Hello again craft beer fanatics! Summer is in full swing here in Bellingham and we’ve been in the midst of a bit of a heat wave. As such, we’re always looking for ways to quench our thirst for craft beer. Whether it be an old standby or a new release, such as this one. Ecliptic Brewing is a pretty unique story and has the bar set pretty high, the brewery claims that, “Ecliptic Brewing is a venture from John Harris, an Oregon craft brewing icon. John’s background is one steeped in Oregon’s rich craft brewing history. He began as a brewer at McMenamins’ breweries; moved to Deschutes, where he created the recipes for Mirror Pond, Black Butte Porter, Jubelale and Obsidian Stout; and spent the next 20 years of his career as a brewmaster at Full Sail in charge of creating the Brewmaster Reserve line of Beers. The creation of Ecliptic Brewing is the next chapter in John’s illustrious career.”
Today we will be sampling one of their newest releases, Ultra Violet Blackberry Sour. This beer is made with fresh Oregon Blackberries, soured in house, and uses Belgian yeast in the fermentation process. “The result is a tart and crisp sour ale, with ripe blackberry flavors radiating through it like cosmic rays traversing the universe.”
With all the background covered, let’s jump right in to this one.
Brewery: Ecliptic Brewing — Portland, OR
Beer: Ultra Violet — Blackberry Sour Ale
ABV: 7.5% / 11IBU
Cost: $9.99 / 22oz Bottle
Appearance (3.75/5) — This beer pours quickly out of the bottle, and forms a deep purply and blue hue into the glass. There is a bit of a thin, puffy off-white colored head on it that fades rather quickly. Some light spotty lacing left behind. This looks like no other beer I have ever seen, the sheer brightness of purple and blue, this looks more like a soda than it does a beer, it is intensely bright and vibrant.
Aroma (3.75/5) —Smells of freshly picked berries and a little sweetness, there is a bit of a tart undertone but this is mostly sweet, fresh berries. Overall this is like going berry picking, crushing a few between your fingers, then smelling your hands. Intensely bright, fruity, sweet, little bit of tartness, and a little bit of an earthiness underneath it all.
Taste (4.0/5) — Woah tartness! This is intensely bright and fresh, big initial tastes of blackberry, blueberry, cherries. This beer is certainly tart and fresh, but it is not overly sour or bitter. There is definitely a bit of a sweet undertone that helps to balance out all of the fresh berry character. It’s amazing they can accomplish this many flavors with such few natural ingredients.
Mouthfeel (3.0/5) — Overall this beer is light-medium bodied. There is a little bit more residual sweetness left in it than you’ll find in most other sours. It is sweet, but not cloyingly so. Overall high carbonation helps to balance everything out.
Overall (3.5/5) — This is a nice beer overall, and is also a great entryway to sours, this one is not overly sour or tart, but it does bring some really nice fresh berry notes to the table.