Monday, September 16, 2013

VT Pub & Brewery Tulach Leis

The Tulach Leis (Tollah Leez) is a Flemish Style Sour Red Ale fermented with brettanomyces yeast, which provides its tartness or sour aroma and flavor. According to the pub, this beer comes from collaborative efforts of VPB brewers of both past and present to honor brewmaster and homebrew extraordinaire, Greg Noonan.

Alcohol Content: 6.1%
IBU: ?
Malts: ?
Hops: ?

Price: $4 (only available in 12oz snifters)
Medium: Snifter

Aroma: Sour, Brett fermentation character followed by black cherry (not from fruit additions). Warm fruity ester does not approach any barnyard character that I was expecting from the brewers description. Fruitiness quells the earthy notes from hops. Malt profile is mildly sweet and is difficult to describe otherwise.
Appearance: Red amber with a striking white head. Low retention, perhaps due to a blended gas dispense like all the other beers served at the pub. Hazy, despite the style being typically clear. A 12oz snifter displays its colors and aromas brilliantly. Somewhat cool to the touch but not too chilled.
Flavor: I was particularly sensitive to its sour fruit flavors coming in as dark cherry and plum notes followed by a horsey character. These flavors become stronger as they move across the palate, with a sour kick in the aftertaste. Malt sweetness becomes overlooked by its tart character. Hops play a part in balancing some of the fruity esters and help dry out the finish. After sampling the entire glass I noted the cherries being the most important aspect while the sour character undertakes almost a granny smith apple character.
Mouthfeel: Alcohol warmth is mild and smooth. As the beer dries out the palate, sour notes line the entire mouth similar to the effect after eating a green apple jolly rancher. This must mean I am actually sensing more malt sweetness than I noted in the flavor. This leaves the teeth feeling unpleasant. Body is smooth, helped by low carbonation and seemingly good attenuation.
Overall Impression: While sitting at the brewpub and reading over the menu, I noticed the Tulach Leis won a silver medal at the 2012 World Beer Cup. I wasn't surprised - it really is a great beer. Unfortunately its not one of my preferred styles. This is a more versatile beer to pair with since the sourness of the beer will help balance the sweets in many fruit dishes while the fruit dish will accentuate the fruitiness of the beer (hence they play off of each other). Funky cheeses may also play well with the beer.

No comments:

Post a Comment