Martin House’s Queen Of The Mist Gose Down Easy.

Welcome to On Tap! Each week in this recurring feature, we’ll take an in-depth look at one of the many beers now available in the suddenly crowded North Texas brew scene. The goal here is to look at these area beers without our local goggles on and to wonder aloud, “Is this beer good or do I just like it because it’s local?” Should be a fun experiment, no? Cheers to that!

This week, we sipped on Martin House‘s Queen of the Mist (Prickly Pear).

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Fast Facts on Martin House Queen of the Mist (Prickly Pear).
Style: Prickly Pear Gose (aged in Cabernet barrels).
ABV: 6.5 percent.
International Bitterness Units (IBUs): Not available.
Color: Deep pink.
Availability: Limited.

Overview.
Keeping with its somewhat unofficial strategy, Martin House is back at it with more wacky flavors. And if you’re looking for another somewhat straightforward review of a wacky brew from Martin House, you’re in the right place. OK, OK, I’ll try to keep focus on the un-normalness of this beer, because, well, it is out there a bit. But make no mistake, this is a fun, delicious and interesting offering from Martin House. Have you tried the base gose (pronounced go-zeh) from Martin House, Salty Lady? If Salty Lady is your jam, then you’ll probably love this beer. And, well, if not, then maybe pump the breaks on this beer. So let’s dig in the review of Queen of the Mist (Prickly Pear).

Background on Gose.
The gose style is a refreshing, somewhat lower intensity wheat ale. It lives in a larger category named Historical Beer, with its roots reaching back to Leipzig in the 1700s. As there were a rather large number of gose houses in the early 1900s, the number died off after World War II, and the style never seemed to get much traction until rather recently. Nonetheless, this style isn’t going to be available at your local Applebee’s; you have to search it out. Other interesting characteristics of this beer is that it has a pronounced acidity, but not as high as a Berliner Weisse. The alcohol range on this beer is normally between 4.2 and 4.8 percent.

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Appearance.
Just as with Grapevine’s Prickly Pear Wheat we reviewed earlier this year, QOMPP contains a healthy dose of prickly pear fruit that makes the color take a sharp turn towards pinkish red. I’m a bit surprised that the beer is as clear as it is due to its barrel conditioning time. The foam remains for a minute or two, but eventually subsides and I’m left with a quiet surface in my glass.

Aroma.
QOMPP has that classic tartness that I expect from a gose, along with a slight bit of yogurt-ish kettle sour sensation. It’s not a cranked up tartness and acidity on the nose like with a Berliner Weisse, but it’s sort of in the same neighborhood. There is also a smooth sweetness, a soft fruit aroma — likely from the prickly pear addition. I don’t sense a lot of influence from the cabernet barrel on this beer.

Flavor.
The cultured sort of sensation (that yogurt kettle soured situation) continues through in the flavor. There’s also a smooth fruity flavor that hangs around through the swallow. Unlike a Berliner Weisse, this style isn’t going to clobber you over the head with its acidity — there’s very little heartburn after the swallow, and I like it. I keep looking for that classic earthy, deep character from the Cabernet barrels, but it seems sort of hidden in this beer.

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Mouthfeel.
This gose goes off the high end of the ABV range for its style. It’s not a total deal-breaker for me. This is an easy-drinking beer after all, but I don’t imagine that I would drink this beer in multiples. It’s almost more of a novelty sort of beer. According to BJCP’s style guidelines, this beer is in the ballpark for carbonation, and its tongue bite helps some of the tartness and acidity dance on the tongue.

Overall Impression.
I’ve got to be honest: I am not a huge fan of Salty Lady, the base beer for QOMPP. A lot of people love Salty Lady, what, with its mild fruity character and salt backbone. My preferences or bias might get in the way of me rating this beer higher. Maybe it’s because I was hoping for more red wine or barrel character. Maybe the barrel character gets gobbled up by the intense funky brightness or acidity here. But like I mentioned earlier, fans of Salty Lady are really going to love this one.

Score.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give Martin House Queen of the Mist (Prickly Pear) a 6.75.

