De Molen: Muhle and Bahnhof Barrel Aged (Netherlands: Gose-Traditional Ale: 9.2% ABV)

Visual: Slightly cloudy cherry red, clear in the light at times. No head at all.

Nose: Apple crumble. Stewed fruit. Soft rhubarb. Very soft and delicate and dessert like.

Body: Cherries apple and toffee. Syrup like feel to the texture. Stewed fruit. Just slight tart behind very sweet. Vanilla. Slight salt,

Finish: Banoffee pie. Very thick and slick. Raspberry. Salt. Red wine, rhubarb and apricot.

Conclusion: Holy shit. No seriously. Holy shit. Where do I start with this one? Stewed fruit and apple crumble over soft vanilla and toffee. I had this after a few highly hopped beers and that slight tartness it carried cut straight through them.

Very fruity, slight salt and sourness which has a similar to lambic in its power to deal with other flavours, but this is richer and far less dry than that style. Also much more easy going which I would put down to the fruity character I mentioned. Despite being more easy going that touch of salt can give you a thirst (a tremendous thirst)* on drinking which can result in it going down far too easily for the abv.  There’s so many interesting flavours from rhubarb (which I’m fairly sure I’ve never run into in a beer before), to sweet cider like flavours, and a toffee element that I swear must be from the barrel ageing.

It looks like fruit juice in a very deceptive way, no head no matter how I tired to pour. Despite the abv there is no burn to nose or body, the word that most comes to mind on drinking is stewed fruit, but the exact expression shifts as you drink. I haven’t tried the non barrel aged version,  but I imagine it would be lacking at least some of the heavy dessert sweetness that this thing shows.

A beer to match a great dessert wine, yet still with that sour and salt edge amongst the sweetness. My first gose so I don’t know how well it represents the style but it sets the bar for quality bloody high. This is a great beer.

Background: Finally, I get to review another De Molen beer . It nearly didn’t happen, the stock was still in the cellar of Brewdog Bristol due to a full bottle fridge but they were kind enough to bring one up for me to try. Even then I wasn’t planning on reviewing it until my first sip where I realised I had to record this for posterity. This is a barrel aged version of Matthias & Menno. I’ve never tried a Gose before. They are usually a lot lower alcohol than this and should have at least 50% of the grain being a malted wheat (or so wikipedia tells me, take that with a pinch of salt).  Unusually for German styles this style allows other ingredients include coriander and salt. They have a reputation for sourness, and originally were spontaneously fermented, though that practise is no longer used.

* Yes I am a fan of the Mitchell and Webb Lager Beer Sketch, why do you ask?