When I heard about this beer two thoughts went through my head: are they nuts and yippie! I have had a few Flanders sours and these are not approachable beers. The flavours can be quite intence: mouthpuckering sour, tart with hints of vinegar and cherry syrup. Hence, I thought they were nuts to brew a beer that people might think is off flavoured. The YIPPIE reaction was from the happiness in learning that a local brewery was going to brew a beer to challenge the local palates. I had a little warmup at the Alibi Room with Storm's Imperial Sour Flanders Red last weekend. This beer was excellent and impressively sour, yet sweet.
Bird of Prey Flanders Red = 8/10
I had a preconceived notion of what this should taste like, luckily my biases were unfulfilled. Often Flanders reds can be intensely sweet, the Bird of Prey is not. The nose is spot on with various fruits like cherries and currants. Added aromas of tart fruit vinegar provide curiosity. This brew sparkles when it hits the tongue and provides a bit of alcohol warmth. Flavours are not as intense as I thought they would be. Pick up a Duchesse de Bourgogne or Vichtenaar for comparison. The Bird had more wood flavours than I expected. It was very dry, ample tannins, and notably astringent. Flavours of oak, tart cherries, sour currant and a good vinaigrette were unmistakable. This beer was great! I look forward to aging a few bottles in hopes that the wood flavours will fade and more sweetness appears. I am equally excited to try future yearly releases as the barrels should impart fewer woody flavours.
Alcohol Content +1 7.5% (I don't think so)
Appearance +1 always great art and proper description of flavour on the bottle
Previous Sour reviews
Rodenbach Grand Cru