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Green Flash Flanders Drive

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Green Flash Brewing’s Flanders Drive is a Flemish-style sour Red Ale that was released for the brewery’s 10th anniversary in 2012.  Chuck Silva, brewmaster, toyed with the idea of creating a Flemish-style red for while.  But when they found their new brewery location with a cross street named “Flanders Drive,” the idea seemed destined for reality.  The beer was brewed using standard mixed fermentation methods which include standard ale yeast, brettanomyces, and acid producing bacteria: lactobacillus and pediococcus.  The beer was then aged in bourbon barrels for over year.  This beer had a very limited release in the San Diego area.  A friend who works for the brewery was able to obtain one for me.  I’m glad he did.

Appearance: Hazy garnet/brown with a tan head.  Good retention.

Aroma: Sour cherries, caramel, tobacco, balsamic, leather, tart and herbal notes

Taste: This beer has a very round and savory mouthfeel.  There are bourbon notes of caramel and vanilla with a peppery finish.

Overall Impression: I was a little concerned with the use of bourbon barrels.  That usually indicates the use of new oak.  New oak has a lot of tannins, which can be unpleasant when combined with the sour flavors of a Flemish Red.  This was not the case.  The beer was balanced with the bourbon/oak adding nice nuances.  It had a really good level of tartness without being overly aggressive or too timid.  I know that Green Flash is renowned for their hops, but I hope they continue down the sour road as well.  This was a really nice beer and good sour.

Availability: In the San Diego area (if any is left)

6.9% ABV

5 thoughts on “Green Flash Flanders Drive

  1. Ah, how I love a good sour red. But aged in Bourbon? Is nothing sacred anymore? Have you noticed the rash of bourbon barrel-aged beers that made the rounds this year? What triggered that?

    1. It’s been a steadily growing trend. I had a bit of trepidation about a Flemish red in Bourbon barrels but found that it worked perfectly find and added a few nice nuances. I’m all for barrel experimentation of all varieties. There has been some really good stuff produced lately.

      1. I’d have to differ on one variety, barley wine! It seemed just about every craft brewer in the lower island was rereleasing a 2012 barley wine as a bourbon barrel aged one this year. Interesting addition, but I have to say that barley wine is best on its own.

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