If the title of this week’s Tuesday Tastings post isn’t entirely clear, I’m focusing entirely on Gose beers this week. They are a great hot weather beer, light and tart and refreshing. (Incidentally, I want to use “Gosepalooza” as the name of an all-Gose beer fest…)
Anderson Valley released the first Gose that I’ve seen in a can, available during the summer months as part of their Highway 128 Session Series. This is their “base” Gose, 4.2% abv, that they brew using the kettle souring method. Among the various (though not very many) Goses I’ve sampled thus far, this one is one of the best in my opinion. Their words:
With a bright, golden color and tight creamy head, the earthy wood undertones in our Gose develop into a light mineral aroma with a hint of lemon zest and tropical fruit. Before boiling, the wort is kettle soured with lactobacillus, imparting an initial refreshing tartness that gives way to a subtle fullness. Flavors of guava and peach are followed by a slight sea salt dryness and lemon sourness that is enhanced by coriander and post-fermentation additions of salt. The finish is dry, effervescent, and lemon tangy, reminiscent of a fresh sea breeze.
Appearance: Golden, straw-colored yellow, very clear. A fizzy white head that broke quickly.
Smell: Slightly soapy character in the foam, hints of coriander and possibly sea salt (brininess). A bit of raw wheat and a sour cherry tartness.
Taste: Bracingly tart that gets me right at the back sides of the tongue, mouthwatering. Really nice salty undercurrent that’s brisk and savory. Not a lot of spice (looking for coriander), but the salty sourness is appetizing (in an aperitif kind of way) and very clean.
Mouthfeel: Light and puckeringly sour, clean finish.
Overall: Deeply satisfying.
So I have to confess right away an issue I had with this beer: the can froze in the fridge! Essentially I inadvertently invented Eisgose. Overall I don’t think this hurt the experience, I just got to drink a concentrated version of this beer (normally 4.2% abv) so my notes about orange soda might not be the same experience with a regular can. But I really rather liked it.
The brewery says of this beer:
Our Blood Orange Gose is a tart, refreshing wheat ale that is kettle-soured with lactobacillus and brewed with sea salt and coriander. However, unlike traditional versions of the style, ours features liberal additions of blood oranges during fermentation. This imparts tangy citrus notes that complement the champagne-like flavors, creating a complex and sessionable ale perfect for any occasion.
Appearance: Because of the freezing, it’s concentrated into a deep orange color, shining golden at the edges.
Smell: Orangey—kind of like orange soda, with a bit of orange peel at the back. Good job getting orange essence in here without any detectable astringency.
Taste: Concentrated flavors, orange peel and salt and it’s tart but not as tart as their regular Gose. A bit of that orange soda character.
Mouthfeel: Light, puckery, a bit of a mouthwateringly tart finish.
Overall: Can’t really say, I will have to drink another.
So this was an unusual beer. It was a collaboration between Germany’s The Monarchy and Kissmeyer Brewing, and apparently is a “smoked Gose” if that’s a thing. And yes, that’s intentional; Viking Gose is imported by Shelton Brothers and their description reads:
A collaboration with Denmark’s Anders Kissmeyer, Viking Gose is a Nordic twist on the ancient German style, brewed utilizing distinctive & traditional Scandinavian ingredients: rye malt & juniper twigs, evoking the local Sahti; smoked malt, inspired by the indigenous Skibsøl ale, and Danish smoked salt.
It’s 6.5% abv, and when I bought the bottle I didn’t see the small text that reads “smoky, salty and zingy” (or brewed with juniper berries for that matter) so assumed I was getting a traditional Gose. It took me a little bit of time to work out what was going on.
Appearance: Orange color, an effervescent pour but the head fell quickly and it looks almost still. Honey-colored when held to the light.
Smell: Bacon! Salted, smoky bacon, not sure at first if the smoke is intentional? [Turns out it was.] It’s making me hungry.
Taste: Smoke along with some light salt and coriander notes. A comment on Untappd calls it a Gratzer and that suddenly clicks with me—was their target brew a Gratzer-inspired Gose? No real sour or tart character that I can find (looking for lacto) but I can’t fault the uniqueness here.
Mouthfeel: Light, smoky character lingering on the tongue with salty(ish) aftertaste.
Overall: Gratzer? Smoked Gose? Smoke is not what I was expecting, not sure how to interpret.