Mar 8, 2018

Jackie O’s Elle

Jackie O’s has been a staple in their hometown of Ohio since 2005, but this bottle of Elle is the first that I’ve seen from the company on Virginia store shelves. The brewery’s sour beer program is created, stored and packaged in a room that is the shape of an “L.” That’s where this mixed fermentation sour saison gets its name. The 5.1% ABV brew is fermented with wild yeast and bacteria in stainless steel before heading into an oak foudre for six months.

The result is a lovely little beer that presents a great flavor and lively character. Elle pours nearly champagne like in appearance, resting noisily in the glass. That trait also translates briefly to the taste in terms of body and mouthfeel. The acidic nature and sour tartness of Elle hits quickly, peaking swiftly with a moderate-to-high level of assertiveness before fading slowly and gently to the lasting and lightly drying finish. The funkiness of the base saison still shows through the tartness along with distant fruits, a twinge of wild yeast, honey and echoing wood.

I thoroughly enjoyed Elle. It’s not at all a one-dimensional experience as some sour ales can come across. This one allows the base brew to shine through wonderfully, working with the acidic nature of the bacteria and wild yeast instead of overwhelming those soft funk and grain notes. I also believe that this one will develop further with proper cellaring, so I’ll be looking for more of it on future shopping trips.