With all the craziness circling around the DraftKings crash this past Sunday, it reminded me that chaos happens sometimes and we have to be able to roll with the punches and adapt to the world around us. So this week I decided to do a random blind pull of brews from the cellar for review. The only thing these three beers have in common are that they were in my barroom about four hours ago and now they are about to enter my belly.
To achieve the random selection I cleared a path to the cellar cabinet (I have a bunch of stock to put away on the floor right now). Once within arms’ reach I put on a sleeping blinder and grabbed one bottle at a time setting them on top of one of the boxes on the floor. After selecting two from the cabinet, I selected one of the boxes on the floor and randomly chose to take the bottle closest to the barroom door.
I’m glad to say even in random chaos I can count on beer to keep me even keeled.
The Dissenter from Founders Brewing Company out of Grand Rapids, MI.
Served: Served from a bomber bottle, at about 45 degrees into a goblet.
Appearance: Light, clear gold with a sizeable foamy white head.
Smell: Peppery and resinous with a fair amount of citrus rind (think grapefruit or tangelo).
Taste: Lots of grapefruit and orange citrus resonate in the taste as well. Plus this beer definitely has the alcohol present in the flavor and I can really taste the lighter malt something you normally don’t get to fully experience in IPAs.
Mouth feel: This is fairly heavy for a beer this light in color. The pale malt is the only flavor left present long after the bitterness has resided.
Overall: I’ve had several IPLs that were either too much hop bombs or too sweet. As usual, Founders hit the homerun here. This beer delivers a balance that is hop-forward up front with a clean slightly-malty finish. My only concern is this is a bit boozy and at a bit less than 9% it may be too easy drinking for our own good.
Ryan and the Gosling produced as collaboration between Evil Twin Brewing Company and Crooked Stave Artisan Project by Westbrook Brewing Company out of Mount Pleasant, SC.
Served: Served from the bomber bottle, at a little above refrigerator temperature into a goblet.
Appearance: Extremely cloudy gold color with a finger-width head of white bubbles that receded slowly. It left behind a fine lacing.
Smell: Tart apricot, green apple, and golden wheat. There is definitely funk present in the aroma but it doesn’t smell sour like I would’ve expected in a bretted pale ale.
Taste: This reminds me a lot of a dry apple cider meets a Berliner weisse with a little orange juice blended in. It is very dry, slightly grassy, slightly bready beer almost in Gose territory. It is nowhere near as tart as I would’ve expected by the aroma but that isn’t always a bad thing.
Mouth feel: This is a session brett pale ale. It feels heavy in your mouth but it isn’t. Kind of like the feeling of chewing bubble gum for several hours after it has lost its bubble gum flavor.
Overall: I really liked it but the nose and the presence of the Crooked Stave logo promised so much more in terms of sourness. I feel like there are so many more Gose beers on the market that are cheaper and easier to find. If nothing else it has one of the greatest names for a brew ever – I wonder if they got Ryan Gosling’s approval first?
Black Forest Cherry from August Schell Brewing Company out of New Ulm, MN.
Served: Served from a corked bottle at a little warmer than refrigerator temperature into a goblet.
Appearance: Slightly cloudy rosé pour with a small amount of white foam head that completely receded instantly.
Smell: Nestles’ Quik chocolate powder, tart cherry, and funk glorious funk with a fair amount of mustiness.
Taste: This literally tastes like sour chocolate covered cherries. That is what they are selling and that is what they are delivering. It’s a lot like drinking a chocolate cherry yogurt where you can taste the yogurt cultures and how they have tarted the concoction over time.
Mouth feel: This has a light body and finishes clean. The only flavor that lingers is the slight hint of chocolate in my nose.
Overall: Obviously in a blind selection I never expected to pull two sour beers. That is what chaos brings us. Was it random? Was it fate? Who really knows? Needless to say this was one of the best beers I have had all year and without a doubt one of the best sours I’ve ever had. I’m super stoked that I have one more still aging. I think next time I will chill it a bit more and see how that alters the taste.