Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Belle Royale Sour Cherry Wild Ale - Driftwood Brewery

This is a limited edition brew from the wonderful folks at Driftwood Brewery, in Victoria. They're famous for producing one of Canada's best IPA brews, called Fat Tug. However, this time they went a little sour...in a good way.

I got my hands on a 650mL bottle of the Belle Royale - Sour Cherry Wild Ale from Driftwood Brewery (8% ABV). I was so excited to dive into this one, because after trying such champion brews like Fat Tug, Crooked Coast, and Farmhand, I was tempted to see if they'd finally produced a beer I might not like, or if they continued their strength.

Keep in mind, this is a sour brew, and it's 8% ABV. This is probably going to hit like a slap in the face, but I'm down if it's from Driftwood.

Belle Royale Sour Cherry Wild Ale from Driftwood Brewery

On first pour, it's a deep, dark red colour while pouring, but settles into the glass looking like a dark ale. The aroma smells like cherry. Straight up big hits of cherry, but there are also sour notes looming among the cherry.

The taste is very sour -- it hit me harder than I thought it would. But it balanced out right away with just enough sweetness to balance the tart. It sort of tastes like one of those Sun Rype fruit leather things infused in a fruity dark ale, in a good way. There's a sweetness of fruits, perhaps not just cherries. There are some wood-like notes (maybe oak?) in it as well. However, it did have a slightly funky taste to it.

Does that make sense? Just be careful, it's a strong brew, so one glass will probably be good for sipping. Definitely not a "hey-look-at-how-fast-I-can-drink-this!" type of brew.

There's a moderate carbonation to the brew, and it's really a side-step to most beer produced by any major brewery in Canada. If you're new to taking a step away from an econo-lager, I'd recommend something else first. This might be too much for a newbie to handle. However, if you're really game, go for it!

I'm not sure if this is still available anywhere, but if you find it, go for it. It's a unique brew experience that any craft beer appreciator should enjoy.

The Belle Royale - Sour Cherry Wild Ale gets a sour-and-satisfying 8.5 / 10

P.S. I used the last table-spoon or so of my brew, and mixed it with Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream that I found in my freezer. It was incredible.

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