Barrel Aged · Beer Reviews · sour · Wheat/Wit

#91 Buxton Bourbon Skyline – really good beer but I’m not sure I’d call it a Berliner Weisse

Review #91 – Buxton Brewery Bourbon Skyline 84/100

I’ve previously talked about the history of the Berliner Weisse in another post, but just touching on that, Berliner Weisse was once the most popular beer consumed in Germany with production dwindling at the start of the 20th century.  If you look up this style of beer, you will find that there aren’t many rules concerning how it is produced but for the most part they are typically low gravity beers which yield a low level of alcohol usually around 3%, the mash bill is usually composed of at least 30% wheat, hence the ‘Weisse’ in Berliner Weisse.  When it comes to the flavour profile there should be a distinct level of acetic acid tartness which usually comes from a second part of the brewing process and the flavour should be crisp, clean and slightly dry.

The Bourbon Skyline is 7.2% ABV which is actually pretty strong for any sour beer, let alone a Berliner Weisse.  You can allow for some variation in strength, but over double what you’d typically see in this style maybe takes it out of that classification for me, I also don’t think the flavour profile fits that of a Berliner Weisse, but that’s just me, you may think different.  All of this isn’t to say that it’s a bad beer, as you can see from my rating I loved it.

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Out of the bottle and into the glass the Bourbon Skyline pours the colour of golden oak, producing a small, thin head which doesn’t stick around very long nor does it lace the glass.

On the nose, there is the distinct aroma of lactic acid coming from the beer, albeit in relatively small doses, moving on from sharp acidic aromas there are notes of mellow vanilla, trail mix and whisky soaked oak.

On the palate, the Bourbon Skyline ticks all the boxes for a barrel aged sour.  It’s medium to full bodied with heaps of whisky character coming through from the barrel and a medium level of carbonation.  Straight away comes the lactic acid, but not in a way that is characteristically like a Berliner Weisse, it just sits there in the background fairly prominent but not the main feature of the beer.  I found that the dominating flavours in this beer came from the barrel, there is a lot of vanilla, nutmeg, caramel, toast, walnuts oak and sweet bourbon.  The finish is long with medium dryness, not what I would call crisp and it leaves a lingering flavour of sweet vanilla.

A great beer, I just kind of think it would have been better labelled as a barrel aged sour rather than a barrel aged Berliner Weisse.

Cheers

Matt

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