Wednesday, 11 April 2012


The above beer is not a bad beer, in fact it a great example of what it is.

Hardknott’s website mentions the unusual interaction that occurred in the barrel resulting in a balsamic sourness with this beer. In fact it has the lovely resinous sweet tanginess of good quality balsamic vinegar coupled with an almost fizzy sourness like the sugar on cola bottle sweets. All in all it is a great example of a sour beer.

But, when I see a label in a shop saying that the beer contained is a stout aged in whiskey casks I have other expectations of the beer. I was expecting the smell of medicinal alcohol which as you take that first sip turns into a whisky foretaste followed though with the big (this is a 7.8% beer folks) punchy stout flavours of coffee, chocolate and molasses, maybe all three or maybe one or two.

I didn’t get that…… the sourness is not mentioned on the bottle.

Yes, it is mentioned on the website but when on the hunt for beers in a shop I don’t look it up on a website as I expect the label to tell me things strangely.

Great beer, just not what I wanted.


  1. His beer goes off, we makes up some rubbish about balsamic vinegar and people buy it. Good God.

  2. I brought it cold without looking it up first, I tend to buy what takes my fancy in both shops and pubs. I like his beers usually, Granite is a lovely barleywine beer for example.

    Sour beers are not new though Belgium does a lot of them and they are not guff to sell bad beer. No tummy problems with the beer for a start Cookie.

  3. I don't like sour beers. I know they're not off, but that's how they taste to me.

  4. Sourness in stout also has some historical precedent, but I know what you mean about expecting one thing and getting another.

  5. Historical precedent maybe but is it a factor in stouts today? I would say no.

    It was a good beer, and I hope folks haven't thought I was rubbishing it,. Unfortunately it wasn't what I was expecting from the label, I'll be careful to check tasting reviews of the other variations before buying too as the labels don't really state the differences in the beers.