Adirondack Sour Project Ale #1December 1, 2016
This Belgian Golden Sour Ale (as they call it) reminds me of the oude gueuze you can find in Flanders. One sip, and I feel like I am sitting in my favorite locals’ bar in Antwerp! This pours very light in carbonation with a brief foam collar that dissipates quickly, leaving just enough spritz to prick the tongue as the barrel-aged, Lacto-, Brett- and Pedio-inoculated liquid slides over the palate. Notes of diesel, lemon zest and oil dance a duet with earthy tannins, cork and light wood flavors. Adirondack Brewing says this is the first beer to be released from its sour project. If this is any indication, it certainly won’t be the last.Lisa Morrison has been writing about beer for nearly 20 years. She also owns Belmont Station, a well-known bottle shop and taproom in Portland, Oregon.
Why did I expect something darker? Was it the mention of pinot? The beer is, in fact, clear burnished gold, and the head rises and drops in seconds. A whiff, and I smile. I am taken back to the early ’80s, in London, me and a friend sitting on the ground at an outdoor market, drinking funky natural “scrumpy” cider from a jug. This beer shows light pleasant funk on the nose, finely tuned complex acidity and a crisp dry finish. Gorgeously realized and surely a wonder with pork.Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of The Brooklyn Brewery, the editor-in-chief of The Oxford Companion to Beer, the author of The Brewmaster's Table and the veteran host of more than 900 beer dinners in 15 countries.