The Rare Barrel is a relatively new brewery founded in 2013 by Jay Goodwin, Brad Goodwin, and Alex Wallash. Jay Goodwin earned his stripes as brewer and head of the barrel aging program for The Bruery and since founding The Rare Barrel have won several awards at various competitions for their blends of sour beer. Recently at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival, the Rare Barrel earned two new medals to add to their trophy room. A silver medal for Ensorcelled, and a bronze medal for Apropos of Nothing.
Forces Unseen Batch Three is today’s beer of choice. This beer is a blend of golden sour beers that were aged in oak barrels. Because of the nature of sour beers every batch of blending will be different from the last.
Poured into a Rare Barrel Ambassador glass, Forces Unseen seethes with vigor from the very get go. That seething head recedes very rapidly settling into a nice ring clinging to the sides of the glass. The body is a slightly hazy apricot color. The aroma comes blasting out of the gate with massive Brettanomyces funk. If you grew up in the rural country near farmland than you know what people mean when they describe these beers as “barnyard.” Wet hay, damp earth, and sweat are a few specific descriptors that come to mind. There is also a bright lemony quality to the aroma in Forces Unseen.
Upon tasting, a smooth lactic sourness envelops the palate while contrasting the effervescence but in a very complimentary way. The flavors here are way more tropical than expected. It reminds me of some super ripe mangoes I pulled from a tree in Key West along with some bright citrusy components and just a touch of earthiness. I detect zero vinegar or acetic acid and the mouthfeel is super lightweight.