Funkwerks – Oud Bruin
IBU: who cares, it’s an Oud Bruin
Funkwerks, the award-winning Saison-focused brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado, has released its first barrel-aged sour, Oud Bruin. Oud Bruin is the product of Funkwerks’ sour program which launched in early 2012. The base for Oud Bruin sat in oak whiskey barrels and oak red wine barrels for more than twelve months.
Oud Bruin (old brown) is a style of beer originating from the Flemish region of Belgium. The Dutch name refers to the long aging process, up to a year. It undergoes a secondary fermentation, which takes several weeks to a month, and is followed by bottle aging for several more months. The extended aging allows residual yeast and bacteria to develop a sour flavor characteristic for this style.
Before they use the barrels in their sour program, they partially disassembled the barrels to remove the char or wine stone from the inner surface so the souring organisms have good contact with the wood. This involves loosening the hoops to pull the heads and scraping the staves and heads. At that point they are reassembled; the hoops are tightened, and then filled with hot water to swell before being emptied.
Funkwerks aged the Oud Bruin base for one year then carefully selected and blended the twelve best barrels for the final product. Aroma of dark malts and black cherry compliment the notes of dark fruit in the flavor. A blend of Brettanomyces with Lactobacillus along with other sour cultures contribute the characteristic sour flavor profile of this style. Funkwerks Old Bruin pours a deep auburn color and has a dry tart finish. ABV is 7.5%.
Oud Bruin pairs exceptionally well with Carbonades Flamandes, a hearty Flemish beef and beer stew. Since it’s barrel-aged, Oud Bruin will be available in limited quantities for bars, restaurants and liquor stores across Colorado, Nebraska, and Arizona. Funkwerks Oud Bruin is now being poured on draft and is available in bottles at the Funkwerks taproom.
Aroma – Lots of sharp esters emote from this brew. Lots of dark fruits; black cherries and prunes, figs and dates come off the nose sweetly. The malt character is to-style with toffee, caramel, orange and chocolate break through. Low sour aroma is present and I can only imagine that it will increase with time leaving a complex sherry-like character.
Appearance – Funkwerks Oud Bruin pours dark red, dark brown to brown in color. Great clarity with some dregs floating about and settling shortly after the pour has finished. In the goblet, there is average to good head retention with an ivory to light tan head that is tight and bubbly.
Flavor – Malty with fruity convolution and faint caramelization quality. More of those amazing dark fruits with more berry, raisin and black currant come crawling on the mid-palate. Deep sweet-and-sour characters pop with low oxidation and minimal hop bitterness. Lots of oak and vanilla with this pour.
Mouthfeel – Medium-full body exudes from this beer as it is still young and has moderate carbonation. The sweet and tart leave no astringency in the finish as the end is dry.
Overall Impression – At first sniff you get a caramel crystal malt aroma with hints of tartness. A creamy tan head appears after the pour giving way to flavors of brown sugar, oak and vanilla paired with sour black cherry and a crisp dry finish.