BEER: Birthday Suit 22nd Anniversary Sour Plum Abbey Ale
STYLE: Wild Ale
FROM THE BREWERY:
“A playful combination of sour tanginess and subtle dried fruit esters round out this sour plum Abby Ale. Celebrate the 22nd anniversary of Uinta with this 750mL corked and caged bottle!”
The Birthday Suit 22nd Anniversary Sour Plum Abbey Ale by the Uinta Brewing Company is a limited release from 2015. I got it as a gift for my birthday back in January, and had managed to hold off on drinking it until now. It comes in a 750mL bottle, corked and caged. This beer is part of their annual anniversary series, and the first I’ve tried. Without any more adieu, here we go!
This beer pours with a fantastic head and beautiful, deep amber color. The head is retained for quite some time, and helps keep the aroma lingering. It has a very complex smell, hints of sour and plum that sing from the Belgian yeast strain used. After it breathes for a bit, the sour notes take charge. At first taste, the sour isn’t too pronounced. It is kept in balance with enough plum sweetness to make it quite delicious.
As the beer goes down, it mellows out. The sour notes fade and meld with the sweetness to culminate into a well rounded ale. The plum flavor comes out as the beer finishes, and leaves you wanting more (thankfully its enough for 2 beers in 1 bottle!). I’m not usually one for sours or wild ales, but this one isn’t bad. Where the beer really falls short is as a Belgian Abbey, where I don’t really find the profile. I might concede a Belgian Ale, but it misses on the Abbey features. I think its best viewed as a rather decent sour, but doesn’t pull off the combination.
CLOSING THOUGHTS and WHERE TO BUY
This is a beer that really swung for the fences – a Belgian Abbey style sour plum ale. A good Abbey or a good sour is a real treat – to get them together would require a great combination of ingredients and a dash of luck. In that light, this beer is a sour in almost all accounts except color. The plum, in my opinion, could be stronger, but its noticeable. As for where to buy, I can’t say. Check your well stocked local bottle store and look hard. The 23rd anniversary edition should be out soon, so maybe that will be a better bet. Either way, check out any other Unita you find – they are solid and very unique beers!
RATING: 3.5 out of 5