Strange Fellows Brewing Coup de Foudre New World Wild Ale – Sour / Wild Ale at 6% ABV

Strange Fellows Brewing Coup de Foudre New World Wild Ale Sour / Wild Ale at 6% ABV (C$13.27 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 750 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 12-Oct-2017, reviewed 16-Oct-2017)

Appearance: clear pale amber with one fat finger of fizzy white head diminishing rapidly to a persistent thin cap, patchy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: complex, red wine, oak, stone fruit, caramel, malt vinegar, dry hay funk. (9/10) Taste: moderate-low sweet, moderate tart, light bitter & funk. (9/10) Palate: medium body, moderate-high carbonation, off-dry tart lightly funky finish. (4/5)

Now, that’s an impressive little bit of wordplay: “coup de foudre” can be used to mean both “thunderbolt” (in the literal, weather, sense) and “love at first sight” (in the more poetic sense) because “foudre” literally means lightning – thus, “a strike of lightning”. But since foudres (or foeders) are also the massive wooden barrels used for ageing wine or sour beers, a third-level interpretation is revealed: “the impact of the barrel”. Simple puns or double entendres are so common in the beer world as to excite little response, but this rarely-seen triple entrendre works well. (In fact, there might even be a fourth level, since “foudre” sounds an awful lot like the extremely rude “foutre”. I know very well what “Va te faire foutre” means, but I’m not sure how readily that correlates here. I might have to consult with a native french speaker on that one. After I get all foutred up on this.) Aaaand after all of that, I’ve still said nothing about the beer. Which is, in fact, pretty damned awesome: big complexity, with lots of barrel notes that don’t overwhelm the wild yeast character. Reminds me a lot of the Ale Apothecary wilds, actually – but for about a third the price. And, without resorting to the fairly cheap trick of high gravity: this is very sessionable. I like this a whole bunch. (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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