced me to their Fat Tire Amber Ale. Years later, I find myself struggling to get my hands on the many, many beers in both their regular lineup and their seasonal releases. Lucky for me, their Le Terroir just happened to be available in my locality, and just in time for my birthday beer collection! And since I’m becoming such a fan of sours, it seemed like the perfect thing to mark the occasion!

The term Terroir means “of the territory”, a French term that is often used to describe wines by region. However, this term is just as applicable to beer, seeing as how Belgium is so renowned for regional styles. Consistent with a sour, this beer is made using wild yeast strains that cause lactic acid to accumulate, and then age it in oak barrels for three years. The end result of all this is a beer that is delightfully tart, fruity, and quite earthy. It is also wet-hopped using Amarillo and Citra varieties, resulting in a nice herbal infusion on top of the general sourness.

Appearance: Golden orange, slightly cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Notes of peach, passion fruit, sour cherry, oak, apricots
Taste: Burst of sour cherry and dried fruits, oaky, earthy undertones, hint of bitterness
Aftertaste: Lingering sourness giving way to dry herbs
Overall: 10/10

Another brilliant sour! It’s really too bad I didn’t get to try this beer last year, as it would be the perfect addition to my Best Beers of 2013 list. Oh well, there’s always next year I guess 😉