Sunday, 16 December 2018

Une Biere Deux Coups Brings Their A-Game with a Shining Apricot Sour

Since originally reviewing some beers from Montreal homebrewers Une Bière, Deux Coups way back in 2015, I have gotten to know the mastermind behind the project and co-brewmaster, Dan Deeds, fairly well.

He has also gotten to know me better and knowing me as sucker for a tart apricot (or passion fruit) beer means he was likely unsurprised to find me anxiously salivating over his latest bottling: an apricot-aged, turbid-mashed wild ale reminiscent of a fruited lambic. Yet, despite my excitement to try this latest concoction, there is a risk here as I am also far more critical and difficult to please when in my comfort zones than I am with, say, a zwickel or a dortmunder.

Having taken up homebrewing, and having given this style a shot on my own - with no great success, I might add - makes me all the more respectful of a successful turbid-mash and year long mixed fermentation (before some time spent on apricots). It should be noted that this beer was wholly fermented (and infected) with the stepped-up dregs from a Tilquin bottle, and there is some apparent inheritance therein.

So the beer itself comes in at about 5.5% ABV, and was aged on both red and yellow apricots, as well as some dried apricots as well.


This treat pours a bright copper colour, with a slightly audible white head that dissipates almost entirely quite quickly, but a ring remains that leaves fast receding lacing of fine bubbles down the glass upon each sip.

The nose is dominated by apricot with a fermented apple skin/grape skin thing going on, supplemented by milder notes of lemon zest and slight funk. It smells like authentic lambic in almost every way, but lacks a bit of that mineral dustiness that defines the real Belgian style, though it isn't without a bit of hay-like funk on its own.

However, many American Wilds lack the true mineral and dusty qualities of the spontaneous Belgian originals, but seemingly attempt to make up for it with an overwhelmingly low ph that hides the lacking complexity with sour preeminence above all else. This doesn't do that.

In truly delightful fashion, this presents a nicely complex taste with a decently tart, but not overwhelmingly sour, bite supported by apricots through the middle and finish. It starts and ends quite tart, but with a little fruity sweetness in the middle - not much, but enough to give depth to the beer. There is a fair bit of earthyness similar to that found in the Tilquin dreg source through the middle and end as well.

This beer boasts an excellent bold sharp effervescence (carbonated to nearly 3.1 volumes), with a medium light body. Nonetheless, the small-bubbled sharp carbonation and tartness spreads feeling across mouth in a way that makes this enjoyable for those of us who enjoy a thicker bodied beer anyway - though this body is certainly to style.

It has a very slight oiliness on the palate, but this is a very minor flaw for an otherwise excellent product.

I'd drop good coin for this on a special release. Bravo, 1B2C, bravo!

And, to that end, I've got both good and bad news...

First the bad: though you can contact 1B2C at their facebook page to explore their offerings, this beer is presumably long gone.

Yet, the good news is that their commercial brewery (pending new name) is getting closer to actualization, such that it will become easier to procure their beers in eventually oaked glory! The business plan is complete, some funding is in place, and more investors will be sought early in 2019 as things hopefully begin to coalesce towards a bricks-and-mortar brewery and tasting room.

Dan plans to host a modest (30-ish) barrel program focused on mixed fermentation saisons, sours, and big beers (alongside staple crowler fills of draught fresher styles) and the success of this enjoyable treat has me salivating for the future.

Cheers!

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