Nowt but a couple o’weeks back a somewhat eye widening sight greeted UK fans of sour beer, for on that day of days North Carolina’s storied Wicked Weed Brewing had arrived! No less than ten different beers, all sours, had snuck upon us and in the clamour to grab what few of each there were… Nah, ‘course there wasn’t a clamour. Not even a gentle hurry. Most people ignored these just like they always have the more established sours. S’pose that meant more for me, right? Err, no. Y’see these things carried stunningly, hilariously huge price tags (okay, I’ll admit that may have also played a part in the lack of online excitement). I actually coulda bought a 12 bottle case of locally brewed ale for each of the three 500ml Wicked Weeds I ended up buying. Buuuut whadda trio! All are beers I’ve lusted after since reading the first gushing reports from Stateside fans of a good face puckerer.
I started with Amorous (7% abv), a pale sour aged in red wine barrels before vigorous dry hopping. It’s floral and zesty up front, with lemon juice, some pineapple, red and white wine vinegar, funky yeast notes, and a good dose of oak. Dry, medium bodied, spot on carbonation, hella complex, and absolutely delicious. This really did exceed all expectations and made a fantastic first impression for this brewery. For me, an Iris toppler.
Next up was Black Angel (6.6% abv) a sour black ale aged in Four Roses bourbon barrels over cherries and plums. And it’s chuffing gorgeous. Roasty coffee notes make a strong first impression, the subtle sourness soon coming through, there’s chocolate, vanilla, black cherries and other bold dark fruits, red wine vinegar, yeasty funk, and a fine oakiness. Without doubt the most deeply complex dark sour I’ve had yet, and another stunner from NC.
The last of my trio, *sob* Oblivion (8.5% abv) is a sour red ale aged in red wine barrels with blackberries and dates. A rich, med-sweet into sour beer with a deep, dark fruitiness. There’s blackberry and plum jam, hints of stewed raisins and figs, red wine vinegar, a roguish funk weasel, old leather shoes, and a lurking oakiness. As much as I loved the others, this was my favourite. A wondrous, absurdly complex treat for the taste buds.
And I’m done. My short time with Wicked Weed Brewing has been a joy, all three of the beers I tried were of exceptional quality and flavour. If I had regular access to the brewery and they weren’t so prohibitively expensive they’d become a go-to for a good face scruncher, no question. And yeah, even at the expense of the more established Old World sours. As it is I’m just glad I got to sample a few. Cheers, all!