Sipping On Raspberry Sours

With the first day of fall already behind us but temperatures still in the seventies, I'm craving a return to summer. In acknowledgment of this brief spell of warm weather and the cold that's sure to come, I'm tasting some sour beers that incorporate raspberries. The sweetness of the raspberry heralds the warmest days of summer, and the tart sourness is a reminder of the six months of winter still to come. Hold one of these beers aloft in a tall, narrow glass, so the light makes them glow a deep red. Drink deep, loyal reader. There are many stronger beers to come this winter!


Fore River Brewing Preble Raspberry Kettle Sour

Format sampled: 16 oz. can

ABV: 4.0%

Availability: Purchased at Whole Foods

Tasting Notes: Pours a murky fuchsia with a volcanic purplish head. Aroma is filled with fresh, dew-covered raspberries. The initial flavor is both insistently sour and profoundly berry like. The acidity is clean, and augments (rather than overwhelms) the delicate berry flavor. As it diffuses around my palate, the sourness fades and is replaced by a warm, gentle malt sweetness. This beer incorporates the flavor of the raspberry so elegantly and with such fidelity to its original form, that I feel the need to pick the little seeds from between my teeth. Sip, savor and mourn summer!


Hidden Cove Bottino

Format sampled: 16 oz. capped and corked bottle

ABV: 6.0%

Availability: Purchased at Bow Street Beverage Public Market

Tasting Notes: Pours a rich, glowing gold with no head at all. Aroma is fresh and acidic, with a distinct vinegar tang (a raspberry vinaigrette, perhaps?) The initial flavor is round and sour. It's the broad, refined acidity of an expensive vinegar, tempered by a faintly fruity sweetness. After the fruity, acidic opening, some barrel character starts to show. There is a toasted, nutty wooden flavor, polished with a fuzzy tannin. The restraint of the fruit flavor is surprising. The overall impression is closer to a refined sour or an unblended lambic than a “fruit beer.” Tasting partner Ivan says, “It's actually dry!” The dryness makes the Bottino a great aperitif or a companion to a rich pasta dish.


Banded Horn's Not If We Jam It

ABV: 4.5%

Format sampled: 16 oz. can

Availability: Purchased at Bow Street Beverage Public Market

Tasting Notes: Pours a slightly cloudy amber with hints of purple. Raises an enduring, fine white head. Aroma has a tart freshness and a delicate raspberry character. Initial flavor is subtle, with a sweet berry flavor that quickly overtaken by a starchy, glutinous sweetness. A pleasant citrus acidity mingles with the starch, washing it off my palate, and leaving a pleasant tingle in its place. Everything about this beer is mild — the fruit, the sourness, the sweetness, and body. For a beer that's so gentle, it's a tremendous palate conundrum. How, specifically should I appreciate it? For the fruit? The sour tang? The unique combination of flavors? I may need to enjoy a few to answer this question. While I attend to this pressing matter, I'd urge you to buy a few cans to enjoy while the weather is still warm!

Last modified onTuesday, 26 September 2017 17:57