I received this bottle from the RIBCO beer fest in Rock Island, IL. I ventured out there representing New Holland, as this was the first beer fest I ever attended. And to think, I've come quite a ways. Anyway, I brought this back and tasted it with Dan and Eamon during a late0shift brew of Cabin Fever. I'm still in the process of tasting as many sours as I can to get an understanding of the direction I want to take our Blue Sunday Sour 2013.
Aroma: At first, the beer stings the nostrils with its tart, extremely sour fruit essance. Gradually, however more of a astringent bacteria laddened scent permeates, representative of both brett funk and lactobacillus. Oak shows up as a complimentary factor here as well. As it warms, I get a faint scent from crystal malt?
Taste: The taste buds are immediately seared with the unforgiving tartness that makes up this beer. As the palate adjusts to such a potent flavor, one can easily draw out under-ripe tart cherries (I'm talking, literally, as sour as it gets), in conjunction with similar plum skin and even a cidery foretaste. The end, nevertheless leads to a different conclusion, complete with bacterial tart byproducts. Man, this is a smack to the tongue...and jaw too. The palatable tartness gives character to an overall acidic beer.
Mouthfeel: Carbonation is on the higher side than what I've experienced, thus far - I'm still novice when it comes to sours. Fuller feeling in the front, but thins out as carbonation takes hold and the dry sourness quenches the palate in an overtly dry, crisp texture. Some cloy at the roof of the mouth, but nearly negligible.
Overall Impression: Huge tartness! and almost overbearing at first. But fortunately, the body is very forgiving and adaptable and no sooner did I find myself almost judging the "book by its cover" did I find myself thoroughly enjoying the acidic tartness that IS this beer. As New Belgiums flagship sours, I do think it may be a bit bold for a mainstay, but certainly one to quaff about. Thanks for giving me more incite into my sour project!