Beer Review: CELLADOR ALES FIREGOLD BLEND 5

Beer Review: CELLADOR ALES FIREGOLD BLEND 5

The Cellador Ales Firegold Blend 5 proudly touts itself as the fifth release in their Firegold series, an offering aged on Kumquats sourced from a generous member’s tree. The beer, bottle conditioned with orange blossom honey and packaged from a red wine barrel, carries a 5.7% ABV.

Appearance:

Poured into wine stemware, the murky, deep golden-orange hue of Firegold Blend 5 immediately catches the eye. While the label hints at kumquats in small cursive, the sediment warning on the reverse label proves accurate, urging caution in handling this carbonation-rich brew.

Aroma:

The initial olfactory experience presents an “old” character reminiscent of Belgian geuze, blending musty attic notes with a hint of cobwebbed wood. Tamarind pulp adds a sweet and sour complexity, overshadowing the delicate aroma of kumquats. Despite its debut last year, the beer carries a cellared gracefulness.

Taste:

The lambic comparison holds water in the first sips, as the musty cellar essence persists alongside ruby red grapefruit pulp, akin to distinguished geuzes. The mouthfeel excels with a harmonious mix of citric, lactic, and malic acids, complemented by a subtle touch of acetic acid. The addition of starfruit and lime blossom honey brings a much-needed balance to the customary acidity found in sour beers.

Mouthfeel:

Firegold Blend 5 offers a vibrant mouthfeel, effervescent with bubbles dancing across the palate. The acidity, fortunately, remains well-balanced at a 5/10 intensity. The citrus rind character, possibly from the kumquat infusion, contributes to a significant bitterness that, paired with the sweetness of starfruit and lime blossom honey, lends the beer substance and body. The barrel component, reminiscent more of bourbon than red wine, adds wood tannins and subtle vanilla notes to the mid-palate and finish.

Overall:

In the realm of American sours, Firegold Blend 5 leans remarkably towards Belgian lambic, defying its hoppy farmhouse ale label. Impressively refined, the beer showcases a trendsetting balance rarely achieved by U.S. sour producers. Despite the absence of a distinctly discernible kumquat presence, the overall experience is one of deep enjoyment. Cellador Ales has crafted a sour beer that stands out, leaving a lasting impression on those fortunate enough to savor its complex profile.