Review #135 – To Øl Sur Cedar (YoN Rating: 8/10)
(Long post: skip past the second image for the review) For those of you who are unfamiliar with this brewery, To Øl are a Danish based brewing company who don’t actually own their own brewery except for the one at their brewpub which produces beer almost exclusively for the pub alone; all of their beer for the general market is produced in other breweries owned by other companies who let them come in and use their equipment. Most of the breweries used by To Øl are based in Denmark, although I am sure I have had a few expressions from breweries based elsewhere in Europe – this method of production is sometimes referred to as gypsy brewing, since the brewers are constantly moving their brewing location from place to place. I have had more than a handful of expressions from To Øl and they have always impressed me.
The only annoying thing about the beers produced by To Øl is the labels, this particular label is a photographic picture of a super-zoomed-in section of a passenger aircraft, no indiction of what style the beer is. I always seem to get confused by these beers, flipping it over and trying to find the something about the beer amongst the passage of text, in which I always seem to find something new each time I look back on it, like right now, I have just looked a little deeper and found that this particular beer is produced in Belgium, confirming my previous suspicion that they also use breweries within other European countries. Just a few words on the front giving the name and style of the beer would be nice, other than that I hope to have many more expressions from To Øl in the future.
I am not so sure I would class this as an IPA since the level of bitterness is borderline nonexistent, it’s a very delicious expression from To Øl but in my opinion one of those beers that don’t really do what they say on the tin.
Nose: lemon rind, juniper, heather and dark honey.
Palate: fairly subdued on the sour side with layers of complex tartness coming from different angles, there’s some clean lactic acid notes, layers of grapefruit and pomelo rind. There’s not much coming through in terms of yeast flavour, it’s a pretty clean beer in that sense. Some maltiness from the grain does shine through, albeit in a small dose, it’s a pretty crisp tasting beer with a subdued malt backbone which lends itself nicely to the sharp and fresh character of the beer. There’s a little sweetness to the beer reminiscent of eucalyptus honey, herbal notes of rosemary, pine needles and lemongrass are also present.
Finish: medium finish, with a lasting impression of tropical fruit juice, with the tartness inducing a mouth watering sensation. The cedar influence becomes apparent on the finish leaving a sweet, almost resinous flavour at the back of the tongue.
Overall: a very nice easy to tackle wood influenced sour beer from the To Øl brewery in Denmark.