VTHopHead (1511) - Barre, Vermont, USA - JAN 6, 2007
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draft at the brewpub - Poured a very dark black/brown in color with almost no head and very little carbonation. Aroma was very floral and "lactic" with a distinct sour cherry character. Flavor is tart, like soured wine, with a hint of roasty malts. Slight citrus in the finish. Very interesting and unusual... strange in a good way... worth trying...
TheBeerLover (1026) - DC Metro Area, USA - DEC 16, 2006
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Enjoyed a pint of this one on draught at the brewpub in Waterbury, VT. Very interesting, very flavorful "wild ale" brewed with three blends of Brettanomyces yeast. Pours to jet black color, with a slight tan head, and soft carbonation. The nose is fragrant with funky, spicy, wild yeasty aroma, paired with some roasty, light smoky, and vinous aroma. The palate is tart and refreshing, with lots of good sour/vinous flavors, paired with hints of dark chocolate, and light roasty flavor. Darkness finishes with more sour, vinous, dark chocolate and roast up front, then ends with a refreshing, sour and spicy yeast flavor that lingers. Complex, refreshing and delicious. This was a wild ride indeed, and I enjoyed the hell out of it.
muzzlehatch (4420) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - DEC 6, 2006
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draught pint at the brewpub. I wouldn’t necessarily call this a saison ("American wild ale" is their term) but that and Belgian Ale are the only possibilities so, whatever....it pours midnight black with a moderate quick-dying tan head, little in the way of lacing....nose is smoky, spicy (anise, perhaps a bit of thyme), earthy with fairly prominent brett -- grapy and sour cherry notes strengthen as it warms.....body is grapy/vinous with light licorice tones, a bit cola-like both in flavor and mouthfeel at midpalate, moderately tart-sour....tingly carbonation, medium-thick body, a bit oily and slick with warmth, fair amount of acidic citrus character which grows through the tasting, but no coconut as is mentioned in the description at the pub. Interesting and much more drinkable near room temperature but I think John’s strength is really in his hoppy beers, much as I like these imaginative Belgian takes....
hophead75 (2012) - Largo, Florida, USA - OCT 30, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
BA BBF 06. Some tartness, a touch of funkyness in the aroma, some fruit, and spices. Taste is lightly tart cherries, dark malts, and spices. very interesting beer, and the wild yeast didn’t make this beer all that funky and barnyard like, most likely because of it’s young age.
notalush (5360) - Denver, Colorado, USA - OCT 29, 2006
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Tap at Boston’s Belgian Beer Fest - this was the hit of the fest for me - I went back for several samples - has a lot of black saison character - nearly opaque out of the tap, with foamy head - it’s young age keeps the brett from making it very sour - in fact, there is really more of a lacto-like dry quality than there is a sour brett character - a mild tartness combines with some unique flavors - first I sense a hint of cherries, then some dry, cocoa character, followed by some interesting herbal and floral flavors (heather mostly, along with some warming spiciness) - extraordinarily unique, and very difficult to describe in words.