Monday, December 21, 2015


Not sure ultimately of the wisdom of drinking a summer seasonal in the dead of winter, but you know how ya get really excited when you see something interesting on the shelves, buy it - and then it sits in the beer fridge for five months, consistently usurped by other comers and bangers. So it was with SANTA CLARA VALLEY BREWING CO.'s "HEART'S DELIGHT 2014", which I knew was a "summer seasonal" per se, but when they said it was "aged in wine barrels with cherries" - well, I reckoned it could sit a couple more months, right? I mean, I guess it'd already been sitting since it was concocted in 2014.

I've enjoyed the three varied bottles of SCVB wares I've had so far - an IPA, a Double IPA and an imperial red - so right now the plan of action w/ them is to buy any & all new bottles they put out, and count my change later. Distribution for their stuff seems to be pretty much an SF Bay Area thing, with beers popping up every now and again at various Whole Foods and a few specialty places - but I can't say it's ubiquitous stuff that you can pass up if you're interested in it (perhaps due to my erudite reviews). That "Valley Surprise" Double IPA, fr'instance - I saw it once, bought it, and never saw it again.

 So "HEART'S DELIGHT" is not quite in the exalted ballpark of its forebears, but it was overall very good. You see how there was no foam nor lacing at all in the pic I snapped here? Seriously - visually dead as a doornail, though thankfully not taste-wise. It's not only redolent of fruit (sour apricots to me - not cherries), but with the much-loved brettanomyces, with gives it a nice lactic sourness. It's a definite wild ale with some wine-like aftertaste, as should be expected - bordering on a kriek or something very Belgian. A summer ballgame beer it ain't, which is another reason I dig these guys so much. 7/10.

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