Brewery: Spoetzl Brewery (Shiner)
Style: Blonde Ale (18A)
Package: 12oz Can
Purchased: HEB Tech Ridge, October, 2018
Best By: 01/26/19
Consumed Date: 10/29/2018
Details from the Brewer
Brewed in collaboration with Sour Duck Market Odd Duck using their sourdough yeast, Carlita. Then blended with their mixed culture saisons from their 15-barrel Foeder & barrels with apricots & raspberries
Aroma – 10/12
A sharp berry note hits the nose first. This is intermingled with a sour aroma, almost cherry-like. Some lighter spicy phenols are present, with a touch of barnyard brett character. As it warms, a low bread crust element comes out. Some vanilla notes as well. At room temp, I get an almost farty aroma, that you find in some lambic.
Appearance – 2/3
Pours a deep gold almost approaching amber, with a subtle red hue. Clarity is good, but some haze. Very small, white bubbles almost jump out of the glass, and form a thin white layer. Head retention is below average, but carbonation forces it to persist.
Flavor – 13/20
Strawberry, cherry flavors hit with a quick sharpness. These are at a medium level, and intermingle with lower grainy and bread crust flavor. This is quickly joined by an intense earthy funk in the mid palate. A moderate acidity is present. While the berries notes provide a perception of sweetness, the beer really dries out as the finish approaches. A low bitterness appears, and an intense oak character overwhelms. The oak character hangs around for a few seconds along with a touch of berry on the finish.
Mouthfeel – 3/5
Very highly carbonated. This beer sharply prickles all around the mouth with energetic bubbles. Medium bodied. The oak character brings with it a moderate astringency that dries the cheeks.
Overall Impression – 7/10
This mixed culture Saison brings with it a lot of complex flavors. As a wild specialty beer, it does a great job intermingling the fruit character with yeast/bacteria profile, but leaves some room for improvement. The oak note is a bit overpowering, even though it pops in at the end of the taste. If that were to be toned down a bit, it would just blend so much better with the other elements, and be a lot more drinkable.
Rating – 35/50
This is one of the most wood forward beers I’ve had this year. I’m guessing the fouder beer blended into this were from some fresh vessels. While I really use to like beers with a punch you in the face intensity, I’ve grown to prefer those with a more delicate touch and blending of flavors. I’m really interested to try more of the Volumes series coming out of H&G now that their barrel aging property has matured. I was a big fan of the Coffee one found at this year’s Partners in Craft event.