Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Beer Review: Cosmic Dust (Blend #10)

Reviewing Cosmic Dust, a sour golden ale aged on oak with hibiscus from The Rare Barrel out of Berkeley, California.

Score: 84

Blend #10 (2014 vintage bottle) served in a Kate the Great snifter and enjoyed on 12/23/14. Thank you Tim for sending me this bottle!

Appearance: Pours a clean and transparent honey color with a thin layer of fizzy head that quickly settles. Minimal, spotty residual lacing from swirling.  Not an "alive"-looking or "active" sour beer in appearance. 3/5

Smell: Sour grain, oak, lemon, light vinegar, a hint of something floral and a kiss of butteriness too. Some fruity bubblegum-like aroma comes through too as it warms up and breathes, which makes the aroma quite interesting and somewhat distinct from an otherwise cookie-cutter American wild ale (AWA) nose. 4/5

Taste: The taste is a lot more generic AWA than the nose, particularly because there is no fruity bubblegum-like character underlying it all. Sour grain, a hint of corn, oak, and lemon zest. Finishes with a lactic acid flavor. With some sips, I feel like subtle berry notes (raspberry?) come through on the finish as well, but I easily could be overthinking this one. Mostly crisp, but there is a little lingering young funk (and butteriness) too. Solid (but no hibiscus). 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, appropriate carbonation. Dry and tannic on the finish. Has a nice sourness that is not too intense. Mild acidity. 3.5/5

Overall: A solid, but indistinguishable sour golden ale from a new, but promising brewery (their head brewer used to work at The Bruery). I liked the mild acidity and sourness, but the butteriness knocked this one down a few pegs for me. I could see this being better with age. Also, where was the hibiscus?

Cost: $30 for a 750 ml bottle.

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