Sunday, October 6, 2013

575. 50 West Sour Wagon Cherry

Week two of the cyclo-cross season finds us in Cincinnati for Gun Club 2013. Can you say muddy? I can. Damn, that was muddy. Anyway, after attempting to remove as much mud as possible from everything that even thought about being outside the car, we headed for 50 West. I’d been their once before, but Elli never had, so it fit with the theme of biking and new beer. And even if it didn’t fit, well, we went there.

Sour Wagon Cherry came served in a goblet; it was a murky chocolate with a thin white head with little retention, although both elements fit with the style. In the nose, there was lactic tartness followed by cherry and Belgian candy sweetness; as it warmed, more acetic acid emerges, as does subtle oak and vanilla. Flavors open with candy coupled with hints of brown sugar; the lactic tang is in the front (with acetic in the back) at this point, shifting towards the acetic as the beer hits mid-palate. There is also oak with a light tannic bite, flashes of vanilla, and fruit, primarily cherry, but also fig, raisin, and grape. The acetic vinegar flavors push earlier into the profile as the beer warms. In the finish, there are lingering cherry and stone fruit flavors mixed with candy sweetness, more fruit than candy, and some acetic acid as it warms. The bright lactic tang helps balance the beer on the palate, and makes up for the minimal carbonation, and there is a rounded, slightly chewy mouthfeel that finishes clean via the tartness. As it warms, there is an aged/vinous character that appears, as does a touch of alcohol warmth. Sour Wagon Cherry gave my cheeks a rosy warm slight flush via the sourness; it is a well made beer, but it still tastes a bit young and hasn’t fully come together. The delicate oak character is a pleasant surprise, and the overall beer is more acetic than lactic. Still, a good starting place for a sour beer, one I’m sure that will continue to improve.

From the 50 West website: “Flander’s Brown Ale that was soured in oak wine barrels for almost a year with an organic cherry puree.”

ABV: 7.0%
IBU: 15


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