It was Friday night, and I had gone to yoga, played an hour of racquetball, and eaten myself silly on beef brisket. The week had been a mellow one - spring break working on a college campus = quiet to actually get things done. I was looking forward to a weekend of gardening, hiking, making mead, and playing bluegrass music. Pretty much the world was as right for me as it could have ever been (I suppose cycling could have been in there too).
Wanting a good brew, we hit up Les Caves Bier and Kitchen (yeah, I come here often) 'cuz I had a serious yen for some sour beer. I think I needed something to cut through the amazingness of greasy meat and dark barbecue sauces. I found just the beer in Consecration by Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa, CA.
This dark ale was aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels with currants. I enjoyed the deep maroon-red color and the low levels of effervescent carbonation. The nose was sour, tart, with hints of prune, vinegar and hops. Greg noted that it smelled almost like a liqueur, to which I would have to agree. The aroma was very much like a tart cordial. The flavor was sour and rounded with currant to start, it moved into earthy, almost fungal flavors at the middle that were light over the top of blackberry and Cabernet. The finish was tart with the oak and some hops coming through. I really loved the complexity of this beer - so many sours seem to be flat with the sour being the most dominant flavor. Here the sourness complimented the rest of the flavor, rounding it out to create a wonderful drinking experience.
I also found the bottle to be quite unique - the heaviest beer bottle I've ever held. Even when empty it felt full. That thing could be used as a blunt weapon to ward off attackers!
Upon investigation of the Russian River website, I found they also have a sour beer aged in Pinot Noir barrels called "Supplication." Anyone want to get this for me for my birthday coming up???