Carolina Bauernhaus - Whiskey Sour
- Alcohol by Volume: 4.5%
- Bottle Size: 500-ml
- Serving Temperature: 47–53° F
- Suggested Glassware: Tulip, Teku, or Chardonnay Glass
Our latest Rare Beer Club special offer features four outstanding releases from the folks at Carolina Bauernhaus in Anderson, South Carolina. This relatively new brewery opened in December 2015, and they’re planning to open a second South Carolina location in the fall of this year. We’ve been impressed by everything we’ve been able to try from these folks, and we think these four releases represent the very best of what they’re up to.
First up is Whiskey Sour, a 4.5% ABV golden sour ale, aged on oak from regional distilleries and incorporating lemons and limes, as well as the contributions from native yeast. (All four of the beers in this special offer are at least partially fermented by native yeast.) This unique beer offers up a light touch of whiskey character, and gets its acidity from a combination of lactobacillus isolated by SouthYeast Labs and a blend of strains from Clemson University’s Musser Experimental Fruit Research Farm. It pours a bright, hazy golden color capped by off-white foam, leading with generous aromatics of tart lemon, grapefruit and lime. A hint of whiskey twang and subtle vanilla-tinged oak contribute some nice underlying structure.
The first sip provides a welcome impact of bright citrus fruits and plenty of acidity, though a second and third sip reveal significant depths after the initial tartness. There’s a huge lemon-lime component accentuated by the touches of vanilla and almond from the oak, with subtle hints of whiskey present. Notes of sourdough and hints of fresh-baked bread come through from the yeasts, underpinning one of the more expressive, unique sour ales we’ve sampled in quite a while. Packed with lemon-lime tartness—but tons to dig into after the early impact.
Despite its modest ABV, this should age gracefully for at least six months to a year or more. We generally like to counterpoint complex, vibrant sour beers like this with creamy cheeses, like Humboldt Fog or chevre, or likeminded fare such as potatoes au gratin.
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