Beer Review: ODELL ONOLICIOUS TROPICAL FRUIT SOUR

Beer Review: ODELL ONOLICIOUS TROPICAL FRUIT SOUR

The Onolicious pours from the 12oz bottle into the lambic tumbler, presenting itself fully hazy and adorned in a bright golden hue. The initial sight is marked by aggressively fizzy bubbles reminiscent of pouring a soda can into a glass. An attempt at forming a foamy head is short-lived, evaporating in mere seconds. A quick snap of the camera captures an image resembling flat mango juice, leaving a visual curiosity. On Odell’s website, the beer boasts a sustained creamy head of foam, a contrast to the observed flatness.

Aroma

The aroma unfolds with a robust burst of authentic nectarine juice, accompanied by subtle undertones of vanilla and the buttery notes characteristic of white wine barrels. As the beer warms, faint hints of sweeter cantaloupe and mango emerge, yet the dominant nectarine persists. While well-integrated and intricately complex, the tropical fruit promised in the beer’s description seems less prominent. Instead, the initial impression leans towards a stone fruit sour, deviating from the anticipated tropical symphony.

Taste

Upon tasting, the nectarine character persists, complemented by a well-balanced acidity that surpasses the sweetness. The overall sourness registers at a moderate 4 out of 10 intensity, making the beer pleasantly drinkable throughout the entire 12oz bottle. A noteworthy aspect is the return of the buttery wine barrel, adding an oily texture, while the nectarine juice cuts through with ease. However, a touch of watery quality in the mid-palate hints at a potential dilution, reducing the beer’s overall acidity.

Mouthfeel

The aftertaste lingers for several minutes, characterized by a building lactic acidity at the back of the throat. Citric fruit juice, reminiscent of pineapple, lemon, and unripe strawberry, dances around the edges of the palate, contributing to a clean finish. While exhibiting a somewhat green (young) quality for a barrel-aged sour, it stands out as Odell’s best in the sour ale category. The beer’s acidity is well-managed, potentially achieved through careful blending of barrels or the introduction of less-sour, younger beer into the mix.

Overall

In my assessment, Onolicious falls short of embodying the envisioned vibrant, tropical sour ale. However, it excels in the broader sour ale category, skillfully merging barrel flavors with stone fruit juice. The beer leans towards being an excellent barrel-aged nectarine sour rather than the advertised tropical concoction. Notably, Odell demonstrates a commitment to refining the beer’s acidity, evident in the meticulous details of the brewing process. Despite its deviation from the expected tropical paradise, Onolicious earns praise for its nuanced flavors and the brewery’s evident dedication to quality control.


Today, I delve into the broader perspective of beer reviews, emphasizing the significance of critical evaluations. Drawing from over a decade of beer reviewing experience, I highlight the value of diagnostic and detailed reviews, offering insights for both consumers and businesses. Critical reviews, when thoughtfully crafted, serve as a form of free quality control, providing constructive feedback for improvement. I underscore the delicate balance in delivering honest assessments without sugar-coating, fostering a culture where businesses view criticism as an opportunity for growth rather than a detriment to sales.

Instant feedback in today’s digital landscape proves instrumental for producers, shaping their reputation and influencing consumer choices. Acknowledging personal preferences and potential biases, I encourage readers to interpret reviews within the context of individual tastes and the inherent variability in beer quality. Ultimately, critical reviews, when approached with respect and honesty, contribute to a thriving and informed beer community.