This is a bottle conditioned 8.0%
ABV beer from Nethergate Brewery (now Growler Brewery) of the Stour Valley in England. It is imported by Artisinal Imports of Austin,Texas. According to the bottle, this beer was historically “Specially
brewed for the feast held on the annual audit of accounts from the mid
fourteenth century at the famous colleges of both Oxford
and Cambridge. This style was
brewed right up to the late 1960’s although the style had morphed into a barley
wine ale by then. We hope you enjoy our more original 0.5 lbs. of hops to the
The beer pours amber and copper in color, slightly hazy. There is a short head of off-white soapy bubbles. The aroma is tart, sour, seemingly not a good sign. The taste is pure sour and soapy. This must be an off bottle, this can’t be right. Unfortunately, this is a drain pour...Okay, hold on. I am reading multiple reviews, and apparently this is one and it is supposed to be like this. I didn’t know there were English sours! Taking a few more sips. Some very apricot fruit is coming in behind the sour. I'm getting an aftertaste of dried apricots. This has very low carbonation, mouthfeel is from medium-bodied to smoothly syrupy. As it warms it becomes more drinkable, more stone fruits, especially apricot, and earthy funkiness come in to moderate the sour.
Be patient with this one, let it warm up a bit and keep sipping, you'll find a hidden gem under that initial wave of sour, which was made probably unnaturally intense just because it was completely unexpected. I think they should put an indication on the bottle. You read the label and are expecting something akin to an English barley wine.