WHEREAS MOST OF Upland’s lambics are based on strongly flavored fruits (e.g. Strawberry, Blackberry, or even Kiwi), this new experimental variety takes the series in an edifying new direction—paw paws. Still in the prototype phase, this installment leverages the subtle flavors of a largely forgotten fruit native to America and flavored like a shifty blend of unripe banana and papaya. It’s considerably more subtle than the penetrating tartness of the Blackberry Lambic or Light/Dark Synth collaboration with New Belgium, for instance, but under Caleb Staton’s level hand something marvelous is taking shape.
The beer’s color is a bit like powdered banana runts, cloudy and milky with some luminescence and percolating carbonation. On the nose it leads more with earthy pale fruit—a little like rhubarb in addition to the aforementioned—than with wild yeasts, though lactobacillus, Brettanomyces, and a lemony acidity all emerge in time. The texture executes a swift and articulate turnaround, depositing a brilliant burst of carbonation and brightness on the palate that belies its blended, creamy nose. A touch of exotic fruit nudges in after the mid palate alongside some moderate sourness and yeasty residuals, but all then bubbles away into the finish with a champagne burst. Delightfully integrated altogether and the best of Upland’s lambics yet sampled. Let the revival begin.
Served: 750 ml bottle