Anthem’s second batch of Babalon just hit the shelves, and man have I been ready for this one. I wasn’t fortunate enough to get any of last year’s incredibly limited run, so I made sure to grab a few of these to compensate. I would love to tell you I was sitting here rocking a side-by-side with last year’ release, but alas, I just have a bottle of B2 in front of me. Maybe some nice person will share a B1 with me soon.
Company: Anthem Brewing Company
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
ABV: Somewhere around 7% (Anthem’s guess)
Style/Description: Sour ale aged on oak barrels with tart cherries and raspberries
Price: $13 (750ml)
Appearance: Pours a hazy rose copper, with a quick burst of rising bubbles and a thin head that quickly dissipates.
Nose: The raspberries come out big in the aroma with a hint of citrus acidity in the background and some herbal notes. The cherries show up faintly in the aroma, and in the form of those sour cherry candies I loved to devour when I was a kid.
Taste: Like in the aroma, raspberries come out swinging first. They hit with a bright, tart punch before allowing the cherries to creep in which bring some sweetness along with some nice earthy notes. The red fruit is complimented with the light body and solid carbonation. The medium to low tartness brings nice balance to this beer.
Finish: As any remnants of sweetness quickly fade, the oak finally presents itself by drying out the situation and bringing herbs and lemon. Ultimately a floral, perfume-y experience is left behind making me want to take another sip.
Overall: As I said before, I was pretty jazzed for this release, and I enjoyed drinking it. It delivers on the tart red fruit that it promises, but I wish the sour level was turned up a bit which would have provided a bit more complexity. More oak would have been welcome too, but it may have distracted from the fresh, crispness of this pour, which I really appreciated. I’ll be holding at least one of these back to see how it develops down the road, and look forward to the rest of the season’s releases from Anthem (some of which are mentioned here) as the winter falls upon us.