Boysenberry Smoothie Sour
Boysenberry Smoothie Sour (6% ABV)
Ghost Train Brewing Company (Birmingham, Alabama)
Kettle sour Ale
This beer pours a gorgeous deep berry with effervescent pink head. I poured this beer from a can I'd had in the fridge for a couple of weeks, and the head dissipated quickly with absolutely no lacing. The smell is super tart and very fruit forward.
Bubbles continue to float through the beer for the first few minutes after your pour, but the beer has a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. It's a thicker mouthfeel than you get with a typical
I'll admit that other than the boysenberry syrup that sometimes graces the tables at IHOP, I'm not super familiar with the taste of this particular fruit. If you're not familiar with it either, I'd probably describe it as a mix between a blackberry and a raspberry — not quite as bitter as the former, and not quite as sweet as the latter.
This beer has a lovely tartness and juicy quality. The bite from the beer is mellowed out from the mouthfeel and the "smoothie" quality of the beer. Rather than battle a tartness, the juiciness of the berry is the star of the show here. On first sip, you're hit with a sweetness and a juiciness, but the middle notes of the beer come through a fresh bitterness that rests in your mouth. It's nothing like a hoppy bitterness, but moreso mimics the sweet and bitter qualities you encounter when biting into fresh fruit.
I've started to see several different smoothie sours pop up in local breweries, and I'm excited for the twist on a typical sour beer. It gives a good alternative for the summer months, I think, and opens the door to sours for folks who don't want to pucker with each sip.
The beer is a kettle sour, which means there's lacto bacillus added in the beer making process, which adds to the smoothie part of the beer. I've seen a lot of places describe Kettle Sours as "mouth puckering" sours, but I don't think this one is quite that aggressive. Instead, it's a wonderfully refreshing beer that I've purchased multiple times.
I recommend it to friends who need a "gateway beer," and in fact, for one of my wine-drinking-only friends, this is one of the only beers she enjoys. If you're looking to experience a smoothie sour and happen to be in the Birmingham area, I'd definitely recommend picking up a six-pack of this.
Overall rating: 4/5