Thornbridge: Love Amongst The Ruins (England: Sour Ale: 7% ABV)
Visual: Dark brown to red. Hazy thin rim of off white bubbles.
Nose: Sour cherries and sour black-cherries. Mature cheese. Red wine. Blackcurrants. Peach. Wet wood. Slight perry. Vanilla. Strawberry yogurt
Body: Brown envelopes and gum. Slight vinegar touch. Chocolate undertones. Tart raspberry. Strawberry crème and bitter chocolate. Dried banana. Pears. Soft cherries. Cake sponge. Slight tart cherries as well.
Finish: Malt chocolate. Acidic. Toffee. Cider. Strawberry crème. Cherry-aid and cherries. Perry. Muscatel cherries. Marmalade. Red wine.
Conclusion: Ok, I kind of expected more cherries in this. This being the one with cherries used to make it and all. That didn’t seem too wild a guess. Still, subtly of cherries aside, this is very similar to its sister beer before it, a fruity and sour red ale – just dealing a very different set of notes to what I expected.
It really is very similar a beer at its base (Ok that is admittedly probably because it is the same base beer, but roll with me here). It is lightly tart with that brown gummed envelope character, and very mild vinegar calls – backed by the sweet vanilla, toffee and chocolate subtle notes below the freshness.
The fruit character is the very surprising difference. The is some tart dark fruit, but there is also a real kind of pear to perry styled soft easygoing fruit character to this. The exact opposite of what I expected going in.
The more red fruit comes out later on as it warms, and, similar to its sister beer, you also get some orange fruit mixed in. A lot of the same compliments I gave Day’s Of Creation also apply here – the same refreshing acidic but smooth character. Same good use of sweet notes. Same feel of what seems like American hop character (despite the fact this is, apparently, an unhopped beer so I have been told) and the same natural fruitiness. I think I prefer Day’s Of Creation – the raspberry seemed to give the fruit a bit of a better defined character. This is softer and more soothing, with a lot going on but less immediately evident. Still a very good beer, and the softness here makes it an usual one – I’m just not quite sure why the cherries didn’t have more impact.
Any which way – Very good, but for my mind the silver award winner of Day’s of Creation takes the gold medal of my appreciation over this.
Background: I’ve had a few questions about if I would do this one since I did notes for its sister beer Day’s Of Creation. Well, here it is! Grabbed from Independent Spirit at the same time as its sister beer, this is the gold medal winner of the two! I have previously mentioned my slight distrust of such things though. To keep this distrust in its place, this was drunk while listening to the excellent album from Carcass – Surgical Steel. Songs about rotting flesh and death should help with my cynicism. This is nigh exactly the same as Day’s Of Creation – A sour red ale aged in red Burgundy Barrels, but this time with cherries instead of raspberries.