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What’s happening in the area brew scene?
• Thursday, September 15-18. Addison Oktoberfest at Addison Circle Park.
• Friday, September 16. Brew-Haha Comedy Series at Wild Acre Brewing Company.
• Saturday, September 17. Barks, Brews & BBQ at Intrinsic Smokehouse and Brewery.
• Saturday, September 17. Buffalo Ruckus CD and Beer Release Party at Shannon Brewing.
• Thursday, September 22-24. Oktoberfest Fort Worth at Panther Island Pavilion.
• Saturday, October 1. Texas Beer Camp at Long Road Farm.
• Saturday, October 1. Rahr & Sons Oktoberfest 5K Run/Walk.
• Saturday, October 8. BeerFeast at Flying Saucer Fort Worth.
• Saturday, November 12. Untapped: Dallas at Fair Park.

Previous On Tap Reviews:
Revolver’s Sangre y Miel: 10.
Peticolas’ Royal Scandal: 10.
Community’s Mosaic IPA: 10.
Peticolas’ Velvet Hammer: 10.
Community’s Barrel-Aged Legion: 10.
Community’s Legion: 10.
BrainDead’s Fill in the Blancs: 9.5.
Oak Highlands’ Freaky Deaky: 9.5.
Deep Ellum’s Barrel Aged Four Swords: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Saint Dymphna: 9.5.
Peticolas’ Lost Epic: 9.5.
Community’s Ascension Porter: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Temptress: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Goatman: 9.5.
Community’s Public Ale: 9.5.
Peticolas’ Thrilla in Brazilla: 9.5.
On Rotation’s Jalapeno Saison: 9.
Woodcreek’s Bourbon Barrel Bock: 9.
Lakewood’s Wild Manimal: 9.
Revolver’s Blood & Honey: 9.
Martin House’s Imperial Texan: 9.
Community’s Trinity Tripel: 9.
Peticolas’ Irish Goodbye: 9.
Four Corners’ Block Party Porter: 9.
Cedar Creek’s Belgian Dubbel: 9.
Peticolas’ Ghost Of Alfred Brown: 8.5.
Deep Ellum’s Easy Peasy IPA: 8.5.
Deep Ellum’s Oak Cliff Coffee Ale: 8.5.
Lakewood’s Rock Ryder: 8.5.
Rahr’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer: 8.5.
Lakewood’s Raspberry Temptress: 8.5.
Texas Ale Project’s Payne Pils: 8.
Noble Rey’s Bridesmaid’s Tears: 8.
Collective Brewing’s Urban Funk House: 8.
Lakewood’s On Call: 8.
Oak Highlands’ Golden Mustache: 8.
903 Brewers’ Crackin’ Up: 8.
Deep Ellum’s Play Date: 8.
Rahr & Sons Brewing Company’s 11th Anniversary Russian Imperial Stout: 8.
Bitter Sisters’ Belgian Tripel: 8.
Noble Rey’s SteamPunk: 8.
903 Brewers’ Citra On Top: 8.
Bitter Sisters’ Hissy Fit: 8.
BrainDead’s Gritz: 8.
Community’s Barrel-Aged Inspiration : 8.
Cedar Creek’s Fisticuffs: 8.
Lakewood’s Punkel: 8.
Four Corners’ El Chingon IPA: 8.
Martin House’s Day Break: 8.
Deep Ellum’s GOURDzilla: 8.
Peticolas’ The Duke (Aged 12 Months): 8.
Deep Ellum’s Pale Ale: 8.
Revolver’s Bock: 8.
903 Brewers’ Sasquatch: 8.
Peticolas’ Wintervention: 8.
Armadillo Ale Works’ Brunch Money: 8.
Martin House’s Salsa Verde: 8.
Cedar Creek’s Spinning Mule Robust Porter: 8.
Lakewood’s Holiday Bonus: 8.
Lakewood’s Hop Trapp: 8.
Legal Draft’s Accused Amber Lager: 7.5.
Grapevine’s Reserve Tart Cherry Berliner Weisse: 7.5.
