This past Monday, I had to go back up to Mayo Clinic to see my cardiologist. the good news is that my heart is back to a normal size and I can start to ween off the medications (over the next couple years). The bad news is that he’s concerned about my weight gain and cholesterol. Admittedly, I’ve not been good about eating well this past year. He recommended I start dieting immediately, so I did. I’ve been very good this week, so I decided to reward myself with a good beer tonight. I enjoy raspberry beers and this one sounded great a couple years ago when I bought it. I figured it would only get better by xaging in the beer fridge the last couple years. It says it was bottled on June 18, 2013. The bottle also says it’s an “ale brewed with raspberries and aged in wine barrels.”
Location: Poured from the 750ml bottle into a TEKU glass at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 8.2% ABV, ~300 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s dark cherry red in color, almost brick-red, and a bit hazy. There’s a lot of fizzy carbonation in it, like a sparkling wine, so there’s no head whatsoever. The aroma is a bold raspberry sour funkiness.
Taste & Feel: The body is full and the mouthfeel is sparkly-crisp from the carbonation. The tingly tartness lit up my tongue right away, which was overtaken by a lot of raspberry acidity in the middle. The finish is extremely tart raspberry, sour and dry, like wine with some dry white wine flavors. The aftertaste is like a dry white wine acidity with some funkiness and raspberry sourness in the background.
Food Pairing: It’s definitely flavorful enough to drink it as a dessert beer by itself, but you could also go with a spinach strawberry salad to compliment it. For a contrast, I’d go with a sweet, thick, moist fudge brownie to stand up to the bold, dry sourness.
Overall Impression: It’s almost overwhelming at first… So tart, sour and dry. But then your palate adjusts and appreciates the complexity and uniqueness of this beer that’s more like a wine in many ways. I think I probably would have enjoyed this more when it was younger, as the sour and tartness probably grew over time. However, it was still a very interesting beer that I’m definitely going to get again.