West Coast Black Market Trader is a 6% kettle sour from West Coast Brewing, based in Shizuoka, in Shizuoka, Japan. It’s part of their regular lineup and can be found in both cans and on tap. West Coast Black Market Trader is brewed using sour cherries and pink guava as well as being dry hopped with Citra and Idaho 7.
West Coast Black Market Trader poured out a hazy pinkish-orange colour with a fair amount of frothy white head on top that clung to the side of the glass throughout drinking. It had both a tart and sour nose, with the cherries and guava coming through nicely, and a distinct sour nose to it as well. I have to admit, the hops were lost on me, as I couldn’t smell them through the fruit and sour notes in the beer. The cherries and guava were really nice and the sour notes did pair off nicely against those, bringing a different aroma to the beer.
A kettle sour tends to give a potent oomph that traditional sours have mellow out over time, and West Coast Black Market Trader is no different to that. It’s a short, sharp punch to the throat that then tries to soothe it with the gentle juices from the cherries and guava. Did you forget about the tartness? That comes through as well, but unlike traditional sours that have layers of sourness, and in turn flavour, to them, West Coast Black Market Trader’s sourness is unapologetic. You’re not going to get the nuanced flavours with the traditional sours, but that’s not what kettle souring is about. I didn’t pick up any of the hop flavours in the body but mainly because my taste buds had been hit and soothed, hit and soothed, and once again for good measure, hit and soothed. It finished off with a lingering sour cherry flavour, more so than a guava one, with it making my tongue tickle.
West Coast Black Market Trader The Bottom Line
Straight up, in your face, sour and fruity.
Where to Buy West Coast Black Market Trader
West Coast Black Market Trader can be bought online at the following places: