Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sours, sours, sours!

I was out for a couple hours going to a bunch of beer distributors today and ended up across the street from Hawthornes, a bottle shop / bar in South Philly.  I wanted to get a draft of Victory's new Coffee Brown Ale but it wasn't available yet so instead I picked up two different sours from Belgium.

The first I drank was Ichtegem's Grand Cru.

The beer is a really beautiful reddish brown and is really inviting.  The style of it is a Flemish Red Ale according to the bottle.  I've had a couple Flemish Red ales (although Beer Advocate calls them Flanders Red Ale for whatever reason) and the ones I've had have been pretty similar to this.  One you might see a lot is Duchesse du Bourgogne, at least in Philly.  Ichtegem's was quite good.  It smelled sour, tart, and mildly like vinegar.  Sort of like a really mild balsamic I'd say.  It sounds odd, but man it's really good.  The taste was sour and then sweet with a really slight bitterness at the end.  Reminds me of cherries to a certain extent.  As I drank it, the sourness started to build which happens with a lot of those beers and really accentuates the flavor.

The second beer I got was Petrus Aged Pale.
I had this a couple weeks ago during Devil's Den's sourfest and really, really liked it.  I thought it was the best of the bunch that I tried that day.  It smells like sour apples basically.  Unlike the Ichtegem's, there's no hint of vinegar in it.  It's just sourness all the way down.  The initial taste is so good, so sour.  Just like the smell, the taste is reminiscent of sour apples and again with a slight bitterness at the end.  Unlike the red above, this beer is pure sour without any of the vinegar edge.  The one thing that's great about this one, though, is that a case is only $80 or so at Global Beer.  Really reasonable compared to other Belgians you see.


  1. "It sounds odd"

    That's an understatement. Gotta say, I am simultaneously disgusted and intrigued by these two beers...

  2. Yeah sours are a whole different flavor than any beer but they are totally worth a try. I really like them.