Sunday, September 4, 2016

Imperial Cherry Gose

Beer Review #150

I've been drinking a lot of  "sour beer" recently. Given my gluten sensitivity this is perhaps a bad thing, but this class of tart, salty, predominantly-wheat brews are hard to resist. Today I'm checking out Cherry Gose, the 'Imperial Sour Ale Brewed with Tart Cherry Juice" from Southern Tier Brewing Company. While this style of beer goes back to 16th century Germany, it is only now just beginning to make a splash in the thriving American craft beer market, but given its tart, light, refreshing characteristics, it could very well become a summertime party favorite on this side of the Atlantic. I am quite happy to see another large craft brewer like STBC enter the Gose market. Sierra Nevada put their neck out by releasing Otra Vez a year or two ago. For more on the interesting history of this style which nearly went extinct, this wikipeida article is a good place to begin.

Where most sour beers seem to be low on alcohol, I was happy to see that Cherry Gose weighs in at a dangerously drinkable 8.3%ABV.

The beer pours transparent, heavily red leaning, amber - a characteristic no doubt coming from the cherry juice used during the brewing process.

The flavor is intensely tart, courtesy of our mighty little friend lactobacillus, but with ample amounts of cherry fruitiness, and enticing lemon-pepper notes. An aftertaste very much like that of red wine follows down the throat.

The aroma begins with the tartness of the cherries and ends with the dry, breadiness of saltine crackers.


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