Wild Beer Co: Hobbs House Bakery: Sourdough (England: Sour Ale: 3.6% ABV)

Visual: Cloudy grain yellow. White fizz of a head that soon vanishes.

Nose: Tart and acidic. Tart apple. Flour. Brown bread. Fresh doughnuts. Lightly earthy (First impression were vinegar touches, but soon vanished)

Body: Apple juice. Tart. Light earthy touch. Lemon sherbet. Surprisingly smooth. Light raspberry. Doughnuts. Coriander.

Finish: Light lemon sherbet. White bread and flour. Light raspberry. Light strawberry. Vanilla ice cream. Lemon meringue.

Conclusion: Interesting. I’m going to have to take my time on this one, since I’m still making my mind up a I’m writing this, hopefully you’ll stick with me as I ramble.

When I first popped the cap on this one a vinegar style note expanded out, and a tad too harshly for my winter battered nose membranes. Despite the fact that some beers can cope with that level of harshness, it wasn’t an appetising opening.

Thankfully that soon diminished, and was entirely absent by the time of the pour. So I’m guessing that just signified the exit of some trapped rough fumes in the top of the bottle. On the other hand, when I sipped it, I got entirely the opposite problem, a smooth beer that tasted of tart apple juice but little else, with a very fresh doughnut feel and taste throughout to hint at its odd brewing method.

So a dull beer then? Actually, no. As happens so often with these tart beers, strange and almost hallucinatory flavours started building up over time. Lemon meringue, raspberry tartness, all delivered in an easy to drink, tart and yet slightly rustic character that builds up, then soothes down to vanilla sweetness.

While it does start off slightly simple it builds quickly into a remarkable beer, earthy spice, hints of holographic fruit, tart and smooth. A saison feel with mid range lambic sourness is the best way I can describe it. It provides a mass of complexity at a low abv, and its slow build makes it feel great for a session.

Ok, I’ve decided, I don’t just enjoy this, it has managed to grow on me to the point where it is not just good but special, so lovely and easy drink and yet sense challenging. Unusual, tasty and perfectly sessionable. It was slow to grow on me, but when it does it is spot on.

A brilliant creation.

Background: I’ve had this one since before Christmas, I was never quiet sure of the right time to break it open. It is a beer, based roughly on the Berliner Weisse style, fermented with sourdough yeast from the Hobbs House Bakery (and a little Brett). This was picked up from Independent Spirit, who are always reliable for getting in the new Wild Beer releases, and drunk while listening to The Kominas.