TASTED: Central City Sour Brown 1

ccitybrewDeep burgundy in colour, this 9.2% alcohol ale was aged for two years in a combination of cabernet barrels and French oak foeders. Production was, to say the least, limited.

The nose is tantalizingly woody, with notes of sour cherry, tart orange and clove, along with hints of vanilla and cinnamon. A good start for a beer of the Flemish brown style, but the degree of woodiness showing does allow some room for worry.

In the body, those worries are made real, with quite woody and cherry pit-ish flavours on the front, growing more tart and spicy mixed berry-ish in the middle, raspberry and blackberry predominant, alongside orange and lime zest and hints of tannic red wine. The flavour is good, the complexity is excellent, but while this stops short of making me want to check my gums for splinters, there is a disconcerting degree of fresh oak to this beer.

The finish is very dry, bitter-sweet-tart and has a lingering fruit pit note. The woodiness issue I suspect has to do with the first or perhaps second use of Central City’s foeders and will no doubt be lessened by the time of the next brew and the ones after that. This and perhaps a slight lowering of strength could make Sour Brown 2 or 3 an excellent ale.

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