Anyone that's enjoyed the previous edition of Van Dieman's take on harvest ales - using harvested rose hips, hawthorn and sloe berries from around the family farm rather than freshly harvest hops - will be in for something of a surprise this time around. Whereas in the past, there was the addition of a subtle forest fruits like character to a soft, malt-led English style ale, in 2012 it's all about the funk. Instead of racking the beer over the farm pickings for six weeks, brewer Will racked them for 12 weeks. And he aged some in oak pinot barrels too. The result - even if you missed the bold "Barrel Aged Sour Beer" addition to the label - is unmistakable from the moment the bottle is popped, with that distinctive farmhouse tang rising to the nostrils immediately. That sourness is there in the mouth too, although not as powerfully as you might expect. It mingles with a dry pinot like character but with some malty sweetness too in an unexpected, but welcome, twist on our favourite of the Van Dieman range to date.
- Barrel-Aged Sour Ale
Crown Cellars ' Launceston
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