Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Bruery - The Wanderer

I'm kind of a big fan (read: the biggest homer ever) for The Bruery's sours. As far as quantity AND quality go, I don't know if any American brewery can match what these guys do. And if you don't believe me, take a look at the scores of their sours on beeradvocate. Ridiculous. One of their highest regarded sours is one that got re-released to the Reserve Society last year (to my girlish screams of excitement when I heard the news). It's called The Wanderer and it's a dark sour ale aged on blackberries and cherries. It was a collaboration with City Beer Store in San Francisco a few years ago and it took silver at the Great American Beer Festival in 2011. Oh, and did I mention there's a platypus on the label? Awesome. Luckily, The Bruery decided it was time to make another batch. At #200, The Wanderer.

The Wanderer pours a dark amber color with a purplish tinge similar to Welch's Grape Juice to it. A one finger tan head drops away pretty quickly. As soon as you pour it, the room seems to be filled with the smell of tart mixed berries. As you get closer to the beer, you start to get more of a sweeter mixed berry and cream note along with some blackberry, juicy red cherry, oak, leather and some vanilla. I was excited enough to try this before opening the bottle and after smelling it, I couldn't wait to dive in.

The taste opens with a slightly lactic (and almost Greek yogurt-like) and sharply tart underripe blackberry and red cherry skin note. The Greek yogurt character isn't like anything I've ever come across in a sour, but it works really really well. Then the flavors smooth out and you get a long push of red cherry, vanilla and caramel. The finish brings things all together with an absolute explosion of new flavors. A light brown bread note, dates, underripe mixed berries, cherry skin tannins and a hint of wood round things out really nicely. This is a fantastic sour. I really hope they continue to make this.

Final Grade: A

Top 250 Beers Tasted: 129

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