Martin House’s Stars Above: 7.5.
Grapevine’s Prickly Pear Wheat Ale: 7.5.
Bitter Sisters’ Knock Out: 7.5.
Four Corners’ Notorious O.A.T.: 7.5.
Noble Rey Golden Rey With Raspberries and Ginger: 7.5.
On Rotation Saved By The Belma: 7.5.
True Vine’s Unicorn’s Revenge: 7.5.
Deep Ellum’s Hop Seeker: 7.5.
Four Corners’ El Super Bee: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Hopochondria: 7.5.
Three Nations GPA: 7.5.
Martin House’s Rubberneck Red: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Antigoon’s Revenge: 7.5.
Community’s Texas Pils: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Zomer Pils: 7.5.
Cedar Creek’s Dankosaurus: 7.5.
Oak Highlands Brewery’s Oktoberfest.: 7.25.
Backcountry’s Double IPA: 7.
Rahr’s Visionary: 7.
Shannon Brewing’s Irish Cream Ale: 7.
Oak Highlands’ Guava Good: 7.
TUPPS Brewery’ Northbound 75: 7.
Rahr & Sons’ Iron Joe: 7.
BrainDead’s I Like Harvey IPA: 7.
Martin House’s Turtle Power: 7.
Collective’s Petite Golden Sour: 7.
Shannon’s Chocolate Stout: 7.
BrainDead’s Red Ale: 7.
Community’s Razzy Raspberry Witbier: 7.
Martin House’s Gateway Blonde Ale: 7.
Bearded Eel’s Purple Unicorn: 7.
Noble Rey’s Off The Leash: 7.
Shannon Brewing Company’s Irish Red: 7.
Texas Ale Project’s Somethin’ Shady: 7.
Deep Ellum IPA: 7.
Cedar Creek’s The Lawn Ranger: 7.
Martin House Brewing Company’s Cellarman’s Reserve IPA (Amarillo).: 7.
Lakewood’s Till & Toil: 7.
903 Brewers’ The Chosen One: 7.
903 Brewers’ Sugar On Top: 7.
Martin House’s Gateway XPA: 7.
Armadillo Ale Work’s Quakertown Stout: 7.
Revolver’s High Brass: 7.
Community’s Pale Ale: 7.
Oak Highlands’ Chump Change: 7.
Martin House’s River House: 7.
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Sir William’s Brown Ale: 7.
Community’s Funnel Cake Ale: 7.
Audacity’s Boss Raptor IPA: 7.
Martin House’s The Juice: 6.5.
Collective Brewing Project’s Mom Azacca: 6.5.
Four Corners’ La Lechuza: 6.5.
Revolver’s Ironhead IPA: 6.5.
903 Brewers’ Trot Line: 6.5.
Peticolas’ Operation Collaboration: 6.5.
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Nightwatch: 6.5.
Peticolas’ The Duke: 6.5.
Deep Ellum’s Double Brown Stout : 6.5.
Wild Acre’s Tarantula Hawk: 6.
Martin House’s Kafkaesque: 6.
TUPPS’ Cotton Mill Gold: 6.
Rabbit Hole’s Tweedleyum: 6.
Rabbit Hole’s Off With Your Red: 6.
Cedar Creek’s Elliott’s Phoned Home Pale Ale: 6
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Lakefire: 6
Armadillo Ale Works’ WunderMelon: 6
Deep Ellum Pale Ale: 6
Lakewood’s Troll Toll: 5.5.
Martin House’s Hell Below: 5.5.
Lakewood’s La Dame Du Lac: 5.5.
Martin House’s Mind On My Money: 5.
903 Brewers’ The Land Of Milk And Honey: 5.
Deep Ellum’s Numb Comfort: 5.
Four Bullets’ Black Jack Brown: 4.5.
Four Corners Heart O’ Texas: 4.
Audacity’s Sunset Boulevard: 4.
Shannon Brewing Company’s IPA: 4.
Grapevine’s Monarch: 4.
Twin Peaks’ Dirty Blonde: 3.
Franconia Wheat: 3.
Miller Lite: 1.

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