Wine bottles are fancy, huh? So when a brewery puts its beer in a wine bottle, it must mean that it’s extra fancy, I guess. Actually, more often than not, this has proven to be true, in my experience. Sometimes breweries choose to put their beer in wine bottles because the extra thick glass is necessary for beers with higher carbonation, especially if they require a champagne-style cork-and-cage.
Sometimes, though, it’s just good marketing. The wine bottle has become the craft beer equivalent of a power suit: it screams, “I’m expensive and I demand to be taken seriously!”
That’s not to say that the contents will always be spectacular. Lord knows I’ve had my fair share of over-marketed duds.I mean, they’re even putting PBR in wine bottles now.
But in the case of Twin Sails’ Random Thoughts, the fancy duds are warranted — it might be one of the better farmhouse saisons I’ve had all year. Clearly, this beer was too classy for one of Twin Sails’ ubiquitous white tall cans.
Random Thoughts is a blended Belgian-style ale fermented with blackberries, cherries and funky Brettanomyces yeast, and aged in Okanagan red wine barrels. The flavour is complex with bright acidity, lots of fruit and moderate funk and tannins — but everything manages to fall into balance. It pours with a massive champagne-like head, and the oak and fruit help give it a very vinous quality. It’s delicious and endlessly drinkable, and while there may be a lot going on here, everyone’s playing nicely.
Random Thoughts by Twin Sails Brewing Co. (5.9 per cent)
Appearance: Translucent rosy amber with a massive champagne-like head.
Aroma: Acidic, blackberry, sour cherry, damp hay, mild funkiness, a smidge of spice.
Flavour: Tart, blackberry, sour cherry, oak, vinous, apricot, moderate Brett funk, moderate tannin, faint pepper, balanced acidity, floral notes, complex but balanced.
Body: Light/medium bodied with a dry, tart finish.
Pairs with: Gorgonzola, fish curry, monocles and cravats.
For more beery adventures, go to thegrowler.ca.