I was in Annapolis today for my weekly stand-up meeting and my boss took me out for lunch since it was my birthday. Since he knows I’m a beer lover he took me to http://www.dawsonsliquor.com in Severna park on the way. I was in the middle of looking up another beer on Beer Advocate when I was approached by one of the employees asking me if I needed any help. I mentioned that I was interested in trying some sour ales. Little did I know that this guy knew a thing or two about beer.
To make a long story short, I walked out of the store with two different ales, one of which was the De Dolle that I’m going to review here.
The bottle opened with a sharp whoosh. My suspicions of a vigorous carbonation were confirmed with the first pour. Looking through the medium amber brew I could see numerous streams of bubbles forming along the sides and bottom of the glass.
As I took the first sip I could smell an acidic alcohol odor, and the initial sour bite of lactic acid was nearly overpowering. I was worried that I wasn’t going to enjoy this very much, but as I sipped I started to notice more delicate lemon-citrus notes in the acid bite. A but further into the glass and I started getting a sort of balsamic vinegar aftertaste. As odd as that sounds it was actually interesting in a good way.
This beer is aged on oak barrels but it is hard to detect much of the oak in the face of the sourness of it. However I did get a feeling that underlying the pungent overlay of lemon there was a solid brown ale, oak and all.
I’d get this again if I could find it (and afford it – $10 for 330ml is a little on the pricey side). Maybe the small size isn’t a bad thing though, since I’m not sure you’d ever want to drink more than one in a sitting.