With this post I am finally caught up on my Barrel Society beers for the year. Since the next release hasn’t been announced as of this post, this one will have to tide me over for a little while.
Beer Name: Matterhorn
Brewer: Night Shift Brewing Company
Style: Sour Saison
Description: The label billed this as a sour saison aged in white wine barrels. To excerpt from the official brewer’s notes: pours straw in color; aromas of lemon, white grape, and hints of green tea; sips with tart notes of vanilla, pineapple, pear, and a funky vinous character; finishes dry, oaky, and pleasantly acidic. For this review I poured from a well refrigerated bottle into a snifter glass.
Appearance: Poured a translucent straw yellow body that was topped off with a thin bubbly white head. The head pretty quickly fizzled down to nothing and left little to no trace it ever existed after a few seconds.
Smell: Not entirely unlike a white wine, with some sweetly tart and funky notes added in.
Taste: Again very reminiscent of white wine. It started out with a sweet, fruity taste that was predominantly pear and grape. From there it transitioned towards a very dry finish which blended funky, tart fruit, a bit of oak barrel, and a touch of sweet acidity. I got a tiny hint of that peppery yeast presence I attribute to saisons somewhere in the middle, but otherwise I don’t think I would have picked that as the beer’s style without reading the label. I would have guessed golden sour ale or maybe even wine if presented as such.
Mouthfeel: The body was on the thinner side with some tingly bubbles coming out to play on the finish..
Hype Factor: Usual spiel for these beers, expectations were heightened going in. I did keep them tempered somewhat given how hit or miss I find saisons sometimes.
Overall: Not my favorite release of the year, but not bad. This beer wasn’t quite my thing on its own, as the wine barrel influence totally dominated the beer and I just wasn’t in the mood for that profile when I had it. I could, however, see this pairing really well with a nice meal or cheese plate, which is something I will keep in mind for next time.