Thursday, December 17, 2015

2015 Advent Beer 17: Sour Ale with Cherries

I approached today's beer with a certain amount of trepidation. In the past when I have encountered less-than-enjoyable beers from this calendar, they have either been sour (intentionally or not), or contained cherries. This is deeply ironic, as I otherwise really enjoy sour things as well as cherries! And it is not as though I am opposed to tart, fruity beers, such as a raspberry lambic or a grapefruit hefeweizen, so it is not as though I have a timid palate, either.

Today's beer is a Sour Ale with Cherries, from a brewery I am not familiar with: Black Market Brewing out of Temecula, CA. A co-worker dealing with the #cbacboxfail got this one out of sequence last week, and wasn't even able to finish it. Now, we have disparate tastes when it comes to beers in some instances, so it is not a foregone conclusion that I will not like this beer, so I am trying to approach it with an open mind.

Esthetically at least, this beer has a lot to offer. Not only does it come in a striking and boldly coloured can, but it presents in the glass as a marvellous reddish-amber, crowned with delicate white foam, tinged with rosy pink.

Some tentative sniffs bring up some cherry, but also tangy yeasts that tighten up the tension crosswise along the very back of my tongue. With some apprehension, I take my first sip.

It doesn't go well,honestly. The cherry taste is there, and tart rather than sweet, which only makes sense,but it is overpowered by a somewhat intense, almost vinegary sour taste. But that was the first taste. Having braced myself for it, subsequent sips became quite a bit more bearable. Although it lacks the crispness and freshness of a hop-heavy ale, it seems to share some characteristics with an extra-strong Double IPA, and on a hot day, I could concede a scenario where this beer might be really enjoyable.

Unfortunately, Black Market's Sour Ale with Cherries doesn't intrigue me enough to want to come back when hotter weather returns, but it remains an interesting experiment.

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