425. Destihl Restaurant & Brew Works – St. Dekkera Reserve Bela Imperial Pilsner Sour Ale

Destihl Restaurant & Brew Works - St. Dekkera Reserve Bela Imperial Pilsner Sour AleMy friend Joe had been in Chicago all weekend and was passing through central Illinois on his way home to St. Louis. He wanted to meet at Destihl for a couple of beers on his way through town, as he’s heard me talk a lot about their beers, as well as the opportunity to brew here when I won their homebrew contest a few years ago. They’ve become very well known for their St. Dekkera Reserve series of barrel aged beers, due to work of my friend and head brewer, Fred Morissette, who manages their barrel program.

Location: On tap, poured into a rounded glass at the bar at Destihl Restaurant & Brew Works in Normal, Illinois.

Numbers: 9% ABV, ~ 270 Calories

Appearance & Aroma: It was dark amber in color and fairly hazy. There was almost no head on it, just a ring of bubbles around the glass. The aroma was obviously sour with some stale band-aid like smells and hints of pepper.

Taste & Feel: The body was medium and the mouthfeel was crisp from the sour tartness. The flavor up front was a bit bready with an almost bland, band-aid like flavor dominating.  In the middle, the flavors turned toward a sour tartness, finishing with a clean, fairly tart flavor.  The flavor in the aftertaste was a bit tart, making my mouth continue to  pucker a bit.

Food Pairing: I’m not sure sour beers go with many foods, as the flavors are a bit extreme by themselves.  If I had to pair it with a food, I think I might go with something that would cut through the sour and tart flavors a bit.  Therefore, I would probably pair it with something like a thick, juicy burger, or something big and full flavored that would cut through the sweet tartness a bit.

Overall Impression: Sour beers are a bit hard to judge and characterize, as their flavors vary so widely depending upon the bugs in the beer.  I thought the sour and tart flavors in this one were a mix of band-aid and tart flavors.  Overall, it was an interesting mix of flavors.

My Rating: ★★☆☆☆

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