Beer Review: FIRESTONE WALKER ROSALIE BEER ROSÉ

Beer Review: FIRESTONE WALKER ROSALIE BEER ROSÉ

Pouring from a 12oz “skinny” can with a packaging date of 1/11/19, Firestone Walker’s Rosalie Beer Rosé reveals a crystal-clear rosé wine color that defies the typical beer aesthetics. The peachy pink hue, akin to the unmistakable shades found in the wine world, immediately catches the eye. The initial eruption of light pink foam, threatening to overflow the glass, is a brief spectacle, dissipating in less than a minute – a characteristic trait in sour beers.

Aroma

Upon the first whiff, a distinctive funkiness permeates the air, characteristic of kettle sours, though interestingly not officially acknowledged as such by Firestone. Despite an initial whiff of something slightly stinky, this fades quickly. Volatiles settle to reveal inviting notes of white strawberry, Bartlett pear, and red apple. As Rosalie warms, an even sweeter aroma emerges, reminiscent of funfetti cake and frosted doughnut. The primary grape, Chardonnay, keeps the descriptors more aligned with the white wine spectrum than traditional rosé.

Taste

Rosalie’s flavor profile is a fascinating blend, reminiscent of a 50/50 mix of fruity white wine and a kettle-soured blonde ale. While Firestone remains intentionally vague about their brewing process, the presence of lactobacillus suggests a kettle souring technique, contributing lactic acid and a subtle dairy-like creaminess that lingers in the aftertaste. The acidic wine grapes effectively cut through the lacto-induced milkiness, introducing pear and red apple flavors. The overall acidity remains balanced at a 4/10, mirroring the sweetness. Despite the pronounced fruit juice character, Rosalie maintains a creamy texture and a slick oiliness from its base beer, making it a uniquely compelling experience.

Mouthfeel

Rosalie offers a mouthfeel that seamlessly combines acidity and creaminess. The suspected kettle sour aspect brings forth a noticeable lactic acid presence, complemented by a smooth and creamy texture. Despite the fruit-forward character, the beer retains a slick oiliness from its base, providing a distinctive and satisfying mouthfeel.

Overall

Reviewing Rosalie proves challenging as the glass seems to empty itself before comprehensive note-taking is complete. Its innovative flavor profile, a harmonious marriage of white wine and kettle-soured ale, has the potential to make a significant impact in the craft beer scene, possibly inspiring imitations from other breweries. While wine-beer hybrids exist, few are as accessible, low in alcohol, and firmly acidic as Rosalie. This hybrid sour introduces craft beer to a new audience with its modest acidity, muted kettle sour funkiness, creamy mouthfeel, and robust wine grape character. In blending the best of both worlds, Rosalie emerges as a spectacular and trailblazing creation in the craft beer landscape.