Meilby Brewing Gooseberry Sour

Gooseberry Sour by Meilby Brewing, Sour Ale, 7.3% ABV, 13 IBU.

Meilby Brewing Gooseberry Sour, batch #015B, brewed 01/04/2012, bottled 02/11/2013, bottle #1/24.

Meilby Brewing Gooseberry Sour, batch #015B, brewed 01/04/2012, bottled 02/11/2013, bottle #1/24.

This ale was brewed in April 2012, so after nearly 4 years of work the Wyeast 3278 Belgian Lambic Blend should have managed to make this beer a really sour one. I’m also curious about how much of the 150 grams of gooseberries per litre it is still possible to detect after all this time.

After a few minutes with intense struggle to get that damn cork off, I’m finally ready to pour the first glass.

An orange body with a few short-lived bubbles on top.

An orange body with a few short-lived bubbles on top.

Not only is the cork a pain to remove, it doesn’t seem to work that well. At least the beer looks completely flat, just a few short-lived bubbles appear when I pour my glass. The body is good-looking, though, it’s slightly hazy and has an orange to amber colour.

The strong aroma is very tempting. I sometimes find sour ales to be too vinegary, but this one is right up my alley: it’s intensely fruity. A nice mix of sweet and sour fruits, some apple cider vinegar and a touch of almonds and cherry pits.

The taste is really, really sour indeed. Probably one of the most sour beers I’ve ever had. Really goosebump inducing. But it’s a clean, pleasant and fruity sourness, and there’s a decent amount of sweetness to back it up. It has a strong flavour of sweet and sour fruits, although I’m not sure if I manage to detect the gooseberries. Which of course may mainly be due to the fact that I haven’t tasted gooseberries the past 35 years, apart from those present in a gooseberry mead previously rated on this blog. The funkiness is restrained, although I get a lightly sweaty horse blanket or two.

It’s a flat brew, but that doesn’t ruin the mouthfeel. The texture is rather thick and oily.

Overall: an intensely sour ale with truckloads of fruits. It’s a bit too sour for my sensitive palate, and it wouldn’t have hurt with some carbonation.

Aroma:      7/10
Appearance: 3/5
Taste:      7/10
Palate:     3/5
Overall:    14/20
Ratebeer score: 3.4/5.0
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Meilby Brewing Sour Experiment 1

Sour Experiment 1 by Meily Brewing, Sour Ale, 5.5 % ABV, 14 IBU.

I’ll start this rating by quoting an old fairytale by a guy called Matthew: “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine,(…)”. I don’t understand sour ales, I don’t like sour ales, sour ales are… uh… sour, so asking me to rate one might not be a good idea. You could just as well ask me to rate the new Justin Bieber album. But Meilby says he like to push people out of their comfort zones, and insisted to include a sour ale in the box of beers he sent me. Homebrewers have managed to show me the light earlier (I enjoyed the Danmarks Plass by JoKr Brewers, the first smoked ale I’ve ever really liked), so let’s give give this a try.

Dirty orange body with bath foam. The strawberry plants of yours truly in the background.

The brewer suggest that this beer will be perfect on a warm summer day, so on this warm and sunny day I pop the cork of the champagne bottle (now containing beer). In the glass the sour liquid has a quite dark orange/amber colour, it’s cloudy, actually completely opaque. The head is small, white, frothy, bath foam-ish, very short-lived and doesn’t lace the glass at all.

The aroma is moderate, with fermented fruits and berries, especially apples, but I also get some surprisingly pleasant fermented strawberries. The funky barnyard notes are there as well, this is definitely a sour ale. But hey, I sort of like it. Especially the fruity parts. Maybe I’m staring to like this style eventually?

The taste is moderate sweet with a light sourness initially, and then the sourness grows to a moderate level that frankly is a bit beyond what I find pleasant. The flavours are again fermented apples and barnyard.

Meilby Brewing Sour Experiment 1, brewed 2012.01.15, bottled 2012.02.26, bottle 24/39.

Ok mouthfeel: medium body, quite dry texture, very soft carbonation and some additional dryness in the quite long fermented finish.

Conclusion: Is this a good sour ale? I have no idea. Do I like it? Meh, it’s fair enough, but not my cup of tea.

Aroma:            6
Apperance:        2
Taste:            5
Palate:           3
Overall:         10
Ratebeer score: 2.6