This Flanders Red was created by Destihl Brewing of Bloomington-Normal, Illinois as part of their Wild Sour series Destihl Wild Sour Series – Flanders Red
I love sours. It is known. But over the past couple years I’ve been trying not to overdo it on the tarts for the sake of my palette. Apparently that’s no longer the case.
Maybe its because I’ve been in a celebratory mood after launching a few new projects, or maybe its because I burnt myself out on malty German beers during the Oktoberfest season; but whatever the reason I have been hitting the sours really hard lately. And they have been palette busters.
So when I cracked open Destihl Brewery’s Flanders Red, I was expecting the smack-you-upside-the-head tartness I’ve been accustomed to lately. Now, I’ve had this beer before, but its been a while since I’ve sat down and properly thought about it. Boy, did I forget how pleasant and delicious this beer is.
With an amber-brown/burgundy appearance and a thin, pale head, Destihl’s Flanders Red certainly looks like a traditional take on the style. My initial impression of the aroma is a tart raspberry, but a second pass gives off more Grenadine or cherry candy, and just a touch of biscuit.
Like I said, I expected a punch with this one but in reality the acidity is pretty nicely balanced. The flavor invokes Welch’s grape juice for me and it finished fairly dry like a real grape juice or a red wine. Perhaps it’s the cherry candy quality of it, but its reminiscent of some blurry nights in Brussels putting down some Mort Subite Krieks. I’d venture to say this doesn’t have quite enough malt backbone for a true Flanders so it drinks more like a standard sour or lambic without the funk.
The mouthfeel is light to medium and the carbonation is medium and enjoyable. With almost no hop character, a nice lactic bite, and decent malt support at the end, the overall experience is pleasant as hell. Maybe not drink four or five in a sitting, pleasant (it sits 6.1% ABV and definitely drank much lower to me…). But definitely a nice American interpretation of the style that I will happily order at any bar.
As an Illinois native, I’m big fan of Destihl, especially their sour series. At the time of this publication, Destihl distributes to approximately twenty states. Check out their beer finder here to find their products near you. Better yet, go visit them. Destihl’s beer hall at 1200 Greenbriar Drive, in Normal, IL (queen Ben Folds entire “Back to Normal” album) is a geographic anomaly in that its roughly 2.5 hours from Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. Its a great road
This post features Barley the Beer Dog and his special guest, Lena. Lena is one of our former foster dogs who has been adopted by two of our closest friends. Barley was thrilled to host Lena for the weekend even if it meant sacrificing most of this post’s photos.