Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Driftwood Lustrum Sour Ale

My goodness time flies; Driftwood has been brewing for five years. Driftwood has been the first for many things on Vancouver Island, if not BC. The first wet hopped ale, the first sour and the first beer release achieving cult status. I'm not certain if they were the first to start a regular barrel aging program in BC. Regardless, this brewery has done much to open the palate range of BC beer drinkers. Fittingly, their fifth anniversary beer is a sour. It also happens to be the fifth sour to be released. The twist this time is aging in French oak and the addition of black currants. Most can guess what my review will be.

Driftwood Lustrum Sour Ale = 9/10

This juicy, red brew starts with a furious attack of tart currants, vinegar and tannic astringency. An acetous aroma instantly starts the Pavlovian response with its dark berry sourness. It has this odd flavour of young, but not green, wine. Perhaps due to the heavy presence of tannic and juicy black currants. An equal mix of lactic and vineous sourness fades linearly to a finish that appears to be dry and gritty. Very peculiar, as this is a very juicy, thick feeling brew.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 9.4% (I'm not so sure about this number)
Value +1
Appearance +1 (Nice label art with good description of beer flavour)

Glassware: Something bowl shaped is required to trap the sour and fruity aroma. A tulip or red wine glass would work well.

Food Pairings: Pairing with unique ales is challenging. Contrast this sour ale with something sweet and berry-like. I'm thinking cheesecake or fruit sorbet. Perhaps a duck breast with a wine and berry sauce would be in order. For those pesky Vegans/Vegetarians avoid the carnage and try a berry risotto or roasted squash with cranberry sauce.

Cellar: I am going to take a left turn here and say this beer will not cellar well. This beer will certainly not spoil, but I don't feel the flavour will change much. This is based on the fact that there is little residual sweetness for the yeasts to work on. The currant derived tannic character might not fade. Regardless, I plan to buy a couple more to try and prove myself wrong.

2 comments:

Marc Boudreau said...

Love this beer! Have already quaffed a 6 pack of these and I have another one in my fridge I may crack it open tonight

Darrin G said...

I've never been a fan of sour beers. Couldn't quite get my palate wrapped around them. Based on you comments and high score I decided to give it a try. I'm definitely a fan of this one.

The beer pours nicely with a nice purple foam head. There is a definite aroma of black currants and wine as you mentioned. The taste has some sweet notes to start, followed by the sour tartness and leaves you with a nice astringency.

Thanks for the recommendation Ian.