Tag Archives: Lola

Sour Ales

20 Jan

When you create an account with Ratebeer they ask you your favorite style of beer. In the beginning, I was a barley wine girl then a fruit lambic lady and now I feel like I might be delving into the world of sours. Barley wines were appealing, and still are, because of the high abv and they tend to have interesting sweetnesses going on.  Fruit lambics were of particular interest because they produced flavors reminiscent of those found in our family orchard and the lambic style is so varied and surprising.  Sour ales also fall into this category of surprise and a variety of flavors that can vastly differ from one to the next.  My recent excursion to Lola had the added bonus of Jolly Pumpkin’s sour ale, La Roja.  I hadn’t had one since July and it was such a pleasant reminder of the greatness of sour ales.  Off to expand the horizons once again.

The Line Up

Verhaeghe Duchesse De Bourgogne:

I wrote about this weird yet great sour earlier in “Salty Bitches” but here’s a run-down again of my notes on it.  Straight from the bottle enjoyed on a summit over Lago Lugano, Switzerland. This was recommended to me by the wife/owner of A Tutta Birra in Milano as her favorite. Most interesting beer I’ve had so far in Italy. The aroma reminded me of rotting trash and at first sip so did the flavor. Further sips revealed sour cherries, dark fruits, apricot and vanilla. Incredibly smooth on the palate, absolutely no kick at the end. Much too sweet for me, almost could be considered a dessert beer in the same vein as dessert wines.

De Ranke Kriek:

Pours a muddy purple/red with no head. On the nose: same white grape tartness as lambic gueuzes but the flavor is really watered down. Flat but crisp. Don’t get the cherry taste but more lemon and white grape. Love the crisp cool character and the slightly boozier aroma of this as compared to the guezes. Very drinkable but not very complex.

Jolly Pumpkin Perseguidor (Batch 4):

On draft at Beer Engine Sour Ale tasting. Pours a dark brown/black with ruby tinges on the side. No head. Nose: cognac as is the flavor with that white grape/almost smokey aftertaste. Flat, slightly tart and crisp. Yum. The tartness is really present in the corners of the mouth which inspires you to keep sipping away.

Rodenbach Grand Cru:

Bottle at The Beer Engine: Color: same as Rochefort 8 with no head. Aroma is funky bleu cheese and sour white grapes. Smooth slightly tart but boozier flavor at the beginning of the sip then tart bite at the back of the palate. Very refreshing and completely different than the last Flemish Red I had, Duchesse de Bourgogne. Love the diversity of this style – it felt like a borderline lambic.

Jolly Pumpkin La Roja:

750 at Lola into white wine glass. I love the label as I love all the Jolly Pumpkin label but this one is just great. The color is simply beautiful like a cross between a hoppy IPA and a mead. Fluffy orangey/tan head with a nice fruity aroma almost a kin to red wine sangria. Flavor is similar with some dark wood background notes and again that really nice fermented fruit sweet/sour combination. Such a delight.

Lola

17 Jan

Finally went here for lunch the other day and it’s another great restaurant started by Michael Symon – a native Clevelander.  The beer list includes more macros than micros, however he’s offering really nice micros: Erie Brewing Railbender Ale, Jolly Pumpkin La Roja, Jolly Pumpkin Madrugada Obscura, Leelenau Brewing Co. Amber Ale, Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold and another GL I can’t remember along with a few others. On Dec. 21st, Lola had a beer dinner featuring: FFF Alpha Klaus, Breckinridge Christmas, Aventinus, Heavy Seas Winter Storm, De Dolle Stille Nacht and Redstone Winter Solstice.

The food is awesome: this man loves meat.  Beef cheek pierogies, incredible desserts like corn pudding with butter ice cream or french toast with maple/bacon ice cream.  Pig roasts every tuesday night. E. 4th St. is a really small but cool spot with tons of little restaurants offering yumminess. Lola is actually pretty large, the service is awesome, atmosphere posh but relaxed. It’s a happy spot if a little pricey (lunch with soup, pierogies and pint: $35+tip). Parking all around, tops $8 at the parking garage a few blocks down and valet at Lola.  Cleveland is a city that gets a lot of heat but for those who live there, the golden spots are all around you just have to look for them.

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