Mikkeller: Sur Munk (Denmark: Sour Ale: 9.99% ABV)

Visual:  A dark ruddy purple brown with maybe a touch of mashed blueberry hue. Slight dust of darkened bubbles over the cloudy body.

Nose: Sour. Raspberry and blue berry. Very sharp yet with toffee pavlova and fresh baked cake. Fruitcake soaked in Madeira. Very fruity.

Body: Sharp and sweet mix. Strawberry. Fudge cake. Acidic apple. Quite thick for the acidity. Tart raspberry and blueberry. Lots of fruitcake again. Wine like touches.

Finish: Lots of toffee. Apple and cider. Still sharp acidic fruit. Slightly throat burning in intensity.

Conclusion: A quick question to open. Do you like Rodenbach beers, particularly the Grand Cru? If you answered no, then you will not like this beer.

Yep, it’s another sharp to the point of vinegar acid beer. Somehow I don’t mean that as a bad thing. I’m not sure how, but it’s true.  This time however it is Mikkeller bringing their talent for Belgium style beers to the fold, fresh off their success with “Not just another wit”

The beer is sharp as hell and brings with it one of those lovely roaming aromas. The ones that can tantalise your quivering nostrils for an age as you try and discern its aromas, and as it fools you into nigh holographic smells emerging. Fruity and surprisingly sweet, you can take your time letting it shimmer and smell before you take that first sip.

The high alcohol means that the fruity main body seems much more vinous that in a lot of these beers, and you can be forgiven for imagining port or Madeira influences.  Yet again the huge toffee sweetness counteracts it. This fascinating departure from the Rodenbach style marks it as comparatively (comparatively) welcoming and open despite its acidity. Very rich and surprisingly thick textured.

The only complaint really, as long as you can put up with the intended acidity, is that at 500ml it really must be shared. The weight of the acidity makes it a beer that you don’t need a lot of to enjoy. I think there may be a 330ml version of this, which is a far better size for the average drinker.

So very good, very challenging, very sharp and very sour. If you can put up with that you will love this.

Background: Ah Mikkeller, quite quite mad they are. This beer was picked up from Brewdog’s guest beer selection.  Oddly lists the abv at 9.99%. This is odd as I’m fairly sure there is an EU law that says beer abv must be listed to no more than one decimal place. Guess it wouldn’t have been worth scratching the extra nine off for all the export sales. No I have no idea why that law exists either. Not that I care overly, though I do wonder if there is some symbolism in the 9.99, similar to another EU law ignoring  beer which had 6.66% ABV (in that case the symbolism being the obvious number of the beast). I can’t see any such symbolism for this beer however. Odd.  Anyway Mikkeller has had a good run with me so far, and I would put them very high on the brewers I trust to turn out a good beer so looking forwards to this one.