Brewed by Quebec craft beer producer Le Trou du Diable in commemoration of Bar Volo’s 25th anniversary; this ‘Special Sour Blend’ is a mix of 40% Bretteuse, Dulcis Succubus and Buteuse Brassin Special, 40% sour rye aged in Banyuls barrels and 20% young saison. The resulting beer is an outstanding example of a modern wild ale.
Appearance: Pours an attractive, very clear, reddish-golden with a thin white cap that is typical of sour beers. The high pH results in poor head retention. Considering the beer is bottle conditioned, the clarity is quite amazing. Leaves a little bit of lace as you drink.
Aroma: Tart on the nose. Citrusy notes of lemon peel, coriander and caraway. Pilsner-style grainy malt notes as well as a hint of rye spiciness. There’s also a fino sherry like character here; likely a combination of the wine barrel aging and slight oxidization.
Taste: A nice fruity sweetness (think cherry or apricot) that is immediately cut away with moderately sharp acidity. Certainly not Lambic sour, but definitely tart. It finishes with a touch of woody hop and yeast bitterness, as well as lingering barnyard-type brettanomyces funk.
Palate: Light to moderate body; doesn’t sit heavy. Champagne like texture that’s typical of Belgian inspired sours. Moderate plus carbonation. Slightly sticky.
Overall: Quite a complex brew with a long and lingering finish. Glad I bought half a case, will be enjoying these for years to come.