83 / 100
375ml brown Belgian-style bottle, capped rather than caged and corked. Purchased from The Willows Market in Menlo Park, CA.
Pours a pinkish tinged orange, with a fine and persistent head of off-white that leaves long streamers of lace. Body is fairly light, but the carbonation is very fine. Looks good.
Nose is pungent, in a good way. This is aged in Zinfandel barrels, and has raspberries and wine residue added to it, and you can tell. It's got loads of funky fruit to it, and plenty of sharp acid. It has undertones of carambola and peach, which are really just the hidden qualities of the must and squashed raspberries. It's really very nice.
Taste is really quite sour. It's controlled well though—it has a very prominent vinous acid, turning towards citric with elements of lemon and unripe orange. In the middle of the palate, the sour grapes and raspberries come through though, with a more direct fruit character that never separates itself from the tartness. Finish has a touch of mineral quality, almost salty from the intensity of the acid. It's pretty impressive.
Feel is clean, but slicing with that extremity of acidity.
Overall, I'm genuinely impressed. And I say this as someone who's been impressed with the general quality of Calicraft's beers in the past. But this is a step beyond. And this is a step into the realms of the kind of beers that will put them on the broader map. And I honestly hope they get there.