Bellwoods Brewery Donkey Venom (2019) – Sour / Wild Ale at 8.5% ABV

Bellwoods Brewery Donkey Venom (2019) – Sour / Wild Ale at 8.5% ABV (C$22.32 at Collective, 500 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 13-Feb-2020, reviewed 17-Feb-2020)

Appearance: opaque deep brown with one finger of thin beige head diminishing rapidly to a thin ring, moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: tart red wine, dried cherries, chocolate, oak, leather. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate tart, moderate-low bitter. (8/10) Medium-full body, moderate carbonation, medium duration moderately tart finish. (4/5)

Comparing to my notes, this is pretty much exactly the same as the 2016 vintage I had nearly four years ago, which should hardly come as a surprise, I guess: while there are an infinite number of ways to be wrong, there are a lot fewer ways to be consistently good, and Bellwoods is consistently great. I had this one maybe six months younger than the previous one, but I can’t detect any difference. I’ll say the same thing now as I did then: if it has a flaw, it lies in its simplicity. It’s a big tart with some woody barrel notes, and not much else. (And what’s wrong with a big tart? Nothing! Cue Whole Lotta Rosie…) The price tag, though, is nothing short of highway robbery – more than twice the price I paid at the brewery. On the other hand, it’s not like I’m routinely commuting through YYZ any more, so I don’t have a lot of alternatives, do I? (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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