Mar 28, 2011

New Holland Blue Sunday Sour

New Holland Blue Sunday label

Sours may not ever replace the stout as my favorite style of beer, but it’s a genre that I have been more and more interested in over the past year or so. I find their tartness and complete opposite-of-stout character intriguing and, to a degree, infectiously refreshing.

New Holland’s 13th Anniversary blend of select barrel aged sours was just what I needed the other week. It was fairly warm outside considering the time of year and I was in the mood for something different yet refreshing. That’s when I remembered a treat sitting in the basement. This particular bottle was purchased a couple of months ago, so I haven’t had possession of it all that long. I also, unfortunately, don’t have notes on a fresh bottle to compare against this 2010 vintage.


Blue Sunday poured a clear reddish brown in color with an almost effervescent head that rose quickly and noisily before relaxing to a patchy film.


There’s a load of lemony tartness on the nose with a touch of wood and a hint of berries. There’s no real “wild” character to it and only the lightest bit of funkiness.


Wow. The tartness in this beer hits quickly and immediately with a sharpness that fades smoothly to a comfortable, lemony bite. The oak is in there as well, adding a light woody character and a welcome hint of vanilla that complimented the tartness and light berry flavors that come into play. There’s a light malt sweetness that helps tame the tartness a little toward the back end. Again, it’s not as funky as I would have expected (or hoped). There is a light barnyard character that adds to the tartness, but it’s at a pretty low level or I just wasn’t able to pick it up all that much.


I really enjoyed this beer. The tartness in this beer is mean and does take some time to adjust to, but once you’re comfortable with it, the rest of the flavors (oak, berry, vanilla) all start to come out a bit more. It’s one of those beers for established fans of sours and not your average, casual craft beer drinker — the sharp tart nature of the beer is not for the faint of heart.


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