I head to Québec demain, so I'm trying to clean out my hoard as much as I can to make room for Quebec beers, today's review comes from Vancouver Island, Driftwood Brewing's Belle Royale Sour Cherry Wild Ale. Sours aren't a regular thing in Manitoba, the closest thing to a sour is the Belgian sour cherry Kriek beers you see once in a while, but hey.. this is another Sour Cherry beer as it is! This comes from Buncy's Beer Fridge from his trip in BC a few weeks ago.
Appearance: At first glance, it pours a really beautiful bright pink/cassis red as it glistens in the sun, but settles as a brune with a black cherry hue to it. Reminiscent in appearance to the sour cherry beers I've had out of Belgian breweries, I love fruity beers (aside from Mobatts takes on fruity beers) so this shouldn't scare me off.
Aroma: Similar to the bottle of St-Louis Kriek I had earlier this week, but this more of a sour first, cherry second, a sour cherry aroma first and foremost, again. Sweet maltiness, some yeast in it, not noticing any hops, but the sourness overpowers all.
Taste: The very instant it hits my mouth, even before it hits the tongue, I can tell it's a sour beer, wow... sour sour sour! Makes the St-Louis Kriek seem like more of a sweet fruity beer in a way, it's very much a very sour cherry centred beer. Sour is all I have to say. I can also taste a bit of cherry/strawberry stem in there. A bit of a copper sensation to the palate as well, incredibly hard to describe except SOUR CHERRY! Oh, now I know what it reminds me of, Kasteel Donker but with much more of a sour presence to it - the donker had a slight sweet cherry aspect to it, but that was about it.
Overall Thoughts: An after-dinner/savouring sort of beer, this isn't a beer you can drink down while watching hockey or at the bar, you have to drink this slooooowly. Incredibly sour, sour sour sour, you get the point. It's a tasty beer, but not for those who don't like sour beers. I like a sour cherry beer, so hey.. bring it on! Driftwood's Belle Royale Sour Cherry Wild Ale has 8% ABV, so share this stuff with a friend or 4, because if you pop one for yourself, you'll be drinking it for a few hours!