“The Beer List” is back at The No Seatbelt Blog after taking a backseat for a week in the name of Ecto Cooler. This time, we’re getting sour again with a review on Bluejacket’s Rheinhard De Vos Sour Brett Red, which was graciously bestowed upon my wife Jenn and I as a wedding gift from my cousin Jen back in April. As you may know if you keep up with my weekly beer series, I’m a big fan of sour beers, and I’m very excited to share with you my thoughts on another brew that’s perfect for the summer season.
After a three-month residence in my fridge, this sour beer from Bluejacket, a Washington, D.C.-based microbrewery, was finally popped open and poured. The Sour Brett Red escaped from its glass prison a dark, reddish-brown color with very little transparency and equally minimal head. The smell was moderately tart, with some balance with the presence of oak and red wine.
There’s much more complexity here in Bluejacket’s Sour Brett Red than with other sours I’ve had, which go straight for fish-faced puckering tartness. The characteristics here, which indeed do include a sour, tart cherry base, are nicely balanced through a special ingredient used in the brewing process. “Brett,” short for brettanomyces, is a particular type of yeast that grows on the skins of fruits and is typically employed in winemaking. The presence of that type of yeast here, as well as of red grapes and vinegar, gives this brew a sophisticated, mellowed-out personality.
While certainly sour to an extent, it is not so much so that each sip leads to an immediate upsurge of stomach acid that leads a barrage up your esophagus. Your tastebuds will be taken on an adventure, but will not be singed by obnoxious sourness, and they will thank you for it. The carbonation is not overpowering either, helping this to transcend standard beer brewing.
The alcohol percentage is a respectable 7.4%, which will warm you up nicely. The bottle pictured here goes from $12, which is quite fair for a decent amount of an outstanding beer. Bluejacket decided to forego labeling the bottle, and instead opted for a nifty hangtag suspended around the bottle with a piece of twine. I thought it was a cool touch.
According to Bluejacket’s website, the brewery offers a limited quantity of freshly bottled beers for sale only at the brewery, and once they’re gone for the day, they mean just that. There’s no better way to get it than straight from the source, and while I’ve never been to this brewery, I’m already sold on it and will make it a point to stop by for a cold one (or four) when I get my beer-loving butt down to D.C.
Well, we’ve reached the bottom of the bottle this week at “The Beer List.” I hope this review has found you well and introduced you to another fantastic beer. Until next week, bottoms up!