Beer of the Moment – Panil Barriquee Flander Red ale (aged in Cognac barrels)

Panil Barriquee Flander Red Ale (aged in Cognac barrels)

Bottle: 22 oz, ABV: 8.0%, Serving Temperature: 55° F, Glass Type: Wine glass

Panil BarriquéeInterlude: Sours.  There is no gray zone, you either love them or you have never tried them. Much like cyclocross, those who do it love it.  That being said, you can guess where I stand on both issues.  The Flanders Red ale is a traditional beer of West Flanders in Belgium.  This beer is best know for it cherry wood reddish hue and the sharp, tart and sour characteristics that come from special yeast strains. Often dubbed “wild yeast”, which I find strangely fitting.  These beers are complex and many have seen months, if not years, inside of oak casks.  They are light and crisp and fantastic with food pairings or post cross race, as a tribute to the heritage and root of cyclocross

Appearance: Hundreds of tiny bubbles remain on the surface or a dark brownish-red liquid, slight orange hues at it is held up the light.

Aroma:  Sour cherry, some green apple, acetic berries with aromas or wood and light leather.  There is a finish of some barnyard funk from the wild yeast.

Taste: Like the aroma, tart cherries and sour fruit, not as sour as I would have thought based off the smell.  A mild to moderate amount of funk from the yeast tasted that fades as flavors of the cognac barrel come forward. Some nice vanilla flavors toward the finish.  There are red wine qualities to this beer  without being overly dry or heavy, it is easy to drink and remains light and refreshing though out the bottle even after it warms a little

Mouthfeel: Thin, light.  Good carbonation.  Flavor lingers in back of throat and tongue.

Overall: I think this is a good example of a Flanders Red, not as sour as other beer of this style offered by the Bruery or Duchesse, but it would be a good start for anyone looking to try the style out.  I think it would pair great with blue cheese, earthy vegetables and grilled meat.