(Editor’s note) Originally this version was available for the American market, while in Europe a version less sour was available; as of today, only this version of Sour is produced, so if you got a recent vintage you had this one.
The Sour has a sticker to differenciate it from the sticker-less Barriquée Mild, which has not been inoculated with lactobacillus bacteria.
[ Alex, 2012-03-13, mail from Panil to Mortlach, although we don’t know when the European version stopped being produced ]
Suddenly beer-lovers here in the States are all a-titter over dark, sour, wood-aged ales. These complex, fruity-tasting beers, native to the Netherlands and Belgian Flanders, represent one of the oldest beer styles in the world. In their traditional form, these Sour Reds – also known as ‘Flemish Red’ or ‘Oud Bruin’ beers – are related to real lambic beers: a touch of wild yeast and bacteria coming from the wood give acidity, both lactic (sour) and acetic (vinegar). Trouble is, it’s become nearly impossible to find a true, traditional Sour Red, even in the place where the style was born. The spate of Sour Reds turning up here now leaves most drinkers crying in their beer. They’re too damned sweet! Crass commercialization has brought even the generally recognized ‘classics’ of the style to their knees. They’re pasteurized, and sometimes laced with sugar or artificial sweeteners to make them appealing to the less-discerning beer drinker. The traditional complexity, character, and dryness are missing in action. But now comes Panil Barriquée, and not a minute too soon. Barriquée is the only all-natural, traditionally-made example you will find today, and it comes from, of all places, Italy. This masterpiece is ‘triple-fermented.’ Primary fermentation is in stainless steel. The deep earthy, sour character results from three months of maturation in cognac barrels from Bordeaux, followed by re-fermentation and further aging in the bottle. Barriquée is not pasteurized or filtered, and no sweeteners are added, so it is uncompromisingly dry and complex, and endlessly interesting.
Last creation of Renzo, lover of wood from time immemorial, is an absolute novelty in Italy. These dark beer is aged in French oak barrels.The barrique hosts three fermentations, 15 days in iron vessel, 90 days in barriques coming from cognac and bordeaux and 30 days in bottle. The result is a beer who marries a strong alcohol strenght, 8% with an extraordinary drinkability and a incomparable bouquet of aromas.
Brewer: Panil Birra Artigianale - Birrificio Torrechiara
Style: Sour Red/Brown
Alcohol Content: 8%