Style: Blended American Oud Bruin
From: Oxford, CT
Brewery’s Note: “Brunneis is our interpretation of a Flemish Oud Bruin. Blend #2 was matured in 5 different barrels that used to house bourbon, whiskey, syrah wine & sherry. It is deep brown in color with a touch of carbonation. Reminiscent of dark fruits, raisins & plums, it has a balance between acidity & maltoness that is enhanced by a slight smokiness on the nose.”
The beer pours a deep, dark, and murky brown with large, soapy bubbles interspersed over the top of the beer in an approximation of a head. When splashed against the sides of the glass, a healthy distortion of legs lap up against glass along with a spatter work of tiny foam dots, which slowly slide back into the glass. The beer is utterly opaque, and almost maroon in its deepest parts, masking all that the other side of the glass might have shown us. On the nose, the beer is a deep, tart monster of green apple, vinegar, and cherries. It’s very Flemish in tinge, with a heavy metallic overhang that hints at pennies. As you dig into the nose, the barrels start to come into play, bringing lots of smooth oak alongside oxidized wine, nuances of sherry, some almond butter, and just a glimmer of spicy booze. On the tongue, the beer tastes puckeringly sour in its acidity right out of the gates. The acidity crescendos in the middle, and plays riffs through the rest of the sip. The acids seem focused in lactic and acetic realms, with rich malt vinegar blending with tart cherries, dark plums, and other dark fruit acidity. The finish pops with green apple malic acidity. Malty sweetness blends with fresh fruit, touches of raisin, and then splashes of sweet whiskey which blends into spicier booze. The finish is dry, with swathes of minerality and metallic nuance along with splashes of citric lemonade. Sherry caramel enters in the beginning and then falls into a rich woody character that hints at almonds and raw grains while subtle chocolate and coffee roast lingers into the finish and aftertaste. As the beer passes over the back of the throat there is a glorious moment of smoky malts, which add spice, meat, and complexity. In the mouth, the beer feels medium bodied, with a weight to the backend, the carb is very, very slight, but the acidity of the beer carries a prickle and sharpness that counteracts the lack of carb, keeping the sip snappy. It feels languid, yet with a snap of acidity. When the beer leaves, the mouth is left with a nice pucker. Overall, this is a lovely sour oud bruin. The pucker is intense at the start, but once you settle into the pH of the beer, you are left with loads of complexity and nuance. The smoky finish is lovely, and the barrel character is well balanced. The beer is an act of balance in everything but the huge puckering acidity. If I had a choice, I’d tamper down the pucker of the beer to let the other lovely flavors pronounce themselves a bit more. As is, however, the beer is a lovely American take on the style. It’s big and sour, which is very American in my approximation of styles… It also tastes great and has some old world nuance which I can really get behind. OEC is doing great interpretations of old world styles with just the right touch of new world flair. They do everything elegantly from the packaging down to the beers themselves. OEC is doing high-end beer right.