Reviewed: Perennial / Jolly Pumpkin La Cosecha Peach Sour
Product description: We invited our good friend Ron Jeffries from Jolly Pumpkin down to brew a beer with us that encompasses the Missouri Peach harvest. Brewed with Vienna malt, unmalted wheat and flaked oats, this beer went through primary fermentation in stainless steel with a classic Belgian yeast strain. It was then racked into French Oak barrels with a house blend of bacteria and yeast and aged for 9 months. We then racked the mature beer onto 1500 pounds of fresh Missouri Peaches where it rested for 3 additional months, and finally was conditioned naturally in this bottle. 6.2% ABV.
Perennial Artisan Ales – Perennial / Jolly Pumpkin La Cosecha – 750mL bottle served in saison stemware – 6.2% ABV
Oh boy, an epic tag team of Perennial and JP on a sour peach beer! Let’s put it to the test. Into saison stemware, La Cosecha (the harvest) is hazy orange to golden in color with modest white foam. Immediately, there’s a fantastic nose of sweeter, ripe peach that really explodes out of the glass. But it’s not as straightforward as that. Other aromas of white gummy bear, pineapple, Granny Smith, and leafy green plants pull apart at the juicy stone fruit character and muddy it up a bit for me. There’s also little house yeast/microbe presence that I can detect.
After a few sips, I don’t get the rich, sweeter peach flavors that I was expecting. Flavors of almost any kind are drowned out by mouth-puckering sourness that peaks at a 7/10. Sweetness for balance is totally absent at a 0/10. You’re left fighting sharp acidity all on your own. Thankfully, that acidity is never acetic (vinegary) and stays in the citric and malic acid world like lemon juice and SweeTarts. I will just cut and paste this from my other reviews, but I would really like to see this blended back with non-sour beer to add some balance, mouthfeel, and tone down the acid level.
In the mouthfeel, La Cosecha is a touch too chalky and minerallic with a stinging finish. Extra body from the wheat and oats don’t manifest for me. It is far more enjoyable, though, than Perennial’s Funky Wit with Charentais Melon. I planned on a full write-up of that beer, but it ended up being too acetic and was much too sour to even finish. So relatively speaking, this is a big upgrade.
Given the big names of Perennial (of which Side Project is a spin-off) and Jolly Pumpkin in the world of sour beer, I went into my review of La Cosecha expecting it to be a masterpiece. It’s technically flawless but lacks brilliant peach flavors as well as any expression of special house yeast. Some Jolly Pumpkin sours really tone down the acidity and produce excellent balance through leathery tannins – again, absent – or even get a nice boost from specialty malts. In this recipe, I think the Vienna malt, wheat, and oats addition had the intention of providing this balance in the mouthfeel.
If you are big into sourness for its own sake and happy with mild peach flavors, La Cosecha is refreshing and powerfully acidic without going overboard. If you are looking for that next juicy peach bomb, this may disappoint.
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