May 25, 2018

Almanac Bourbon Barrel Pêche

Generally, all of the beers from Alamanc that I have encountered have been straightforward — dynamic in flavor, yes, but to the point with little room for interpretation. That statement has held true for many reviews and tasty sour ales from the company, until I came a cross Bourbon Barrel Pêche, a 7.3% ABV sour blonde ale aged with peaches in Bourbon barrels (as the name would suggest). And while the flavor is still dynamic, there’s plenty of room for the mind to battle itself in attempting to decipher whether to thumbs up or down.

There’s nothing wrong with this beer, but I can’t figure out if I want more or less Bourbon character within its golden depths. The barrel presence feels hesitant to present itself while an assertive sour tartness and fruity peaches dominate from start to finish. I can’t tell whether Bourbon Barrel Pêche would be a better beer with more of that bourbon-y goodness or with less. My brain and tastebuds were wracked with indecision the entire time I sipped on the sour blonde. The light body and soft mouthfeel may have had something to do with my waffling, but I can’t say for sure.

The level of influence from the barrel aging certainly made for an interesting experience. Had I been sharing the beer with another fan of sours, I’m sure that it would have lead to some debate and conversation over the subject. Regardless of where that chat may have ended, Bourbon Barrel Pêche is still a pretty darn good beer with an almost aggressive, gum-gripping level of sour tartness and a wonderfully peachy flavor. I’d personally prefer a bit more crispness on the carbonation, but that’s being nit-picky.