The Barrel Farm project from Surf Coast-based Blackman's has been running since early 2019, when it was announced via a Sour and Sour IPA. They've touched many bases over the intervening four years – an array of styles, ingredients and barrels – yet for all the tasty drops to drop along the way it feels like this is the sort of beer they've been working towards all that time: a milestone release years in the making and a reminder you can't cheat time.
Golden Sour is a blend of three-year-old liquids fermented with Brettanomyces Bruxellensis in ex-chardonnay and pinot noir barrels from Scotchman's Hill on the Bellarine Peninsula. Now, it's been a while since I've tucked into one of their Chardonnays, but it only takes one sniff to have memories of the voluptuously creamy-oaky, stone fruit-led wine flooding back; indeed, it leaves little space for the cherry-berry characteristics of the pinot noir to make an impact. The richness elicited from the barrels is enhanced by the honeyed nature of the aged malts, while the passage of time has also added a velvety smoothness that belies its 5.5 percent ABV.
Add in an acidity akin to that of a crunchy white and it's hard to believe it started out as a lager. If you're after a session chardonnay, look no further!
- Barrel-Aged Golden Sour