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Beer – #1008 – ParrotDog – Microflora Specimen A Boysenberry Sour

ParrotDog Microflora Specimen A Boysenberry Sour. This was a present to me, I’d not normally pick a sour ale, but I protest too much about that all the time and do enjoy a really good one, I don’t know if this is a good one, yet.

a notoriously private artist doing his mysterious work

This is a 500ml bottle of beer that is 5.5% ABV and 15 IBU things, which is about 156 calories a serve size, and 2.1 standard drink units in NZ money.

The  ParrotDog Microflora Specimen A Boysenberry Sour is brewed in the style that is a  Sour / Wild Ale  and is brewed by ParrotDog people in windy Wellington, New Zealand

Honest I don’t like them really

I’m hoping that this is a brightly purple beer, with all those Boysenberry fruits in it.

Specimen A begins with a very pale malt base that includes a touch of wheat, acidified by strains of Lactobacillus.

A saison yeast then ferments the beer down dry (and adds a hint of spice) before we add a heap of Nelson boysenberries – a surprisingly-recent hybrid of various berries from the Rubus genus with a tart fruit flavour and striking maroon hue.

So, What could possibly go wrong?

Well it’s very Red, and low of carbonation means it’s a 50/50 pour. also had to be dextrous with the pour to prevent an unfortunate spillage as it threatened an overspill, and you don’t want that happening, and I’m a crier so that would have ended badly for me.

So a lively pour of a bright velvet red beer with a pint foam of immense proportions on top. The aroma is just as a sour, there’s no other over-riding aroma that stands out, for me, just that dusty sour aroma that you get with sour beers.

Jebus that’s sour and tart and sharp and eye squinting beer. Was not expecting that.

As it warms slightly you get a nose of fruits and hints of that in the taste.
The Sourness is the proper type, not that powdery sort that you can associate with jelly snake lollies.
So that’s in its favour.
Can’t get past that really sharp sourness though, and it just reinforces my stand that  it’s not a beer style that I’m really enjoying, even if this is one of the better ones.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 7 of its things from the thing. It’s entertaining for colour and pour, it’s overwhelming sourness mutes any thought of flavour from the berries though, which I was looking forward to.  This though is one of the better sours that I’ve had, but I don’t really enjoy them.

The double dip review

  • Where did I get it? A gift, but you can get them from good Liquorlands and other places if you look
  • Am I enjoying it? I am for what it is, and that it has decent sourness that fits and sits well.
  • Would I have another? Not really
  • Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? Possibly yes, it’s entertaining with the colour and the exuberant pour, it’s a nice sourness but it is very sharp and intense, but it’s authentic and not powdery. Would cause a debate on whether there is fruit flavour in there or not.

Music for this:  Piano & A Microphone 1983 by Prince Which I enjoy so much I brought the Vinyl album version of this. I’m not a huge fan of Prince, who’s work is sometime not as accessible as you think, but this is simply outstanding.

Wikipedia says: The album was discovered in Prince’s Vault at Paisley Park as a single cassette tape. The music was recorded in one take with no backing band, just Prince at the piano, at his Kiowa Trail home studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota. It includes alternate versions of previously released and yet-to-be released songs, cover versions, and sketches of songs. The New York Timescalled it “a glimpse of a notoriously private artist doing his mysterious work.


Sour ale is a broad spectrum of wild ales, from the fruity and acetic Flanders Red Ales and Oud Bruins, to the experimental ales gaining popularity in the United States which use lactobacillus, brettanomyces and pediococcus in new and wild ways


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