Fall backward, spring forward. I’m springing forward with yet another apricot infused sour on my favorite day of the year. This one hails from the golden state and a brewery some are dubbing the Hill Farmstead of the west coast – Sante Adairius Rustic Ales. This is their second go around on Beer Chatter after an inaugural successful review of Fruit Punch 2; a brew packed with a whole lot of red fruits and beaming with flavor. I’m hoping that West Ashley will be as bright and crisp as our newly enjoyed 7:00 sunsets! Let’s run them numbers…
Appearance: I already used this pun, but what the hell – it is my favorite day of the year… it looks like a 7:00 sunset. Golden in color and quite hazy, it looks exactly like how an apricot sour should. There are some floaties in here – I’m only assuming they are part of the flesh of an apricot.
Smell: Tart apricots, hugely fruit forward with the stone fruit. Citric Acid – maybe some lemon, but just really apricot forward.
Taste: Really sour. Huge puckering upfront that just stings and stings. Three sips in, the palate gets acclimated to the sour flavors and the beer begins to open up. This beer is giving me flavors of apricot, lemon, peach, plum, and granny smith apples. The most prominent fruit in here are the apricots, for obvious reasons, but even with that said, this brew isn’t as packed with as much flavor as I would expect. My most recent bottle of Fou had so much more flavor in comparison and was a year older than this as well. As I continue to drink the apricot shows up for a few seconds, then off it goes. It doesn’t linger like it does with Fou, or even the Bruery’s Filmishmish… which doesn’t have nearly as many fanboys. Don’t get me wrong I’m digging on this brew, but I’ve had others that seem to compete with this. The midpalate is just sour with some minor fruitiness and the finish is crisp and dry like the season we just left.
Unlike old man winter, West Ashley doesn’t beat you up as much with it’s ABV ticking in at 7.3%. Though this is high-ish for many sours, there is no trace of it in the glass. The carbonation on this Sante beer is right in the sweet spot for a sour. Lively small bubbles but nothing that makes you burp every 30 seconds. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied; I think the unfiltered brew helps to boast its body.
Overall: For how increasingly hard this beer is becoming to land, I don’t think it’s worth the price tag you’d have to “pay” for it. There are other sours that give me the same amount of satisfaction, one that comes to mind is Incorrigible Sour Reserve by New Holland, and that has a price tag of $7. This does not blow me away, but regardless, it’s still a great beer. If I considered value, I’d give this brew a C+. If I am basing it on taste alone, it scores an A-. With that said, I’m glad I had it once, will probably never have it again, and I’m completely content with that. Go out and enjoy this beautiful day!