Good Monday to you faithful readers! Today we have a very special beer, and no I’m not sick of saying that yet. As I sit down to review this beautiful brew, I do so with a genuine smile. For this brew is a collaboration between the well-known Sierra Nevada brewery, and the well-known-to-beer-nerds Russian River. This brew stood out when I saw it there smiling at me from the cooler, and it is in fact a sour beer! Proudly professing it’s use of Brett on the label, it begs to be tasted. I haven’t had any sour beers from Russian River (can’t get them without trading I’m afraid) and I don’t even know of a Sierra Nevada sour in existence. Well, were not here to talk about history, were here to talk about beer, so let’s get on with this pony show.
Ohh, she wears a very nice golden color, almost a bit sunshiny like Pliny but not quite as exuberant. And though she does leave a decent amount of head for your pleasure, the pleasure is short-lived and dissipates rapidly. What’s interesting however, is the excessive energy I’m seeing in this brew’s carbonation. Like an overpowered fish tank aeration stone, the bubbles come fast and don’t stop. This beer screams effervescence to say the least. Let’s see if the smell matches this emotion!
Ohhh yeah, tartness where have you been all my life? Truly the smell is a delight for fellow sour-lovers. The tart is up front and center, just where she should be. Playing a supporting, but equally important role, is a crisp apple and perhaps a bit of peach aroma. And then it’s lovingly finished off by the farmhouse sweetness you get from oh- so-many good saisons. This promises one balanced brew, let’s see if she makes good on that promise shall we?
Hmmm, she does for the most part, but perhaps she’s leaning a bit towards sweetness over tartness. I knew she was a big sweetie pie the moment I saw her eyeing me in the store. Now, I must say, the store clerk did inform me
that I should wait a bit to drink this beauty. Well of course it’s the first one I pop open, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Ah…the joys of unwrapping presents early! Let’s walk down this unwrapping one ribbon at a time.
First, as it should be, you get hit with a slight bit of tartness. It’s quickly supported by Lady Sweetness, who somewhat overshadows our lil’ Miss Tart in this broadway production. Chalk it up to her powerful performance, renowned across the land. But not to be outdone so easily, our Little Miss Tartness shines through mid-swallow with a nice sun beam of flavor, accompanied by a bit of a bite. The memory of this grandiose production is largely sweet and tart, but again Lady Sweetness shows her prowess by leaving a stronger imprint.
The body of this bodacious beauty is the perfect stage to support these complex roles. It’s a rich, incredibly bubbly stage, and all this activity allows the flavors to truly battle each other. Like some kind of anime with fighting bubbles, what was that called again? Bubblemon? Regardless, it’s a damn fine body for a damn fine beer.
Overall this is a pretty subtle sour, but a great beer regardless. It may be a bit on the sweeter side, but not so much that it’s overwhelming. The tartness, subtle as it is, is enough to balance this brew. If your just getting into sours try this baby out… or if you’ve never had a sour this is a good place to start for sure.
Until next beer this is Brian G. signing out!