Saturday, October 10, 2009

Cascade Mouton Rouge

I'm back tracking a bit here. Last Sunday, after returning home from the fresh hop festival disaster, I road my bike to the store, where I met my wife for the return ride home. On the way back, we decided to check out green dragon for dinner. When we got there, I was excited to see Cascade Mouton Rouge on tap; a beer I don't think I've had since the portland international beer fest this summer. First beer of the night, mouton rouge. It's everything I remembered it to be, a fantastic world class sour. Tart, acidic, tastes of dark cherries, light funk and oak, with a mouth puckering finish, all while remarkable balanced and highly drinkable.

In my excitement to order the mouton, I forgot to ask about the mystery tap; but I thought better the second time around. Turns out they had a keg of Russian River Temptation on. I thought it was a great opportunity to be able to try a russian river sour up against the cascade, so Temptation it was.

I'm no stranger to Temptation, but having it against the Mouton Rouge really allowed me to detect the subtleties of this beer that I might not have been able to pick out so easily having it on it's own. Of course, all the standard flavors where there. What I noticed immediately from having these two sours back to back, is how differently the "wild" yeasts can effect a base beer. I know these were different beers to start out with, and a better comparison might have been a mouton vs. a consecration, or an old yeller vs. a temptation, but base flavors aside, it was neat to see how each of these beers went in different directions once the nasties starting working on them. The Mouton Rouge developed more acidity, for more of a sour bite. The funk was there, but definitely took a back seat to the sour. In the past, when I've had the Temptation, I've noticed the sour first also, but by being able to compare it directly to the Mouton Rouge, the first thing I was able to pick out was how distinct the funk was. There's the "wet horse blanket" and "musty barnyard" you hear so much about when reading reviews of beers fermented with brettonamyces. Once compared with the Mouton, I'd say the temptation is Funk with a side of sour.

After having these two side by side, I'm excited to do some more sour tastings in the future. I have a pretty good collection aging in the cave right now. It will happen sooner or later.

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