Narrative Fermentations sits in southern San Jose, a few blocks from San Jose State University. Narrative began a few years ago and has quickly become a go-to destination in the South Bay area for well-made hazies and other treats.
Today, I have one of those other treats - The Moon Stood Still, an Imperial Blueberry Cheesecake Sour that was brewed with heaps of Blueberries, Vanilla, and Milk Sugar and comes in with a huge 8% ABV. A four-pack of cans is a bit on the pricier side, costing about $22 for four pints.
This imperial sour ale poured an opaque purple, almost magenta, color with very little head building up. No more than half a finger of pinkish foam ever appeared and quickly it was down to a thin ring around the edge of the glass, with not even so much as a wisp of foam in the middle.
The aroma was INSANE!! It was packed with massive amounts of blueberries that you could smell from more than five feet away. The vanilla and lactose add some very nice sweetness to the brew but, sitting underneath, was a slightly puckering tart quality.
It was super creamy and had a thicker mouthfeel upon my first sip. But almost immediately, I was enjoying those big blueberry flavors. After a moment, the vanilla and milk sugar began to appear, adding into that creamy aspect of the beer and bringing forth lots of super sweet notes that played well with the fruit.
However, the beer wasn’t that sour. There was a tingle of tartness midway through the sip but it was washed away quickly…which allowed more of the blueberries to shine. As it warmed up, The Moon Stood Still did become a tad more acidic but, even then, it was a very mild hitting sour. So if sour beers are a bit too acidic for you, as they can be for me, this one is worth a shot, as it’s very mild and most of the flavors come from the additives rather than a tart bite.
On the backend, there was a lingering blueberry quality that kind of blended with some of the alcohol flavor that ended in a slightly odd aftertaste but, after half the pint, that seemed to balance out and only the blueberry remained - or the 8% started to hit and I stopped noticing…either way!
Overall, I absolutely LOVED the way this Sour Ale smelled. The taste didn’t quite live up to the aroma but it was still a very good sour that was quite crushable - despite the higher ABV and addition of lactose, which usually makes a beer harder to drink quickly.
A very well made dessert beer.