There is a brewery in Kamloops doing good things, and they go by the name of Iron Road Brewing. Among the good things they are doing is their barrel-aged series, which has Boxcar Tourist as a part of it. This beer was aged in bourbon barrels for two months. Let’s crack this one open and see what is inside.
B.C. Beer Reviews: Iron Road Brewing – Boxcar Tourist
This beer pours a clear yellow-golden straw colour from the bottle. In the glass, it is a light golden colour. The SRM of this beer is well below 10, meaning this is a light straw colour.
There is a noticeably tart note to the aromatic of this beer. This is something that other sour beers rely on to make their name, but this beer is well above that aspect. There is certainly more than one dimension to this beer.
Behind the tartness you get off the bat is a light woody aroma that is very subtle and smooth. When taking into account that this beer was aged in bourbon barrels, you get a light sweetness that you would expect from bourbon.
The other aromatic that is noticeable is a funky and somewhat tropical aromatic that points to the use of Brettanomyces. This adds yet another layer of complexity to the aromatics of this brew.
This beer packs a tart punch right off the bat. It is not the face puckering punch you expect from a kettle sour, but rather a smooth and approachable level of tartness.
The oak note that you lightly get in the aromatics comes out much more here. It is not powerful, but it is one of the notes at the forefront of your palate. This is complimented by a sweet and slightly boozy note imparted from the bourbon barrels used in the ageing process of this beer.
The label claims to have light vanilla flavours. You can get this somewhat, but it is very much a background note.
Iron Road Brewing keeps it simple with this beer. The branding/labeling is a simple rectangular white label with a railroad tie to the left of the description of this beer.
This beer is highly carbonated. It is bordering being considered effervescent, and this is a note that helps to accentuate the complex aromatics of this beer.
Unlike most sour beers, this brew has a rather impressive head retention. The head it pours is massive, and it slowly dissipates without ever really disappearing.
This beer showcases that sour beer can be more than just tart. You get notes of oak, sweet bourbon and light hints of vanilla along with a slightly funky note that has tropical notes as well. It is a complex and approachable beer overall.
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Main photo by Nic Hendrickson, Lastword Inc., all rights reserved