A few months ago, I tried a new, apparently limited-time offering from Driftwood Brewery, makers of my beloved Fat Tug IPA.
This limited offering was "Obscuritas" Dark Sour, and I had found myself pleasantly surprised, a risk rewarded with a liquid treat to which I would award a 9/10 rating!
Now, Driftwood has followed up the Dark Sour concept with a Wheat Sour. As those close to me know, I am not a fan of wheat beers at all. I have reviewed only a couple of them with checkered results. So if the sour Obscuritas was a gamble that paid off, then surely the same concept applied to a style of beer I don't even like would be the ultimate test!
Pouring De Auras, I found a rich-looking, somewhat reddish medium amber comestible that was just a little darker than wheat beers I have tried before. The head, generous at first, dissipated quickly. I then caught a whiff of the signature nose of wheat beers but... was there something else? It smelled peaty, like it had aged in a wooden cask. The brewer's website offers no real information about this beer save for a brief story which follows this review, so no help there.
Then I took a sip, and found myself whisked back in time a few months to when I tried De Auras' elder sibling, the enigmatic Obscuritas Dark Sour. De Auras is almost the same drink! Lighter than Obscuritas, peaty and yes, wheaty, but the main thrust here - the driving beat in the dance tune that is De Auras - is the sour, not-lemon-but-definitely-citrus main event! Again, like Obscuritas, this is not a gratuitously acidic drink, but it has a bite and a pH level noticeably lower than most beers!
There is a point, of course, where a drink (be it beer, wine, or spirits) becomes so acidic that it is basically vinegar. Some might argue that a brew that sets out to be sour risks crossing the line. But I don't think that has happened here. Driftwood has tiptoed up to the line between awesome and failed-chemistry-experiment, looked out into the abyss, and fully understood the consequences of going an inch further. This must have been an incredibly challenging product to get just right!
Like Obscuritas, the citrus emphasis of De Auras makes for a refreshing, best-served-cold drink for warm weather. Its fall release was, in my opinion, ill-timed -- June would have been a better month than November for De Auras. Being a considerably lighter beer than Obscuritas, which I had already pegged as a surprise refresher, only serves to underscore De Auras' need to be enjoyed in warmer months than this one (November)!
And the wheat factor? Not a factor for me in this sip. I enjoyed it every bit as much as Obscuritas, possibly a bit more because it is a lttle less sweet - that had been Obscuritas' only real demerit. My rating: 9.5/10!
6.5%abv, $11.30 in the 650ml bomber shown here.
This is all the information there is on Driftwood's website about De Auras.
"If in a golden field a wanderer should appear as from the air, beware. Harvest is upon, the sickle raised, and through the haze, his sour leer. As quickly as the winged pilgrim travels near from nowhere, shall your spirit melt into thin, thin air."