Beer Review: WILEY ROOTS BLUEBERRY & LEMON COUNTY FAIR COBBLER

Beer Review: WILEY ROOTS BLUEBERRY & LEMON COUNTY FAIR COBBLER

Pouring from a slightly battered 16oz can, the Wiley Roots Blueberry & Lemon County Fair Cobbler, or “CFC,” presents itself with an inky purple hue. The purple foam head defies expectations for a kettle sour, demonstrating impressive retention that seamlessly blends characteristics of an IPA with those of a sour ale.

Aroma

The aroma of CFC is nothing short of remarkable, unleashing a vibrant bouquet reminiscent of freshly zested Key limes and a medley of blackberries and blueberries. The fruit intensity is unparalleled, almost as if someone is actively pulverizing fresh fruit right before your eyes. Initially, the vanilla, graham cracker, and cinnamon take a back seat, but as the beer warms, a subtle pie crust character emerges. However, the spotlight remains firmly on the captivating blueberry and lemon duo.

Taste

In terms of flavor, CFC goes beyond the ordinary and enters the realm of the extraordinary. The wild intensity of the fruit dominates the palate, skillfully balancing sugar, acidity, and bitterness. What sets CFC apart is its ability to incorporate leathery tannins from the fruit skins and peels, providing a multifaceted experience. The puréed fruit, especially the lemons, intertwines seamlessly with hop bitterness, resulting in a taste sensation akin to a dry-hopped sour, albeit drenched in inky berry juices.

Mouthfeel

CFC continues to impress with its mouthfeel, offering a unique combination of elements. The lactose introduces a much-needed sweetness, orchestrating a perfect harmony within the beer. The intense lemon peel prevents the beer from leaning too heavily into a baked dessert character, maintaining a refreshing brightness. The overall acidity remains restrained at around 3 out of 10, while bitterness asserts itself powerfully at a 6/10, courtesy of the interplay between fruit skin tannins and hop oils. Sweetness gracefully takes a background role, peaking at a modest 3/10.

Overall

In conclusion, my initial skepticism towards the Wiley Roots Blueberry & Lemon County Fair Cobbler was swiftly dispelled upon the first sip. This beer stands as one of the most imaginative and original concoctions I’ve encountered in quite some time. While dubbing it a “Milkshake Sour IPA” may not align with my expectations, the reality is that this fruit-centric iteration from the County Fair Cobbler series transcends any IPA or dessert beer categorization. Instead, it firmly establishes itself as a stellar representation of a fruited kettle sour, enhanced with an artful balance of bitterness and sweetness that elevates it to the status of a true masterpiece.