For this edition of Tasting Notes, we close out the week with a berry burst supplied by Roxanne Raspberry American Sour from Starr Hill Brewery (Charlottesville, Virginia).
Available now as one of four current releases in Starr Hill’s newly-established Sour Series “inspired by the sweet songs that celebrate women with attitude”, Roxanne is “an extremely low-hopped, kettle-soured Wheat Ale” that has been dosed with “sweet and tart” red raspberry purée. Not afraid to have the “carbonation turned up”, Roxanne (4.7% ABV) is here to treat its drinker to an “effervescent and refreshing” Sour Ale experience.
Roxanne is available now for a limited time in 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles, in the Say It Ain’t Sour Variety 12-pack of 12 oz. bottles, and on draft. You can expect to find this Limited Release offering at select craft beer-focused establishments located in Alabama, Virginia and throughout the rest of Starr Hill’s distribution footprint in the Southeast.
Alrighty . . . now that all the particulars are out of the way, what do you say we turn off that red light, keep things casual, and get to know Roxanne over some Tasting Notes?
Tasting Notes for Roxanne American Sour from Starr Hill Brewery
Appearance: Roxanne pours a pink-tinged, light orange in color and is capped with just under a finger of tight white foam. When held to direct light, the vibrant pink tones shine bright as a softer orange tone holds fast at the core of the pour. The beer is slightly cloudy, but a spritzy carbonation presence can still be seen streaming within. Head retention is good, falling slowly to a thin ring of creamy foam that draws wide lines of lace after each pull.
Aroma: Raspberries are all over the nose, supplying notes of fresh fruit straight for the carton and rich raspberry preserves from the jar. Through all this fruitiness billowing from the glass, a sturdy presence of wheat and lactobacillus establishes itself and asserts that there is a solid Berliner-like base holding everything together. The aromatics are simple, but they are just as billed.
Taste: Raspberry takes point here as well, dishing out a jammy presence that is just as sweet as it is tart. Fresh raspberries and a twist of lemon add to the beer’s tart side while a subtle undercurrent of melon and strawberry tinker with the sweetness levels. The wheat base lingers in the background with some bready sweetness as the lacto is dialed in to maintain just the right amount of tartness to follow through the finish.
Mouthfeel: Light in body with a bright carbonation, this Sour Ale is ridiculously light, refreshing and easy-drinking. Although it does lean a bit toward the tart/sour side, the fruity sweet notes balance nicely and raise the beer’s already high level of drinkability. The ABV is low at 4.7% and it reads as such by being completely devoid of booze/heat. The aftertaste is all jammy raspberry goodness.
Final Thoughts: Roxanne is an incredibly tasty, “take me as I am” kind of brew that offers all the raspberry and sour goodness it promises with little to no frill. Sure, its tartness is dialed down a bit by the sweet side of the berries and malts, but that is just balance at work and it only adds to this beer’s crushable nature. With its high level of drinkability and its fresh flavors and aromatics, there is no denying that this is a beer built for summer drinking. If you are looking to fill your fridge or cooler with a stellar refresher capable of tackling the warm weather ahead, you really should consider picking up a sixer or two of Roxanne American Sour during your next beer run. Prost!