Sometimes the timing of a tasting gets away from me. I posted about the raspberry-rum half on this “Double Barrel” sour brown back in 2013; now finally getting around to the half that was aged in a Balcones Single Malt Whisky barrel and then on homegrown sour cherries from Audrey’s parents!
Whisky-Cherry Sour Brown
Appearance – Glowing fire-red when back-lit! Pristine clarity. Head retention is exceptional for an aged-out sour beer.
Smell – Hints of cherry-cola. Some mild age-perfume, but otherwise unharmed by the ravages of time. Subdued Brett-funk, more towards the Cascade Brewing model (as was the bourbon barrel that the culture came from).
Taste – Cherry has aged nicely: skins, pits, dried fruit, really concentrated. The malic acid from all those cherries certainly adds acidic sharpness on the front of the tongue compared to straight lactic. Just a hint of acetic, despite the four months in a five-gallon barrel (with its high surface-to-volume ratio). Graham cracker maltiness is subdued, but present. Slight buttery oak-coconut in the finish. Dry, but with a suggestion of malty-sweetness left to carry the big/dark flavors.
Mouthfeel – Medium-thin body, medium-low carbonation. About what I hope for in a dark sour, nothing to detract from the richness.
Drinkability & Notes – One of the best cherry beer I’ve brewed! I often find this most-singular fruit dominates pale beers, so I tend to prefer it against a maltier red or brown backdrop. The barrel adds nice complementary flavors without being too out-in-front. I’ll have to get around to tasting the fruit-less versions of these two soon…