Review #33 – Lervig/Redchurch softly softly 62/100
A collaboration between the Lervig brewery of Norway and the Redchurch brewery of London. Softly softly is a ‘sour’ red ale which has been inoculated with Brettanomyces and aged in ex-sherry oak barrels. Sounds amazing on paper, but unfortunately I wasn’t as impressed as I thought I was going to be.
Out of the bottle and into the glass, the beer pours a deep chestnut colour and produces a medium, lively off-white head.
On the nose it’s pretty good, starting with a strong backbone of spice: black pepper, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. The spice soon gives way to the typical ester like aromas you might find an a Belgian Abbey or Trappist beer: raisins, banana and old oak.
Now onto the palate, and for me this is where it goes a little downhill. As one of my favourite beer styles is the Flemish Red Ale, I was expecting a Brett’d red ale to have some similar characteristics. I was actually quite surprised when the beer first passed my lips that it was not in the least bit sour, no acetic or lactic tartness was present at all. I’m not exactly sure what has gone on here but the beer reminded me of a Duchesse de Bourgogne that has had the life sucked out of it. That being said, it isn’t a bad beer, it just isn’t what I had expected having seen the beer described as a ‘sour red ale’. The beer produces notes of dried fruit up front laced with ample amounts of of the same spices you notice on the nose, this moves onto flavours of soft tinned fruit eventually giving way to an old cellar like funk and finishing up with a moderate earthy hop bitterness, possibly East Kent Goldings or something similar.
Not bad, but also not great, I think a nice dose of lactic acid would have made this beer miles better.