Monday, November 28, 2011

Ommegang Aphrodite

I was visiting my sister Jena this weekend and I thought she'd like to try a sour beer since she likes wine and this might be remotely in the same ballpark. Although Ommegang Aphrodite isn't a sour beer per se, but rather a fruit beer that uses the Brett yeast strain in tandem with other strains to give it a sour edge, but isn't meant to be a lambic or gueuze.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chad9976 (577) - Albany, New York, USA - NOV 27, 2011
I split a 750ml bottle with my sister and poured it into a goblet.

Appearance: Egad, this beer is truly red! Not pink, not ruby, but straight up red. Extremely hazy and translucent. Forms a soapy head which quickly fizzles away not unlike a soda with virtually no retention or lacing.

Smell: Definite sourness in the nose along with authentic fruit punch-like bouquet. No alcohol presence.

Taste: If a "typical" sour ale and a "typical" fruit beer got together, Ommegang Aphrodite would be the result. It borrows heavily from both styles, but adheres to neither. It’s too Belgian-like to be a typical American fruit brew, and although it is made with Brettanomyces yeast it’s not nearly as overtly sour as a lambic, gueuze, or other wild ale. The result is a tart, fruity, slightly refreshing but always delectable beer that’s very unique and satisfying.

Aphrodite is brewed with raspberry and pear juice, which work extremely well with the Brett yeast. You get distinct tart and sour notes, but nothing overbearing, astringent, or of a flavor that would be for refined palates only. It’s comparably to Sangria wine with fruit cocktail flavors of cherry, raspberry, pear, and pineapple. In fact, it’s quite refreshing while in the mouth and would be fantastic on a hot summer day despite the fact it’s a bigger beer. The palate is sweet, but never rich or cloying. Mild bitterness through the middle, preceded and followed by juiciness. The sour bite comes right at the end, but fades away quickly. It’s extremely tasty and satisfying, and impressive considering there are so few beers like this.

Mouthfeel: Relatively thin but very fizzy. Finishes mostly clean, but eventually builds up a pleasant, subtle, sour aftertaste.

Drinkability: Ommegang is an American brewery that does everything the Belgian way and Aphrodite is no exception. It has that Belgian yeast quality of a slightly doughy/powder-like sensation and is extremely carbonated. In fact, it’s a little difficult to drink because the CO2 always gets stuck in the throat. Despite the 8.9% ABV potency, there is no presence of alcohol in the nose, palate, or weight. A fantastic beer to pair with fruity or plain cheesecake or even just fruit.
Grade: 9/10

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