This sour beer started life two and a half years ago as a five gallon batch, that was back before I bought a house, shortly after I met Audrey (and right after she stopped talking to me for a year). Two years ago it went into a red wine barrel with 55 gallons of beer brewed by my friends (two of whom have since moved away). A year ago we racked the beer out of the barrel, with four gallons of my share going onto two pounds of local sour cherries. Six months ago I bottled it.
A lot of time and effort has gone into making this liquid, makes for a contemplative beverage.
Sour Cherry Flanders Red
Appearance – Clear reddish brown. Thin off-white head, good retention despite the age and hard work of the bacteria and wild yeast.
Smell – Dried sour cherries, hints of balsamic vinegar, and maybe some aspirin. Mouthwatering, or should I say saliva inducing (like smelling a grapefruit).
Taste – The first sip is electric, bright acidity, sharp cherry funk. I can feel the acid on my lips, the roof of my mouth, and all over my tongue. The finish is nicely malty, with just a touch of acetic acid. The cherries are juicy and at just the right level, playing with the malt and Brett funk, but not obscuring them. Not much sweetness remains, but it isn't completely dry.
Mouthfeel – Medium-low carbonation on a moderate body. Any more carbon dioxide and this one could have been too thin/harsh, but it is fine as is.
Drinkability & Notes – Certainly one of the better sours I've had a hand in making, not much I would change about it. The aggressiveness reminds me of my first bottle of Cantillon six years ago (a 375 ml of Rosé De Gambrinus that took me about two hours to finish), my taste buds have gotten more accustomed to the acid since then. I'm glad I've still got about a case of this left in the basement.