Hey everyone! Been a hectic week, trying to get a new apartment, dealing with being sick, and yet, I still managed to find time to pair another Paradox beer, this one, Skully Barrel No. 8, which is a sour ale aged in oak wine barrels, dry hopped with Citra and Amarillo hops, pairing with OG Cheese Wax. The wax from GroundSwell has a great sweet, almost brie like cheesy smell to it. I certainly hope it smokes as well as it smells!
I pour the beer into the glass and it has a dark velvet, almost reddish brown color, and minimal head after sixty or so seconds. The sniff test is next and from the first few whiffs, I get oranges, pine, grass, and a hint of fruits from the aroma. Very nice. As I’ve stated before, I’ve really gotten into sours in the past year. I attended Hops & Pie’s (Great pizza and craft beer bar) Wild & Sour fest last year and completely fell in love with one of Paradox’s early sours, a sour brewed with curry spices that was incredible, I want to say that one was Skully Barrel No. 3? The Crooked Stave beers I tried that day, like the Nightmare on Brett were also world class and really opened my eyes to the style.
Readying the wax into the pen, it has a very crumbly nature, but easy to manage as the crumbs break off big enough that it’s not a hassle as I’ve noticed some waxes being in the past. I decide to go pen first and find my lungs filled with a giant DAB of OG Cheese Wax, which has an excellent, caramel like creaminess to the smoke, sweet, pungent, and just a hint of some funky cheese.
Now, I take a sip of the beer, and while not as sour as I typically like sours to be, I am struck by the really nice balance of the hops, the Citra and the general tartness of the ale. On exhalation, some of the flavors remaining from the smoke begin to blend with the beer and I’m getting notes of grapes, golden raisins, and sugared lemons. Really nice! I take yet another rip of the smoke and the hops from the lingering beer flavors begin to dominate the back of my palate blending into a pleasant sweetness from the wax. The brie comparison I made above really stands out as I begin to go back and forth between the two, the cheesy, brie and aged swiss notes of the wax go great with the fruity, almost Fig Newton like flavors of the ale and the hints of oak barrel also seem to add some balance and earthiness to the flavors of the beer, which was interesting. As I get close to finishing my second glass of the sour ale, my stomach begins to hurt a little (Clearly, I should have eaten something ahead of time, sours do this to me on relatively empty stomachs) and I have to put it down. But I think I found a really interesting new combination of strains and styles to try again in the future. I really want to get some strains of Cheese that have been crossed with sweeter varieties and pair them with more sours in the future.
The buzz of the two was extremely pleasant, mild, and I felt warm and tingly all over. The headiness of the seven or so rips of the wax I took sent me to a great place, and I felt a very cerebral buzz happening as I could not stop my mind from wanting to watch cartoons for some reason? I wonder why.
Time to finally start up Clone Wars, as everyone has been telling me to Netflix them for a while. So yeah, with the beer, a very cartoon loving buzz crept upon me, the stomach issues past, and now I’m sitting on the couch, Dorito crumbs all over my chest (Cliche right?) and Yoda on the TV.
As always, check out Paradox if you’re in Colorado, a lot of liquor stores carry them, and if not, of course ask for them by name. GroundSwell well, what more can I say about these guys? The reason I pair using almost entirely their strains is because of their world class quality. Check them out if you have a red card and are in the Denver area!
Until next time, may the force be with you!