Odell Ten Paces Wild Huckleberry Ale
Product description: Drawing on the natural tartness of the huckleberries, this American-Style Wild Ale features a unique blend of yeast strains that produce a complex aroma of tropical fruit and clove-like spiciness while accentuating the deep fruit flavors. Among the characters of plum, grape, and fig, you’ll also notice this beer pours a beautiful deep purple hue.
Odell Brewing – Odell Ten Paces Wild Huckleberry Ale – 750 ml. bottle poured into stemware – 6.5% abv.
Sampled from a 750ml corked & caged bottle, Ten Paces is a deep, inky purple color going into the wine stemware with generous pinkish foam rising up and sticking around for several minutes.
The aroma begins with fresh ionized air, rose, and berry flavored gummies. The taste is a tad bland at the beginning with not much to it besides heavy carbonation. I have to admit that up until this point, I expected this beer to be sour. You know, a huckleberry wild ale. But after reading more into the label and digging more into the flavor, it becomes clear that this is a non-sour Brett (or other wild yeast) focused fruit beer. Light sugar and oiliness peek through in the mid-palate to give it a bit of body while the berry flavors remain muted. Overall, I get a flavor of half diet cranberry Ocean Spray and half sparkling water. It seems diluted and incomplete to me missing a real pop of berry flavor that could be helped with some mild to medium acidity. Currently, acidity is sitting at a 0 out of 10. Perhaps it could be blended 50/50 with a soured version of the same beer.
This beer was an oddity, so I solicited the help of some fellow beer lovers for this large format bottle as in some previous reviews. They sampled this blind and I did not share my thoughts about this beer with them until after they discussed their own take on the beer with the group.
Both reviewers mentioned berry-forward aromas with one noting raspberry and black pepper and another blackberry. Flavor-wise, my fellow reviewers both thought the beer was too sugary with artificial flavors of Gushers and Fruit Roll-Up. Neither pegged it as a wild ale nor did they mention any tartness from the berries.
Overall, Ten Paces is a bit of a tease since I think fruit sours are becoming more commonplace, especially when you purchase corked and caged 750ml that mention fruit wild ale. So for this to have no acid and muted flavors is a bit of a letdown.