Style: Sour Ale
Package: 22oz bottle, purchased at Zipp’s Liquors in Minneapolis.
The moment I opened the bottle, a fruity sourness filled the kitchen. Smells of mangoes, star fruit, and hints of marmalade give way to the aroma of mandarin orange vinaigrette, a very nice sweet-and-sour effect. I can’t wait to taste this beer!
My pour revealed an orange-copper beer with a delicate, 2-1/2 fingered head. The head collapsed in a couple minutes, leaving just minimal lacing.
Right up front, the taste is more tart than sweet. A tongue-puckering sourness mixes with slightly sweet cereal grains, leading to more of what I found in the aroma – mango, orange zest, lemon, sour oranges, and orange juice. Ends with another generously tart pucker, similar to the way fresh orange juice finishes, but maybe mimosa is a more apt comparison. A decent bitterness develops over time, and as the beer warms it also reveals a light grassiness.
Mouthfeel is initially a blend of pucker and juice, but dries out over time, seemingly as a corollary to bitter component. Medium body. The carbonation is a little lighter than I expected, but works well with the flavors, letting my tongue bask in the juicy tartness. Finishes quite dry.
Overall, I say “delicious.” This beer is definitely a sipper, a good beer to enjoy with an evening-finishing, thought-provoking book — it took me an hour and a half to drink the bottle.
From New Belgium’s web site:
Le Terroir is a french term meaning “of the earth”. Used to reference the environmental conditions that affect the brew, we like to think about the terroir of our foeders. These wooden barrels age our sour beer in varying temperatures, humidity, and vibrations. The terroir of New Belgium, so to speak. Add in another variable by dry-hopping with peachy, mango-like Amarillo hops, and we created a beer that changes every time we brew it.
Just the facts Ma’am…
ABV – 7.5%
Calories – 20
Hops – Target
Malts – Pale, Wheath, Caramel-80, Carapils, Oats
OG – 16.5