Cassis-Heavy, Limited Release Driftwood “Lustrum Wild Sour Ale”

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by Chuck Hallett | For their fifth anniversary, Victoria’s Driftwood Brewing has dropped a surprise on the BC Craft Beer scene: Lustrum. This cassis-heavy beer was brewed with local wild yeast harvested from near the brewery and aged in French oak for a year before bottling. In short, they swung for the fence with this one and, while they don’t quite make it all the way, it should be good for a triple.

As soon as you pour this guy you know you’re in for something special. The colour is a deep red/purple and, if it weren’t for a lighter red head, you’d be forgiven for thinking this to be an old Merlot. And speaking of wine, that’s the kind of glass you should use here.

The cassis dominates up front with an almost-vinous richness, but slowly the sour funk of the yeast builds up before giving way to a subtle vanilla/oak finish. The only flaw here is a too-strong bitter astringency, but that should age out with some cellaring. By any definition, though, this is an intensely interesting beer worthy of your attention.

Where to get it: Most private beer stores, but especially Vita, Legacy, Firefly and Brewery Creek.
How much is it: $12-14 per 650ml bottle.
When to get it: Like all Driftwood limited releases, this will go fast, so hurry.

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