|Thanks to my friend Ross for this bottle!|
Is it a quad? Is it a sour? It's Mark of the Yeast!
This was one of the most interesting beers I've tasted. If you haven't read the For the Love of Craft Beer with Silas Parker, brewer of Darkside Fermentation in San Marcos, TX, you should. He's definitely a guy that doesn't go by the norm when brewing beer, but instead flies by the seat of his own pants. I mean seriously, who would've ever thought of brewing a beer with elderberries, sage, wormwood, and raisins. Oh, and to top it off, let's ferment it with Brett too (for more information on the yeast strain Brett, go here)!
Dark raisin color. Highly carbonated, almost like a soda (not sure, but it seems this is a product of Brett, as most sour beers have a really soda-like carbonation). The head precipitated within seconds, but it was a dark caramel color when there.
The sage really comes through on the nose. I didn't know if I'd like it, but I did. You know when you wake up in the morning and someone is cooking breakfast sausage? Well it reminded me of that, except in a beer...awesome! I did get a bit of the raisin. Sniffing hard after swirling got the wormwood going. If you've ever had absinthe, you know wormwood brings a lot of licorice aromas and flavors to the table...and it worked here.
Take what I just wrote under the aromas, and put that in your mouth. The high carbonation also gave a tingly mouth feel. There was a bitterness at the end that I'm not quite sure I liked, but there was enough sweetness and earthiness to this beer to off-set any unwanted bitterness. After a glass or two of beer, your taste buds pick up on more things. Eventually, I began to taste a little bit of Dr. Pepper. Weird...but since I love Dr. Pepper, I considered this a win.
Definitely one of the more interesting beers I've ever had. Just like when you cook, you can't just put things in a pot and hope for the best. This is an instance where seemingly random ingredients are actually well thought out and work very well together for the beer. Will I crave this beer? Probably not. Will I want it again? Absolutely. Do I sound like Cary Elwes from Seinfeld right now, answering my own questions out loud? Yes I do. So if you get a chance to try this beer (or any of Darkside Fermentation's beers), do it. Silas knows what he's doing, and you won't be disappointed.