Friday, October 4, 2013

REVIEW: The Ira (Dry Hopped Mango Sour Blonde)

It started out as an experiment to see if I had rid my brewery of an infection that had hit more than 6 batches.  I made a light American Blonde Ale with Amarillo hops.  Half the beer was infected, the other half was clean.  But even the clean half wasn't something I wanted to drink 5 gallons of.  I combined the beers with 1 gallon of the same base beer fermented with Orval dregs.  I also added honey, dregs from lots of sours, Lacto from yogurt cultured in honey water.  Eventually I split the batches back out.  One ended up with lots of oak, and 4# blackberries.  This one received Mango, and a dose of Galaxy, Falconer's Flight, and Calypso hops just before bottling.  Unfortunately the beer had a large hit of diacetyl and had to age out, which dropped the hops and mango out quite a bit before it was ready to drink.  It isn't exactly what I wanted, but still a good sour beer.

LOOK: Pours a super clear gold with a fluffy white head that fades almost immediately.  Lots of bubbles flutter up.

AROMA: Smells of tropical fruits, mango, nice sour nose, lemons, light Brett funk, musty, light vinegar note.

FLAVOR: Taste jumps off with sour first, big blast of lemon, lactic, light vinegar sharpness.  Followed with mango and some cardboard oxidation.  Diacetyl was big when bottled but has nearly disappeared at this point.

MOUTHFEEL: Fizzy on the tongue, medium body, puckering sour, dry finish.

OVERALL: Slightly oxidized, super sour, light acetic acid.  Not overly complex.  Fruity, light Brett funk.  It's good, but not great.  I really like the sour and fruit combo with the hops, but the diacetyl made it nearly impossible to drink while the fruit and hops were peaking.  The mango is super subtle, need to use a more flavorful variety, and more of it.

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