Drinking & Thinking

Paradox Beer Company's Skully Barrel No. 26
Paradox Beer Company’s Skully Barrel No. 26

One thing about society I find fascinating are trends and what becomes trendy. The beverage industry is no exception and I’ve touched on this in the first IPA that I posted about. A couple years ago it was all about how much hops you could possibly put in your beer. Then came bourbon barrel aged offerings which is still holding on. The newest trend I’ve noticed is a movement toward sour beers.

This trend particularly interests me just because of the complete departure from the flavor profile that the majority of the population was into just a couple of years ago. I feel the people drinking, enjoying, and preaching about the ridiculously hopped beers of recent history would have turned their nose up at drinking fruity sour. Instead they are now tipping back framboise like all the other cool kids. While I do appreciate people branching out and trying new things, I still find it a bit funny the drastic change in the scene.

With this change there is no shortage on the options for those seeking to try Sour beers. For today’s post I chose Paradox’s Skully Barrel No. 26 which is their sour golden ale brewed with mango, chili, sea salt and then is aged in oak wine barrels.

-Color: When I first popped the top of this beer it foamed for almost five minutes leading to a nice fizzy head. (Not uncommon for a sour of this style) Once in the glass it dissipated rather quickly. It’s deep golden amber of a beer. Bottle conditioned and you can tell with the descent amount of sediment in the glass. Very Cloudy.

-Nose: Fruity and tart. Gives away the drink to come.

-Flavor: Tart. Of course it’s tart. It’s a sour after all and if you’ve never had a sour this is what you’ve been missing out on or what will surely turn you away. But underneath that mango flavored sweet tart, I also get a bit of apple notes, you’ll taste the chili that was added just on the back of your palate and throat. With all this tartness and chili it gets your mouth watering and asking for the next drink.

-Rating: 2.5/5: I actually love the chili notes that this sour has.  Definitely my favorite flavor note about this beer. The mango flavor was a bit lacking for my taste and I would have loved to taste the sea salt and oak aging that was promised on the side of the bottle but was missing on my palate. I will admit I’m just ok on sours as a style. I appreciate them for what they are, but I still haven’t found one that is balanced enough for me.

On a side note about this beer and I guess Paradox in general. I absolutely love the information they provide on the bottle. Not only do they give a description of what they are about and the types of yeast involved in their process. But they also give recommendations for food pairings. Just another step in the right direction in American craft beer if you ask me.




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