Here is a tasting of just one of those fun small-batch projects I have sitting around my basement waiting for me to post notes. This batch started life as an experimental buckwheat amber, soured with Jolly Pumpkin dregs and aged on rum-soaked American oak. On a big blending/bottling day I racked a gallon of the batch onto frozen/defrosted sour cherries where it sat for a couple months. Nothing too crazy, I say with a straight face.
Buckwheat Sour Cherry Amber
Appearance – Pigeon blood ruby. It is darker than many cherry beers, but brilliantly clear. Stunning really. The head retention is mediocre at best, sinking to a white wispy covering after a few minutes.
Smell – Prominent fresh cherries with a hint of basement mustiness. Some bread, and as it warms, sweet-vanilla from the oak. The nose is sweeter than I expected.
Taste – It possesses a nice mix of fruit and funk and a pleasant acidity. Not as sharp as many of my sours, both in terms of less acid and slightly more residual sweetness. Lingering fresh pie cherries into the finish. Not a super-complex sour beer, but the flavor is very pleasant.
Mouthfeel – Lightly tannic, not overly thin. Medium-low carbonation. Not sure if the buckwheat helped with the body or not, but it certainly didn’t hurt.
Drinkability & Notes – This is a solid sour-cherry amber. I really like the vanillin-rich American oak with the cherries. No off flavors, but the Brett/fermentation doesn’t shine either. This should age well, sadly with the small batch size I’m down to my last bottle.