Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Crooked Stave Blackberry Petite Sour review

Crooked Stave Blackberry Petite SourWhen a members only opportunity opened up in a fairly new brewing operation that specializes in sour beers and particularly beers made with brettanomyces, I had to jump on it. Crooked Stave, formerly based in Fort Collins but now moving to Denver, recently released the 1st of many members only beers from their "Cellar Reserve Membership". The first was named Crooked Stave Blackberry Petite Sour - a wild ale aged with blackberries in oak barrels. I was on hand in Boulder at Cured to pick up my 1st bottle and couldn't wait to get it home to try it out.

Crooked Stave described this unfiltered wild beer as follows: "We took a small portion of our Petite Sour base beer and aged it with blackberries in oak barrels for an additional nine months. The introduction of blackberries adds another layer of complexity to the already fruity aroma, bright citrus flavor and dry tart finish. This beer is bottled with the natural yeast, if cellared in a cool dark place it will develop more complex characteristics and evolve for years to come".

Blackberry Petite Sour was produced in a limited quantity with roughly 60 cases of these 750ml bottles available. My bottle was labeled as bottle 378/857. Some of this batch was put in kegs for just a couple of clients from what I was told directly by the brewer Chad Yakobson.

I was already a big sour beer fan, but would this first batch live up to the hype and expectation worthy of a limited membership?

Appearance: Blackberry Petite Sour poured a colorful dark red color and reminded me of a wine in appearance. There wasn't much of a head, and what little there was of the off-white 1-finger tall head made a loud fizzy noise that quickly dissolved down to nothing. The beer itself appeared to have very good clarity and was modestly carbonated. Swirling yielded no additional head nor any lacing.

Aroma: I chose to pour this beer into the new Offero Omnis stemless glass. This glass was designed to enhance the aroma of many types of beverages including wines, beers, cognacs and brandy. I immediately recognized the tell tale aroma of brettanomyces. Mixed in with the brett was some tangy fruit, a hint of vinegar and definite sense that this beer was aged in wood. It was an aroma very similar to what I've received from a New Belgium La Folie, only with more sweetness in the nose.

Crooked Stave Cellar Reserve MembershipTaste: This beer was definitely had a nice tartness to it. There was an underlying berry sweetness offset by a tart sour tang. It had the consistency of wine and also a light to medium bodied ale. The beer left a nice dry tart sensation in my mouth. It was sour, bitter, slightly acidic, semi-sweet and with a balanced fruity taste. It wasn't as carbonated as I would expect, but then again, a sour like this didn't need much carbonation to taste good.

Overall: As the label suggested, I let this beer open up and breathe for a bit before sampling. It is best served between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Crooked Stave seemed to have found a nice base to work from with it's Petite Sour. The blackberries and oak barrels added a wonderful flavor sensation to this ale.

As a sour ale lover, this beer fits the bill for my sour needs. It rests in the middle of the "puckerness" scale. It's got just enough sour funk and tartness to be a nice slow sipper without going over the top on the sour. I was very well pleased with this first members only release and am glad I picked up a second bottle. I plan to store the second bottle and age it for a while to see how it can change over time.

If you love sour ales, especially those that have a bit of fruit in them, you'll love Crooked Stave's Blackberry Petite Sour. Wild ales like this are wonderful!

Look for a full review of the Offero Omnis glass coming soon.

Disclosure: I paid full retail price for this beer.

Video showing the pour of :

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Related articles:
- Crooked Stave releases their 1st Cellar Reserve beer.
- Crooked Stave releases more Wild Wild Brett brews.
- Crooked Stave plans to move to Denver.


This article came from FermentedlyChallenged.com - a Colorado beer blog.
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