Just like you, but different
Deep Creek Wildwood Solera. A Lambic. Yes, a sour beer. This one was released without much fanfare, or much fuss and noise from the stockists, unlike the Diep Kreik – a Cherry Lambic.
never actually touching
Solera is in a 750ml bottle, it has 5.9% ABV, which is 3.49 standard drinks in NZ of course. They’ve dialled this back from the published notes that have it slightly higher ABV.
Solera is our yearly release of a tank aged Lambic style beer, untouched by wood.
Named Solera for the process for aging alcohol by fractional blending.
We pitch new wort on top of the mother culture, allowing it to grow in complexity and flavour.
This 2019 vintage is a golden sour ale, aged for 15 months in tank, never actually touching wood.
First vintage. Medal winner NZ Beer Awards.
Solera is a process for aging liquids such as wine, beer, vinegar, and brandy, by fractional blending in such a way that the finished product is a mixture of ages, with the average age gradually increasing as the process continues over many years
So, What could possibly go wrong?
It smells like a cider on opening, and it’s quite lively with a little over-foam. So a good start really, and I’m not being sarcastic.
It’s a cloudy hazy pour of muddy orange with a lovely foamy head that seems to be happy to set atop. Aroma in the glasses lovely and again is a cider affair.
The sourness in this is nice, authentic, by which I mean not that powdery taste that reminds me of cheap children’s sour snakes candy. This is just a pleasant beer.
The mouthfeel is a delight, a lovely towards sweet body that carries nicely with that sourness sitting over it, and just kicking in near the back at the finish.
I don’t know enough about brewing to know what the underlying recipe is in this, the base, some kind of fruit affair, possibly apple, I’m hoping that I’m good at guessing, or that I’ve just imagined a cider and not a beer.
Note: Cider, is made from fermented apple juice – giving it a sweeter taste and a clearer colour than beer, which on the other hand, is made from brewed and fermented malted barley. Who knows? Should I bump into the brewer I’ll be sure to ask.
Lovely as this I don’t know that it’s a beer for drinking a lot of, and although it’s not full, or overly endowed with dryness I the finish I find myself slightly labouring with the first glass. What’s needed of course was the cheese. The remnants of a Brie, and Blue Cheese and a wedge of Camembert, and for balance some Spanish ham thing.
The second glass complimented by the side plate came quite alive, a lot brighter to taste, and I’m not sure if thats not just down to the palate refresh and reset that goes on.
Didn’t make my thoughts about it being a long beer to drink any different in the long run, not a beer I wanted to see the end of, but not a beer that you’re picking up and quaffing madly, wondering where it’s all gone when you stop and take stock.
I drank it all, enjoyed it all, it is a beer that enjoys being with a food accompaniment though, in my case all the cheese, all the Spanish salami and the odd pickle. For one.
The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 8 of its things from the thing. This is easily in the same esteem as I have for what I want to call the top shelf Lambics from Lindeman et al. As much as I like this though I can’t find it in me to pick out anything that is remarkable, or different from other sour or lambic beers, it’s the equal of some of the best, hands down.. I’m enjoying it mostly because it’s easy to drink and that sourness is just, for me, about right.
The double dip review
Music for this: Cold Fact by Rodríguez Which I’m playing on a Vinyl re-release version from 2008. That’s some scary art on the clip below! Lyrically, vocally and musically it’s easy to compare this to Dylan in my opinion.
Gueuze is a blend of young and old lambic. The yeasts are rejuvenated and carbonation ensues. The old lambic is more refined in character and helps take some of the edge off of the young lambic. The hops used are old, and act only as a preservative, so hop character is not a part of the style. The wild yeasts not only ferment and sour the beer, but they bring the funky, unpredictable flavours that characterize all lambic beers. A quality gueuze will be blended to eliminate some of the less desirable flavours. Above all else, a gueuze should be sour and very complex. The best examples are the most complex beers in the world, and put most champagnes to shame as well. The finish should be bone dry.