When we got back from the Carolinas, I started to look at the selection of beer I brought back and one of them looked a little different. I picked up a bottle of New Belgium's 'La Folie', wood aged beer. It is technically labeled as a Flanders Red Ale, aged for one to three years in French Oak Barrels, but is called a Sour Brown Ale on the bottle. Whatever it is, it is casually known as a 'wild ale'! This beer was made with wild yeast that produce a very sour puckering taste. Not to be confused with a bitter beer, this one is like a sweet tart.
So, I have this beer that I am not even sure I am going to like and I think, who else in the world would want a taste? My first thought was The Beer Buddha! Not only is he a sour ale lover, but he could also teach me a thing or too about this beer. After contacting him, via Beer Advocate, he was excited and said he would bring a beer too. After we decided to meet at the Panama City Wine World, I thought about asking another friend to come and Jeremy (The Beer Buddha and Destin Wine World) mentioned it to Dan (PC Wine World), now we have a little event.
I ended up with two beers in hand when I walked into the store because I wanted everyone to taste another one I picked up at the Highland Brewing Company in Asheville, NC.
photo courtesy of The Beer Buddha, click photo to enlarge
When all was said and done we tasted four beers. First one was a bottle of Cigar City 'Guava Grove' that was a Belgian style ale brewed with fresh guava. This was a delight to all of us because of the easy drinkability and the great flavors. Next, we tried my sour and it poured a red color, so I am going to say it is a Flanders Red Ale. To be an aquired taste, it was not bad. Very sour, almost has a sour apple taste, and Dan mentioned the fruit roll-up finish (he was right, though). After the sour, we tasted a strong English Barleywine, named 'Decadence', made by the California brewery, Alesmith. This is my first taste of any Alesmith beer and it was not bad, strong sweet/malt character, but not bad. Lastly, we ended with a bottle of Highland 'Imperial Black Mocha Stout'. I have had the regular 'Black Mocha Stout' and it was great. While at the brewery in Asheville, I grabbed a bottle of this and I expected it to be a little more flavorful. It was not terrible, just thought the regular stuff was just as good.
Well, that just about does it for my story telling and the next time we try to do an unannounced taste, I will announce it. There were a couple of curious people walking by that were Eye-Balling our bottles and they graciously deserved a taste. Also, there were a couple of regular Wednesday night beer tasters there that joined in on the fun.
It was fun to be able to taste a couple of beers not for sale in this area and share them with others that have a taste for what is on the horizon. I had a great time and hopefully we can do it again really soon!
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