Wild Beer Co Beyond Modus

Wild Beer Co: Beyond Modus 2014 (England: Sour Ale: 8% ABV)

Visual: Very dark brown, with red outline. Thin white to grey head.

Nose: Vinous, like sour red wine. brandy snaps. Raisins and sultanas. Cherry liqueur. Red grapes. Fruitcake. Acidic and tart. Tart apples.

Body: Cider. Acidic. Sherbet lemon. Port soaked raisins. Raspberry. Drying. Malt chocolate. White wine. Cherries.

Finish: Light vinegar. Oak. Tart cider. White wine. Sherbet lemon. Acidic.

Conclusion: Surprisingly mellow for a beer that has vinegar listed as one of the elements in the notes. Underneath the tart and acidic elements is a sweet, fruity and very wine influenced beer, and one with nearly no alcohol burn at all. All the weight of it seems to come in with the cider tartness and the red wine sourness rather than from alcohol. The beer itself slips down without fire, and even without much of an acidic burn.

As you may have guessed it is definitely more wild yeast character than the base Modus Operandi that is used to make it, and also has definite signs of the barrel ageing. When warm anyway, It is worth noting that chilling really messes with this beer and kills most of the complexity.

Warm it has a lot of fruity and wine depth, however it doesn’t rise that high above the range that existed in old modus, more just making it tarter. The acidity calls to a reined in Rodenbach Grand Cru, but by being reined in it also doesn’t have the absurd complexity of character. As a smoothed down and tarted up Modus it is still impressive, but doesn’t have the knockout punch.

It lacks that special element to make it stand out, maybe a tad too smoothed of edges for its own good. Still a good beer, and , as said, very easy to drink for a tart beer, but that doesn’t really make it as a unique selling point. It feels like an incrementally better beer that its base, and as such is nice. It just doesn’t stand out .

Pretty good, but without anything to push it beyond just that.

Background: Shared with mates on the lead up to 2015, this is a double barrel aged version of Modus Operandi, with Burgundy red wine barrels used for the secondary ageing. Modus Operandi was the beer where I think Wild Beer Co hit their stride, so this was one I was looking forwards to. Picked up from Independent Spirit.