Barley Mowat 

Driftwood Mad Bruin

with 2 comments

Yesterday, Driftwood put out their most recent one-off release: Mad Bruin. This sour/wild brown ale is the second in their Bird of Prey series, inspired because a Coopers Hawk flew into the brewery or some such. Hey, if you need a story behind your series of sour ales, you could do worse, I suppose.

And yesterday, Mad Bruin landed with a resounding thud. Unlike other Driftwood releases like Sartori, Singularity and Twenty Pounder, no one seems interested in picking this one up. So, what do I think? Well, it’s hard to gauge. This beer is clearly structured for aging, and that makes it hard to review, but I’ll try.

Right off the bat, this sucker hits you with a sweet astringency that settles in the back of your throat. That’s the lacto at work here, producing a bit of a puckerfest. After that, the malt lingers over a few sips, building a nice caramel tone.

A few sips later and you can tell where this bastard spent the past few months: in oak barrels. Used wine barrels, to be exact. Maybe something pinot-y. The oaking is very intense, and slowly grows to dominate the beer, so that by the end of your glass you’re pretty sure you just licked the hardwood floors.

So, right now it’s not much of a looker, but how will it age? Well, I think. It’s unfiltered, so the sourness should continue to develop while the extreme oakiness fades. The malty caramel will slowly come forward to play down the sour, but don’t be worried, this beer is definitely heading towards sour funk-town.

Overall, this will not be a top flight beer, but it will definitely be an interesting one, given enough time. Put a few in the back of your cellar and start pulling them out around April. If this plays out like similar beers I’ve had, look for a peak in July/August 2012, with a massive sour tone balancing out a slightly oaky sweet, but pronounced caramel.

Aside: What’s with the labels guys? You buy a $10 clip art CD and figure “Yeah, that’ll do”?

Coles notes:

Brewery Driftwood Brewing
From Victoria, BC
Name Mad Bruin
Style Sour/Wild Brown
SOA Now Bronze
SOA Potential Silver
Drink Spring 2013 to Late Summer 2013
Chance of this turning
to vinegar in 6 months
Availability Very good at LRS, zero at LDB
Cost $11-13 per 650ml bottle
Similar Beers Upright Late Harvest
Chuck says Buy 1 to drink now, 6-12 to cellar

Look at me! Reviewing beer like a pro!

Written by chuck

October 16th, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Posted in Beers

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2 Responses to 'Driftwood Mad Bruin'

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  1. Yeah I was underwhelmed. You seem to have got more sour off if than me, I hardly noticed any except for a bit in the finish.

    I mostly tasted vanilla.


    18 Oct 12 at 12:09

  2. @Jono I noticed a pretty strong difference between the two bottles I tasted. I think the blending wasn’t as thorough as we would have hoped, meaning that they will cellar fairly randomly…


    18 Oct 12 at 12:12

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