New 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
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 😉