Odious Cellars | Rubied Perspective
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It’s always exciting to find a new brewery. Even though I had heard of Odious Cellars in passing, I had completely forgotten about them until I recently heard of their launch at Pilot Project on September 12. 2020. Needless to say, I was excited to get some sour beer from them.
Odious Cellars sprang forth from the mind of Reeve Joseph and Tim Coe. Joseph is the brewer and came from Lagunitas and Wicked Weed before coming to Chicago to start Odious. The focus of Odious (beer name! trademark…) are spontaneous and mixed-culture barrel-aged beers, so they’ve been filling barrels since at least 2019 (and possibly 2018). The phrases “old-world” and “centuries-old technique” on their About page indicate some time, thought, and blending going into the beers. So no kettle souring!
For the time being Odious Cellars’ beer is available through Pilot Project as well as some retail stores like Beermiscuous, but a location is forthcoming at 3545 W. Armitage, the site of the old Armitage Theater. Joseph had planned to have Odious Cellar’s space open this summer, but it has been delayed by the current pandemic and, well, being a brewery.
Odious Cellars released three beers at their launch – Physis Nomos (DDH 100% Brettanomyces IPA), Symbol of Avarice (golden sour with peaches, peach pits, and hopped with Southern Passion), and Rubied Perspective.
The art stands out as the first thing you see on these beers. Drawn by Brazillian artist Joana Fraga, the art definitely draws comparisons to Wicked Weed’s labels, but these labels allow the art to shine and be the focus. You’ll definitely stop and at the very least look at the art because it stands out so much. The art very much reminds me of both the various artists on Vertigo Sandman series and Yoshitaka Amano (of Final Fantasy concept art fame). Art Critic Craig! (Fine, I’ll go back to Beer Review Craig.)
Rubified Perspective pours a radiant pink color with copious amounts of head that slowly makes its way out of the glass. It gushed only slightly like a turtle coming out of its shell leaving enough time to get a glass and make the pour. No Rubified pants here! A fair amount of sediment hung around in the glass; I’m guessing yeast, but it could’ve been cherries. Watch for floaties! Some nice nucleation kept things bubbling while looking at it.
This beer smacks you with both sweet and tart cherries with some cinnamon notes at the end of the sniff. Some slight citrus or stone fruit notes even come out to play. The “old-world” shines through with a big note of lactic acid from the lactobacillus presumably used in the creation of this beer. It brings back memories of Casey Brewing and Blending’s fruit stand series, so I can see some people might get a slight vomit note, but I didn’t. No shortcuts in this beer!
The tart cherries dominate the palate and the cinnamon brings up the rear with some heat at the end. The lactic acid joins the cinnamon at the end but it doesn’t overtake the beer the way some old-world sour brewed beers sometimes can and rounds off the tartness nicely. The carbonation assists in making this beer easy drinking and refreshing akin to a juice. The tart cherries hang around on the tongue just a bit leaving you wanting more.
Odious Cellars chose well in debuting with a beer like Rubied Perspective. It’s got enough tartness to tingle the mouth while not going overboard on it (or the lactic acid). As a comparison, it’s a more approachable Casey beer with a much less intense tart/sour character. Really great for a hot day as it’s very refreshing and enjoyable. I actually blended it with some cherry Kool-Aid (wife’s idea!) and it tasted great. The only qualm – and that goes for most all spontaneous beers – is the price point. A 500 mL bottle will run you $18-20, but if you fancy yourself a sour beer aficionado, do yourself a favor and check out Odious Cellars’ beers. I’ll be picking up Symbol of Avarice soon and I’ll be on the lookout for more releases from this new Chicago brewery.