Quick Take: I’ve never had a beer that marries an aroma and taste so perfectly like Drei Fonteinen’s Oude Gueuze. Amazing follow through creates a near perfect sour/barnyard Gueuze that goes to the precipice of excess and lets your taste buds dance along the cliff edge. This is my current sour benchmark and the absolute pinnacle of sours for me, even over Cantillon.
After that butt-kicking that was the Untappening, I took it a little easier this past week. Or so I planned. I had a pretty big beer on Wednesday (full review coming up soonish) and a beer-filled and rather painful football Sunday (being a Philly sports fan, I’m used to it). Thankfully, the sting of loss was soothed by the salve of new to the area big beers and a couple long journeyers via Kentucky and Maine. Big thanks to all the sharers for kindly including me on the pours. Here’s the most noteworthy of last week:
Avery – Tweak
Location: DBR Manor
Style: Imperial Stout
Original Comment: Bourbon, coffee, malty RIS aroma. Syrupy, medicinal body/finish. Sweet, heavy malt and mild coffee, choco, char. Needs age
Additional Comment: Booze and syrupy thick malt dominates Tweak, weighing heavily on the delicate touch of char, coffee and tobacco. Usually, I don’t consider those flavors to be delicate, but the medicinal alcohol is such a bruiser that everything else is dainty in comparison. I like the base beer, Mephistopheles, and the additions make it even better, but the bump up in alcohol makes this tough to drink young. This has potential to be aged into perfection, backing off the heat and blending into a luxurious coffee RIS with bourbon, deep, dark sweet malts and char. It’s a theory I plan on testing. As it stands, the balance is so firmly slammed down on the boozy heat side that the small pour I had is enjoyable, but enough.
Well, it finally happened.The day I anticipate in a continual 364 day loop, that most wonderful of beer days, Black Friday, has come and gone and I think we took full advantage of its bounty. In the past, this meant waking up at the crack of 9 and sheepishly making our way to Capone’s in Norristown for a solid 6 hours of drinking in an atmosphere that can best be described as a bar from a bowling alley crashed into a 70’s diner and someone hung up Vaseline smeared TVs from the 80’s. I wouldn’t want it any other way. Not that I see much else beyond the beer list, looking to see what’s kicked and trying to anticipate what’ll kick next as I order 4 or 5 beers at a time. Yes, Black Friday is Capone’s day for me. Except for this year…
A detour to find the highly-coveted Bourbon county Vanilla Rye (we failed) eventually took us to Teresa’s Next Door Black Friday Sour Event and to indulge that artisanal siren call that is Tired Hands before ultimately arriving at the threshold to Capone’s. We were successful in getting a 4pk of BCBS, a bottle of Avery’s Tweak, and 2 bottles of Abyss. Not too shabby. Here are the best of the best from a full day of rare beer drinking and Untappening (20+). The Tired Hands beers will be coming in a separate piece as a follow up to my original brewery visit.
Cantillon – Fou’ Foune
Location: Teresa’s Next Door
Original Comment: Metallic, tropical, lemon/ orange acidic, slight dank yeast aroma, Salty/sour sting front, tongue raking mineral, dry, biscuity fin. Good
Additional Comment: The final part of my original comment that I didn’t have room for is “…but not great.” I don’t always understand the hype behind many of Cantillon’s offerings. They are typically good but no better than any other expertly crafted sour I’ve had. This is the first where I feel like I had a fleeting glimpse of something special even if the overall experience didn’t wow me. I will admit that knowing Fou’ Foune is the highest rated sour on Beer Advocate (#14 as of this publishing) brought some expectations with it. I think a blind taste test could yield interesting results, but I don’t have the bank account nor the resource to make that happen. Glad I had it and definitely a tasty sour, but in the future I’ll probably pass over it for something new.
Episode 15 of Drew’s Brews Reviews is here! The beer review show you never knew you wanted and no one needs. I take it easy with Westbrook’s drinkable Gose after a long break from the world of video beer reviewing. I took some time off to develop written content on my Web site, so I was gone a bit longer than I wanted. But I’m back and ready to man up with a sour beer from those mavericks of South Carolina. My face didn’t quite implode in on itself to create a black hole singularity, but the salt and sour makes for one hell of a puckering beer.
This is a highlight of beers I’ve Untappd (drewsbrewsreviews) over the past week at bars and friends houses where I wasn’t able to do a full write up. I had a lot to choose from this week as I got to try a whole bushel of good beers. A bushel I tell you!
Westbrook – Gozu
Location: Friend’s Apartment
Style: Gose (with yuzu juice)
Original Comment: Mandarin, floral, coriander, wheat aroma, acidic, salty, tart-gasmicly intense, bright vinous citrus. Acid bath. Woo! My tongue is crying
Additional Thoughts: Some great flavors here, but an incredibly intense tart bomb the sucks the saliva from your mouth. I’m not a big fan of acidic, tart drinks, alcoholic or not, so this could bump up a full point if you enjoy that taste sensation. Much thanks to Elisha for the opportunity to try this.