Brewery: New Holland Brewing Company
Beer: Blue Sunday Sour (2013)
Style: American Wild/Sour Ale
Character: Annual blend from cellared barrels leaves remaining aged beer to be topped off with fresh beer for continued aging and subsequent blends.
Metal Connection: NEGATOR – Gloomy Sunday
I find myself at Het Mowry Huis van Vele Bieren, translated to The Mowry House of Many Beers, or simply put, my friend Ryan Mowry’s house! Ryan actually has his own blog site up called Ryan’s Reviews, where he specializes in reviewing craft beer, independent music, and movies of any genre. We became friends in an unusual way. There was an event happening at Big Hop’s Growler Station, I believe it was the Karbach Tap Take over, and I see this dude wearing an awesome t-shirt for the movie Re-Animator. Of course, I approach him to compliment his shirt, and now we are friends, enough so, that I get invited to his house for a nice bottle share. I told him I was going to be posting up reviews of some of the beers we had, so here is the first of that batch.
This is my first encounter with a New Holland beer, but not the first time I have heard of the brewery. They have a few beers in their roster that I am still dying to taste. Here we are with Blue Sunday, an oak barrel aged sour ale. They have released this beer since 2007, which was the brewery’s 10th anniversary. Every year they celebrate their anniversary with a new version of Blue Sunday, and add a new, fresh batch of beer to any remaining beer and then continued to be aging. Quite a unique method, if you ask me. Since, this series is layers of beer on top of beer from year to year, not one will ever be replicated. Every year, not only do they put the year of the release, but there is also a number stamped somewhere on the label to show how many year’s the brewery has beer alive, as the 2013 version wears a number 16 on it’s label.
Using a Jester King Brewery goblet style glass, the beer poured a dark amber color, that when the sun light was hitting the glass, there were reddish-purple tones showing. My glass had a thin off white colored fizzy head, leaving soap like lacing on the glass.
The aroma of this beer is spot on to what I thought it would be. There is a tartness present right up front, mixed in with some dark fruit notes, like some plums and dark cherries. To me, this beer was very fruit driven, but I did not see actual fruit used according to their specs on their site. This aroma is made up from the aging in oak barrels, along with the malts used to make the base beer. There is also a bit of a boozy alcohol burn in my nose at the end.
The taste completely follows the nose. This beer had a nice tart sourness that made my bottom half on my jaw wanting to fall off. As soon as the initial sourness goes away, each drink was easier than the last for me. At this point, I picked up the dark fruits with some cherry, and plum flavors. The booze again shows up in the back end.
The body was a medium thickness, making this beer feel, not so heavy on the stomach. The mouthfeel was bright, crisp, and definitely dry, like a red wine. As with most to all sour beers, this beer was made for sipping and tasting, and not for chugging, so for you who drink to get drunk, or chug the shit out of a beer bottle/can, do not attempt that same style with this beer. My jaw is getting tingly, and mouth is getting dry just typing this right now.
Overall, I will say this was a very impressive beer, and I love the brewing story of this series. I wish and hope that I am able to get this year to year, but it’s pretty hard to do that living here in San Antonio, TX, where New Holland does not get distributed to. Hopefully I could make a vacation trip to Michigan or somewhere near there, or maybe find a person willing to ship me these beers every year. I will always make this fact known, that I was never a fan of sour beers, until recently. They took some time to grow on me, ad now I can tolerate a glass or two in a session. There are still some sour beers that I do not like, but this one is definitely one of the top sours I have ever tasted up to now.
Metal Connection: I always like to think that that these brewers refer to music when they name a beer. There is a song called “Blue Sunday” released by The Doors, and another by Tom Petty, so maybe one of these songs inspired the name of this series. Well, those might be great songs performed by some of the greats, but this is Beer METAL Dude, so I found a nice lovely tune called “Gloomy Sunday” by the Germany based Black Metal band, Negator. This song comes off their 2005, sophomore full length release, Die eherne Replik. I know this isn’t Tom Petty or Jim Morrison, but Negator’s vocalist, Nachtgarm did a small stint with the popular Swedish band, Dark Funeral. That has to count for something in the Metal world, right? Enjoy your Black Metal and a Sour Beer.