Wild Rose has put out a Barrel-Aged Series beer under its Rare program, and that’s a shame because this is a beer that should be distributed to Alberta 24/7. Farmhouse White stands out more than any Canadian-made beer I can think of. FW is a fruited sour showing remarkable restraint in a market that’s still in the “the-more-abrasively-bitter-the-better” phase. But find those “frou-frou” restaurants with those high-class menus, and throw this beer onto the curated drink list. It belongs there.
This beer is deep. Like Alberta oil-well deep. Foremost you get the flavour from peaches that are thrown in, giving that juicy, mouth-watering sweetness, and a little bit of tartness to this beer. The brewers at Wild Rose refrained from dropping the pH into the abyss, and presented an acidity that is delicate and soft-spoken. That tartness builds to a dull point, that makes this beer comfortable to drink over and over.
What takes this from being some silly half-ass attempt at a fruited sour is use of yeast. The big-hitter here is the Brett, doing what it does best. You get that funky barnyard, hay, sweat-sock characteristics off the nose but less in the taste. On your palate, you rather get the sharpness of the lagering yeast, which cleans this beer. I’m impressed with the brewers ability to use a lager yeast to a Belgian-style farmhouse ale – they’ve clearly shown they aren’t fucking around for the hell of it.
And then they threw this into a burgundy wine barrel for six months, which I think was a great decision. At the end of the sip, those tannins come through, adding a mild dryness. And you get a faint old-old-oak note, and you just want to sit down and listen to the life-story of this barrel.
I think Wild Rose would be doing themselves a disservice if this was a one-off. It is an exemplary brew for the Canadian market. One thing I think I’d maybe explore is giving this slightly longer barrel-treatment. I think the barrel character is hidden away behind everything else that’s going in this beer, and it should really be pushed a little more. I also think I got a hint of diacetyl, especially as it warmed (although I’ll be the first to admit I have a poor palate for picking out diacetyl). Hopefully that’s not an issue imparted from the barrel itself, and something that can be fixed in further iterations.
Until then, no qualms giving this 9.0/10