Brewery: Upland Brewing Company (Bloomington, IN)
Style: Sour – Ale
6% ABV / 15 IBU
Iridescent is a sour for people that hate sours. It is also a sour for people who like sours, but gravitate towards other styles because they can’t deal with the frustration of trying to select the right sour. Upland’s delightfully-complex Iridescent starts as a blond sour ale called Basis, which – as its name implies – is the starting point for a lot of the Bloomington brewery’s sour beer line developed by trial and error in an offshoot called the “Wood Shop.” Upland then adds dried apricots and ginger, and ages it in oak wine barrels for between 3-4 months before emerging from the chrysalis as a completely different animal: Iridescent. As for Basis, it can be purchased on its own, but Upland is doing such amazing things with fruited sours that perhaps it’s better to experience Basis as a canvas for something else.
This fantastic sour also transforms after you open the bottle. It pours as a spiky, tart sour with sharp apricot notes and a yeasty aroma. The first few sips of Iridescent are funky like a brett. As it opens up, Iridescent’s overall character changes somewhat: The sweetness of the apricots gradually gets coaxed out and the sourness gives way to a crisp, dry finish. Of course, the desired end state is to get this on your tongue and lips, but Iridescent is an amazing beer to just smell: you get the spiciness of the ginger, plus hints of the barrel aging process in the form of woodsy hay/ grass farmhouse ale-type scents. Anyway, back to the taste: Let this get to room temperature, and it transforms again to resemble something more like a proseco wine. Iridescentis such a marvel of science that our current administration will have no choice but to deny its existence. More for the rest of us, I guess.