A Sour Ale Worthy of a Sweet Review
I’ve never really been that into sour ales. There have been a few that have been damp enough for me to finish over the years, and there have been some so pucker-causing that I really had to muscle my way through them. No offense to the sour ale craft. It’s just never really been my scene.
To that end, however, I have recently come upon a sour ale which made me revisit my thoughts on the craft in general. Looking back, I feel that perhaps my initial unwillingness to embrace the hoppy savor of an IPA way back when everyone was becoming a hophead was more about me just wanting to have the dissenting opinion.
As for sour ales, well, I just plain didn’t have a taste for them.
So, here we are in 2018 and approaching 2019. I have now found a sour ale that I can not only work with, but also find worthy of calling to your attention in print. I’m well aware I have more work to do in this category, and, for reasons ranging from culinary chauvinism to simply taste, I have neglected the sours. So, here’s a start.
Wicked Weed Red Angel
I would describe the color of this ale as more of a reddish-purple than anything else (I suppose that’s a color). I had mine in a snifter, and it poured a bit hazy with a light pinkish head.
The raspberries are vividly evident on the nose and on the tongue. The red wine barrel aging process also comes through in, among other ways, a drying effect that does not equivocate with an overtly tartness that would, at least for me personally, damage its drinkability.
The tartness is evident — don’t get me wrong. However, the tartness doesn’t pull too much from the sweetness, and the sweetness doesn’t pull too much from the decay. The balance of Red Angel reflects the care with which it has been crafted. Well done, Wicked Weed.
Ben Casella’s original dissenting opinion regarding IPAs was not his only one. In fact, he does not like pina coladas or taking walks in the rain. He would also prefer that you not wake him up before you go-go.