Sometimes in life there are happy accidents. Area Two’s Whiskey Sour’d was born of such an accident!
In the spring of 2017, we were scaling up our sour beer production but ran into a snag. Having just recently brewed a “sour base” beer we needed some barrels to rack it into for aging. Unfortunately, we were low of freshly emptied wine barrels, our intended vessel for long-term barrel souring and needed a substitute.
Timing had it that we had just completed aging a batch of Two Roads’ barrel aged Conntucky Lightnin’ and were staring at a pile of bourbon barrels. Perfect! Since we had already pulled most of the bourbon character out of the barrels from Conntucky Lightnin,’ we should only have to soak the barrels a couple times in hot water to neutralize what little bourbon character was remaining, right...
Fast forward 12 months or so. As I was tasting and gauging the souring progress in these barrels, I noticed that a few of them exhibited a detectable bourbon character. Oh boy, we hadn’t planned on this but it was tasting pretty interesting – kind of like a Whiskey Sour! At this point there was no turning back, so why not embrace this beer and jump in with both feet?
I identified the barrels with the most bourbon character and then ordered some freshly emptied bourbon barrels to transfer the blend into – Whiskey Sour’d was born!
We then aged our newly minted Whiskey Sour’d into these fresh bourbon barrels where it sat for another 6 months or so – continuing to sour and extract the fresh bourbon flavor from the new used barrels. It then spent two months re-fermenting in the bottle before it was released.
The result is a fully matured, “lambic-style” beer with a complementary bourbon barrel character. Whiskey Sour’d really lives up to its name! As of mid-May 2019 Whiskey Sour’d is now on tap and available in bottles while supplies last.
Phil's Notebook: Whiskey Sour'd, An Experimental Accident