Firstly I have to say an amazingly big thank you to Paulus Maximus for giving me this in our office secret Santa( it’s not that secret!). He knew that I had been hankering for this beer for years AND that I not only wanted to experience it but also use the dregs for my homebrews.
Now I had some pretty high expectations of this beer, a benchmark of sour beer. It was going to blow me away, it was going to turn my head inside out with sourness, it was going to be sensory overload,it was going to be challenging…………..
I had to be prepared because I needed to harvest the dregs, so I made sure that I had a nice wheat starter from second runnings of my Lambic wort. I was also bottling my Dunkel Honig Weizen so I had to be quick and careful.
I waited a good 20 minutes before opening the bottle so that it would not be too cold for me to enjoy it.
It pours a deep gold with bright highlights and just looking at it warms your heart and soul. I know that I am now starting to sound like a bit of a love struck teenage hippy and I may well get worse.
Aroma: Sherbert sweets,old fashioned lemonade,oak,cork,Brett and sawdust. There is something faintly animal related, but I cannot put my finger on it. There is red wine and cheese and the last thing that comes through is digestive biscuits.
Flavour: sherbert, lemon,pomelo, grapefruit, oak infused with love,honey. It is not quite as sour as I thought it would be, yet it is just sour enough. It is mouth filling, mouth coating and slightly puckering. The sourness is a slight hint of vinegar(very slight) with a honey sweetness and light carbonation. Grapefruit and pomelo on the aftertaste.
As it warms the oak and sourness increase and a slight bitterness shines through that is almost like the pith of citrus fruit.
I once read in “A Saison for every season”, the author refer to Amarillo hops as “grapefruit love”. He was wrong! This beer is grapefruit love.
It is spring and summer, it’s honey and sunshine,it’s love and birth and all the weirdest things you can imagine , and then some more things.
What there is none of is “mouse” or “goat” or “urine” or “barn yard”. There is, however, hay, seeds and kernels, a breeze blowing through the forest in Autumn.
If I had ready access to this beer, my house would be full of it. I don’t think I have ever been drawn back to a beer with such frequency and with a sense of urgency, just making sure that it is still there and every time be surprised that it is AND that it is different, always different, yet always the same.
Again, thank you for the best beer day of my sour life Paulus Maximus. This beer will live on not just in my memory, ’cause I can’t get any more, but in my homebrew for years to come.