Monday, October 27, 2014

Beer Review: R&D Wild Peach

Reviewing the R&D Wild Peach, a sour brown ale with Michigan peaches that was spontaneously fermented and aged on oak from the New Glarus Brewing Company out of New Glarus, Wisconsin. This beer is a blend of beer that was brewed in 2011, 2012 and 2014.

Score: 97

Blend of 2011, 2012 and 2014 beer bottled in August 2014. Served in a Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery tulip and enjoyed on 08/11/14.

Appearance: Watch out, this one gushes! Pours a murky, brownish red color with nice edge-to-center fade and 3 fingers of tan foamy head that settles to a thick ring around the glass with clumps of foam and what appear to be residual fruit shavings/dregs atop the brew. Solid lacing, very good retention. 4/5

Smell: Fresh peaches, peach syrup and peach jelly in spades! Behind that is graham cracker, brown sugar, oak, a little lemon and a dash of vanilla. Faint hint of brett and hay hidden in the background. This beer smells like a peach cobbler. 5/5

Taste: Peach syrup and fresh peach galore in the taste as well, though it does not taste like a peach cobbler. Behind the big wall of fresh peach is oak, sweet malt, brett and a light barnyard funk. Finishes with a mild bourbon flavor with ample peach syrup and a little bit of brett also lingering. There is a lot more funk on the taste than there was in the nose, but it is still relatively subtle and mixes well with the rest of the flavor profile. Really well balanced, mixing sweetness with a light sourness and a bit of young funk. As it warms, the peach lingers longer. Mmmm. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Viscous for a sour, effervescent and appropriately carbonated. The sourness level here is very mild, but the carbonation level renders it lively on the tongue nonetheless. Dry finish. 4.75/5

Overall: I was skeptical of what a bourbon aged brown ale with peaches would smell and taste like, but New Glarus hit the mark on this one. The nose is absolutely sublime. This beer is not sour like very sour blackberry, but why should it have to be? It is a different base beer entirely. Think Peche 'n Brett with more peach and a little bourbon.

Cost: $8 for a 500 ml bottle.

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