Guided Tasting: Fruit Sours | Tasting Notes
Blog Post Six | April 30th 2018 | Rachel Heaton
Fruit Sour Tasting Notes
Thanks to everyone who came to the Fruit Sours Guided Tasting last week, but for everyone who couldn’t make it: here’s a brief description of what we had. We tried five beers from Council Brewing Company. This small San Diego based brewery is headed by a wife and husband team and focusses on strong flavours the wild and wonderful Belgian styles. Four of the beers were from the Beatitude series – taking its name from the French for ‘bliss’, these were a group of sour Saisons with fruit – and we also had a lovely dark oak-aged raspberry dark sour.
Beatitude Prickly Pear
I don’t know what an actual prickly pear tastes like (seriously, have a google – they look pretty cool), but I’m reliably told that they taste a bit like pineapple. This beer has a lovely sweet fruitiness that really compliments the super sour, slightly butyric-sicky notes. It has a really dry finish, similar to the drying effect that pineapple acid has on the tongue.
The Brettanomyces yeast in this beer had obviously really loved the apricot sugars because not a lot of the fruit flavour remained. Instead, this is a lovely brett and lactobacillus forward beer. It’s worth noting that all the bottles we tried had been aged for two years and I’d expect younger iterations to be less brett-heavy, sweeter and more fruity.
This was my personal favourite, mainly because it is so unusual. The guava flavour is really prominent: it tastes like a tropical fruit salad. The base beer is the same in all of the Tart Saisons and it was incredibly interesting to try them side by side because the brett had affected the different fruits in wildly different ways: some of the fruit sugars had been almost completely eaten up by the yeast, but in this one the beer remained incredibly sweet and fruity.
With lovely sweet almondy cherry-stone flavours, this was the beer that I feel shows off the dough-like flavour of the malt (this is achieved by Council’s no-boil method). This was the most popular Beatitude beer amongst the tasting group.
Broken Wand American Dark Sour Ale Oak Foeder-Aged With Raspberries
This beautiful dark ale is full of tart, fruity raspberry flavour, which goes so well with the bitter chocolate malt and the balsamic-sourness, and the oak gaining lends a subtle hint of vanilla.
If you’d like to try any of the beers, we have these (and a few more) Council Beers in Café Beermoth and Beermoth shop. And if you’re interested in trying more sour beers, we’re starting a Bottle Club – the first session is on the 9th and we will be drinking lots of awesome American Wild beers, so see you there!