Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Review: Where The Wild Things Are: The Carol (BOS Geueze/Lambic)

I am actually surprised that I have not reviewed this beer in its 1.5 years from bottling.  I entered this beer at about 3 months into a Club Only Comp and got knocked hard because it was carbonated and Lambic is a still beverage (per their interpretations).  So when I decided to enter it into an actual BJCP comp at 18 months in the bottle (2.5 years from brewing) I took the advice of many other homebrewers on forums everywhere... enter what it is, not what you wanted to make.  Even though it was not a blend of 1, 2, and 3 year old Lambics (not even a Lambic as it wasn't Pils and Unmalted Wheat, nor did it have aged hops), I entered it as a Geueze.  I am looking forward to the new BJCP Guidelines to be released this year; I really hope the addition of Wild Beers expands the categories enough to cover all types of sour beers and wild ales, American Sours, Floridaweisse, 100% Brett Beers, etc.  

Anyways, I judged the competition and was able to hang out for the Best of Show judging.  It was a trip to watch this beer go forward, 22 beers to 7, top 6, top 5, top 4, why aren't they even discussing my beer?, top 3, oh crap top 2, I am for sure the honorable mention if nothing else... then the question from Jamie Floyd (brewer/owner of Ninkasi) says to Jason Carriere (owner of Falling Sky), "Is there anything wrong with the Geueze?"  Jason replies "We don't have a case of it!"  And that was it, the moment every brewer dreams of, but few see, and even fewer see it all unfold in front of their very eyes.  My beer took Best of Show.

Pours a beautiful golden orange with a nice dense offwhite head that actually sticks around for awhile and fades to a ring that stays the rest of the way.  Slightly hazy, not clear, but definitely not foggy.

Peach bursts from the glass first, followed by mango, and pineapple, hay, light funkiness (touch of baby diaper, but not in a bad way), oak/winey, some horseblanket, and citrus to finish.  Lots of fruit going on in the nose, followed by a fainter layer of funk.  It is very enjoyable to see how Brett can cause so many different layers of complexity.

First thing to hit the palate is a clean Lactic tartness, not face numbing, but puckering.  Mango, peach, and a touch of funk follow.  Definite oak/wine character there, but not too much, vanilla, sweet berries, touch of acetic acid.  Like the nose, the Brett layered on the juicy fruits more than funk.

Light crisp tart body, but not thin thanks to the unmalted wheat.  Astringent oak tannins pull on the sides of the throat alongside the tartness.  The medium carbonation is perfect for the beer, it pushes out the aromatics, but doesn't mess with the feel.

A very juicy, complex, fruity sour.  Not exactly a Geueze, but very complex, lots of Brett fruit, touch of funk, clean Lactic character, hints of oak.  Whether it is a Lambic, a Geueze, or an awesome American Sour is pointless (a couple brew club BJCP guys made sure to point out multiple times they wouldn't have made it BOS), this beer rocks!  I am culturing the dregs up right now too and will see how they work when used again.

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