Aged on strawberries can be a scary phrase to describe a beer, even a sour. What if it’s a fruit bomb? What if it comes out pink and your wife laughs at you because you just paired a bottled boat drink with the steak she cooked you? Don’t worry, you’re safe and you’ll be quite pleased.

This is Steel String’s second sour release and it’s an impressive effort. It’s loaded with a trio of tastes that blend surprisingly well: oak, strawberry and sour.

The beer is a “sour red aged for five months in red wine barrels, then a month on strawberry, then another six weeks in the bottle with brett c.” — it’s a carefully crafted ale with a lot going on.

The complexity isn’t over the top, however, and there’s just enough sour involved here.

Steel String claims the beer has “the aroma of strawberry pie” but that feels a little fruitier of a description for the actual quality of the beer.

Initially it’s quite tart. You catch a whiff of the sour and expect to get puckered. The powerful sour flavor hits you quickly on the front end but the back end is smoothed out by the oak. It’s easy going and, frankly, kind of refreshing. Rather surprising for an 8% ABV beer.

There’s also a little peck of the strawberries with the oak after the initial tartness that’s delightfully complimentary. This is a really well done beer.

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