To be honest when we started Barrels and Mash last year I never expected to be writing about brewery-only releases this soon, much less society-only releases. The American Solera Society Launch Party was last night and it was amazing to see all those people flocking to the old home of Prairie Artisan Ales in Tulsa and loading up their cars with boxes of sour beer they had been waiting months to take home.
The first launch included 6 different beers (each member took home 2 375ml bottles of each plus the ability to buy extras), all of which will probably end up getting reviewed between Justin and I at some point. Bluebarrel was the most limited of the bunch with less than 500 375ml bottles being produced. This meant that there weren’t even enough to give each Society member 2, so some only recieved 1 and will get payed back with an extra of something else down the road.
The overall vibe of the party was amazing. Everyone just seemed genuinely happy to be a part of something like this without having to travel out-of-state. The American Solera crew was incredibly busy and seemed slightly stressed but Chase Healey, his wife Erica, and the rest of the team really went out of their way to express their gratitude and excitement. During a conversation with Chase, he looked around at all the people and made a comment about needing to figure out how to keep all of us coming back for more. For some reason I think he’ll do just fine on that.
Alright, so let’s get into this Bluebarrel.
Company: American Solera
Location: Tulsa, OK
Style/Description: Sour Ale Aged in Oak Barrels with Blueberries
Appearance: Translucent plum with fruity floaty bits and a very light, pale head that quickly dissipates.
Nose: The aroma is fairly complex with funky earth, blueberries, and some rose smells. There are also some nice herbaceous notes like basil and some light mint. The balance is nice and isn’t as tart as some of the other offerings from AS.
Taste: Tart and earthy, but the fruit holds up nicely and brings the blueberry vibes to the front with the mellow sourness backing it up. In the mix with the fruit is basil, floral hints, and light wood providing some dryness. As it opens and warms up the earthiness really takes over and brings out an almost sweet-and-sour thing (which totally works).
Finish: The tartness fades quickly and leaves a great blend of blueberry sweetness and oaky dryness. The earthy things linger as do the herb notes. This one leaves your mouth nice and dry making you want to drink that next drink.
Overall: mmmmm Bluebarrel. It’s sad that I only have 1 little bottle left, so I think I’ll throw it in the cellar and see how it develops. That fruit will fall off, but I’m excited to see some more complexity come out of this one over time. Great job, American Solera. Can’t wait to spend the rest of the day cracking some little bottles.