Thursday, March 29, 2012

Blue Sunday Sour – New Holland

So, I was super excited to see that the new New Holland sour blend beer was in my local liquor store, and a little less excited to see the $18 price tag on it.  However, I am a big fan of New Holland and the beers that they put out, and Blue Sunday Sour is a limited release, so both of those factors led to me picking up a bottle with the intentions of saving it for a special occasion.  As things like this often go though, I was unable to delay my gratification and just had to open the bottle and sample this year’s release to know if this was one beer worth snatching up to cellar.  Or, and potentially more likely, if the $18 price tag was too large an obstacle, and would in the end relegate this beer to a one time purchase.

As a blended beer, the Blue Sunday Sour is potentially different with each vintage, more like a wine than a beer.  However, the two beer rating sites don’t accurately reflect that, with ratebeer not listing any vintage after 2010 and BeerAdvocate only providing one listing for every vintage.  Regardless, over at ratebeer it currently has a 96 overall and a 69 for style, while on BeerAdvocate it has a score of 83.

They say:
This unique anniversary libation, heritage-blended from our library of barrel-soured beers, exhibits deeply layered flavors of malt and oak, with a tart finish.
Pairings: wild game, poultry & charcuterie.
17.1° Plato 8.7% A.B.V.

I say:
Blue Sunday pours dark reddish amber with a thin light tan head that has no retention.  The aroma is very malty with strong sour dark fruit esters and a light oaky finish.  It is a full bodied, high gravity beer with light to moderate carbonation that provides a nice balance.  Flavorwise, Blue Sunday has a nice oaky maltiness with a slight sour/tart finish.  I would have liked it to be a little more sour, or have a more pronounced oak flavor, but I can see how that would not sell well with the general public.  It has an excellent linger, and is slightly astringent.

All in all, it’s a pretty good beer.  However, the $18 price point is a little steep.  If you don’t mind parting with $18 to get a limited release beer then feel free, but if you just want a good beer for your money there are better choices.  Personally I am a bigger fan of New Holland’s other beers so the next time I have a strong desire for one of their barrel aged beers I will choose Dragon’s Milk or Envious.

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