From Brouwerij Verhaeghe in Belgium comes their “Duchesse De Bourgogne”a Flanders Red Ale. The beer pours a deep redish brown colour with little to no head. The aroma consists of balsamic vinegar, cherry, dark fruit, some sweetness and maybe a hint of malt. The flavour is of balsamic vinegar, cherry, dark fruits and maybe a hint of toffee sweetness. The alcohol content comes in at 6%. This beer is both tart and sweet and tastes amazing! Small bottle or big bottle I always seem to wish I had more of this beer to enjoy.
Commercial Description: Belgian top-fermented reddish-brown ale, a blend of 8 and 18 months old beers following the careful maturation in oak casks.
From one of my favourite mad scientists James from Storm Brewing in East Vancouver comes his “Glacial Mammoth Extinction”. This is a 30% alcohol flanders red ale that was released for the Alibi Room‘s #500 tap list. This is a beer that is brewed to a high alcohol content and then freeze distilled to remove water and increase alcohol content. A large portion of this beer has now been transferred into barrels for long term aging! The beer was only poured in 1oz tasters as it is meant to be sipped in small amounts more like a fine whiskey than a beer. The beer pours a ruby red colour with a small off white head. The aroma consists of sour and tartness with some cherries, dark fruits and a very mild boozy aroma. The flavour is surprisingly not as big as you would expect but consists of sour and tart notes with cherries, berries, dark fruits, fruit juice and a very mild alcohol warmth. This beer may have an alcohol content at a soaring 30% but it does not taste any more boozy than maybe a 10% alcohol Imperial. This is one of the best crafted sour ales that I have ever had and I look forward to the aged edition in a year or three!
Description from Alibi Room’s #500 Tap List: Holy shit, ready for this?? Storm Brewing “Glacial Mammoth Extinction”. WTF is that? We here your cry. Well, it’s a “freezed distilled sour”. It’s 30% A.B.V.! And will be served 1oz at a time for $5.00 (tell @knightafter if he wants a 20oz sleeve of it, to just let us know. It will probably shut him up… forever)
From Hood River Oregon’s Logsdon Farmhouse Ales comes their “Far West Vlaming” a Flanders Red Ale. The ale pours a orange/amber colour with a tan head. The aroma was of fruity tartness, yeasty funk and some malts. The flavour was of tartness and tannins up front with oak, mild fruits, funky yest, mild vinegar and some mild red wine. This beer was still pretty young and could have used some aging to mellow and build flavours but it was still really good. The alcohol content comes in at 6.5%.
Commercial Description: This red ale is brewed in traditional West Flanders style. A combination of light, crystal, and dark barley malt, wheat, and oats are brewed with local whole-cone hops and variety of select yeast and lactic bacteria. We age our red ale in oak barrels for a periodof time to develop complex richness, soft tannins, and fruity tart character.The ages beer is then blended with young beer to create the desired balance of malt sweetness with a dry finish.
From Victoria BC’s Driftwood Brewing comes the “Bird Of Prey” a re-release of Driftwood’s first every Sour Ale a Flanders Red Ale. The original release came out in November 2011 and started their Bird Of Prey series of Sour Ales. This version was released in February 2014. This Flanders Red Ale pours a deep amber/red with an off white head. The aroma consists of sweetness, sour cherries, fruits, oak and mild funkiness. The flavour is of grape must, sour cherries, oak, tannins, candies, mild funky sourness. The beer comes in at an alcohol content of 7.5%. I think this beer will be amazing in a year or two with aging. Currently the flavours a muted and a bit muddled much like many very young sours. I have 5 bottles of this beer put away so I will keep everyone up to date on how this beer ages. I recommend picking up a few bottles and aging them.
Commercial Description: The return of the original Bird of Prey from Driftwood Brewery’s Wild Ale series, this sour ale was inspired by a Coopers Hawk that took residence in the brewery for 24 hours in November 2011. Brewed in its honour, this very unique sour beer has been conditioned in a mix of American and French oak wine barrels for a year, creating a dry, sour & funky profile that will continue to evolve in the bottle for a very long time.
From Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales out of Dexter, Michigan USA comes the “La Roja Artisan Amber Ale” a sour amber brewed in the Flanders tradition. The beer pours a cloudy redish brown with an off white head. The aroma consists of an obvious funk from the Flanders style as well as sweet fruits and some oak. The flavour is of a small puckering sour funk with oak, fruits, caramel and some hops bitterness to finish it off. This beer is a blend of batches of this beer which have been aged for a 2 to ten months. This bottle was from Blend 13 bottled on 5-24-2013. The alcohol content of this amber is 7.2%. This is a great sour and I look forward to making friends with one or more bottles of this great brew in the future.
Commercial Description: La Roja – An artisan amber ale brewed in the Flanders tradition. Deep amber with earthy caramel, spice, and sour fruit notes developed through natural barrel aging. Unfiltered, unpasteurized and blended from barrels ranging in age from two to ten months.