FlacoAlto (4133) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JUL 25, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: NOV 14, 2009 January 2009 Bottle Date; Sampled July 2009
A very careful pour yields a billowing, off-white colored head that starts out a glass filling four-fingers in height, plus adds an additional, almost two-fingers of structurally sound height above the rim of my 25cl tulip glass. The head only slowly recedes, forming nice structural formations as it does so as well as leaving nice lacing patterns on the sides of my glass. Nice aromas of ripe pear, floral melon and apple are noticed as I visually inspect this beer. The beer is a hazy, pale amber color that shows an orange-gold hue when held up to the light. A nice, slightly grassy, cracker-like grain aromatic quickly yields to a firm, but not dominating, funky Brettanomyces note that provides notes of light phenols, a musty blanket note, plus a touch of muskiness. The fruit character is the most recognizable character in the nose though, with nice notes of Meyer Lemon, orange zest, and a touch of honeysuckle joining the afore-mentioned ripe fruit notes. There is an earthy yeastiness to the aroma that melds nicely with the fresh grain notes.
Nice and effervescent as it hits my tongue, the beer is a bit drier than the expressive, up front fruit aromatics might have suggested. This is very light bodied, but still has a hint of body and viscousness to it especially in the finish where it manages to just stick to the palate. Slightly tart and tasting of ripe green apples, some floral melon qualities as well as some notes of ripe pear. These notes morph into a orange-zest like citrus note towards the finish that tends to linger for a bit on the palate. Musty Brettanomyces notes add a certain woody white pepper note, a touch of phenolic soaked cotton ball flavors, some spiciness that is similar to oak. There is some more structure in the finish from a nice hop bitterness that is noticeable, but not domineering. There is perhaps just a hint of malt sweetness to this beer, much of the time I think I am imagining it because of the floral fruit notes found here, but there does seem to be a touch of something that boosts the malt character just a hint. Other malt notes of unsalted saltine crackers, a touch of grassiness and a nice crushed pale malt note.
This beer remains stubbornly effervescent until the end of the bottle; this works quite well with this quaffable-beyond-its-alcohol beer. I like the balance in the flavor between the spicy fermentation notes, the fruit, the pale malt and the fresh hop character that this brew has. At times the zesty hop character really comes through quite well; this must have been quite a bit more hoppy when freshly released. It is eminently quaffable with just enough Brettanomyces influence to keep my interest piqued throughout. Definitely a wonderful effort and I like that the Allagash house Brett strain hasínít run rough-shod over the rest of the beer (though that can be nice at times too). I wish I had a couple more bottles of this to age.
PilsnerPeter (3037) - Flushing, New York, USA - JUL 24, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Tap at Barcade: Hazy golden pour with a dense white consistent head. Nice bright and bretty aroma- some mild Gouda rind, lemony citric notes, and that classic Brux horsey/leathery character. Crisp body. The flavor seems a bit young with some evident sugars and residual maltose. The middle displays some more rustic character I expected giving off some dry/sharp cheese rind, though itís subtle. The brett will definitely pick up after some time. Iím cellaring my bottle for at least two years. I look forward to this aged.
MartinT (9063) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 21, 2009
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAR 18, 2012 My Bottom Line:
This diplomatic Wild Ale extends straw-like cereals onto delicate tropical fruit and flowers, leading to a peppery hop bitterness and dryness.
Further Personal Perceptions:
-A veil of foam tops the cloudy blond.
-The brettanomycesí apport is restrained, yet perfectly levelled with the rest of the flavors. This is a very classy flavor profile.
-The big bubbles and the polite flavor intensity make this extremely drinkable.
-The spicy, coniferous hop bitterness is rather short. This would pair nicely with seafood, methinks.
-Light banana esters are found.
RCL (2030) - Waltham, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 20, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Tasted on tap. "Plastic flower aroma" - thatís what my notes say. Floral but in an almost fake, synthetic way. Fruity, floral flavor that reminds me of one of those pink urinal cakes, but not in an altogether bad way. I found this beer odd.
Jblauvs (1357) - Chester, Vermont, USA - JUL 20, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Straw pour with nice offwhite head. Bretty, fruity aroma. Cinnamon spice as well. flavor is slight and subtle funk and tart, nice fruit, great flavor. Only weakness is a bit of carbonation a the outset, but this may be due to agitation during the car ride.
craftycarl21 (2338) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JUL 19, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a hazy gold with a bubbly white head. Aroma has lots of yeast, definite Brett notes, and some definite spice- cinnamon and clove. Lots of carbonation at the front, could do with a bit less, but mellows beautifully into great Brett, yeast, and spice flavor. Palate isnít particularly full, but ever so smooth given the Brett use. Really nice brew, once again, by Allagash.
kp (10884) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - JUL 19, 2009
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Date: June 27, 2009
Source: Brick Store Pub
Appearance: clear pale yellow, fine white head
Aroma: big musty aroma, light malt sweetness
Body: creamy body
Flavor: light sweet malt flavor, lots of funk, light oak, balancing bitterness from the oak and funk
Aroma: 7/10; Appearance: 7/10; Flavor: 7/10; Palate: 7/10; Overall: 13/20
Snojerk321 (2960) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 13, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
750ml bottle. Lightly hazed golden yellow with a small bubbly white head. Lots of brett and horse blanket on the nose along with some lemon peel and more underlying funk. Nice carbonation on the palate, finishes with some crisp brett-y-ness.
aracauna (3457) - Georgia, USA - JUL 10, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Hazy gold with a very large head. In fact, the bottle was a slight foamer. Bubbles stream like crazy from the bottom of the glass. This is very much like a Duvel or other belgian strong blond in that category, although the Brett thatís starting to come through leaves that bit of funk. Nice beer.
FlyingTaco (112) - Massachusetts, USA - JUL 9, 2009
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
"Confluence." The only time I hear this word is when Monday Night Football is in Pittsburgh...Keith Jackson (back in the day) or who ever always waxes poetic along with the Blimp shot..."at the CON-FLU-ENCE of the Allegheny, O-HIII-O and the Mon-ANNNG-a-HEEE-LA rivers..." Well, this Confluence looks like it should be 23 fazules of goodness, so letís see what happens. The Duvel tulip is the lucky winner today...itís been warming for a good half hour prior to opening.
Wow...this is actually pretty light-colored. Lemon-honey straight up...with extremely active carbonation in the center of the glass and it rises like a tornado pretty quickly. Head is about 1/2 finger and for a sour it sticks around at about 1/2 strength pretty well. Not much lacing - just yeast wisps. Second pour provides a full finger of head and then some - some tight lacing in there too. Very solid.
Ooooh, pure austere funk. Horse blanket, dry dry dry citric acid sniff. I could detect a little fruitiness diffused from the glass earlier - not with my face buried in the tulip though. On the rim it has a sort of dry muscat feel to it, but on the deep dive itís funkalicious. Big, perfumy, wild yeast. With warmth the grape must comes out a little more. If this was about 1/2 as funky Iíd think it was more of a funky saison. Thatís what Iím talkiní about. Can ya dig it?
I am astounded by the dryness of this deal. The carbonation contributes to the cause. Itís not a sour for sourís sake...thereís ultra-dry Pilsener-ish malt in here. Maybe even a little Styrian Goldings hoppiness in here...thereís not a whole lot of roastiness - it is wicked light - maybe a little stewy malt thatís lightly toasted? Am digging the primary Belgian yeast strain along with the Brett-ish funk. The yeast makes this deal and itís extremely well-done. OK, maybe thereís not an incredible complexity to it at first but the light grapes show up a little later - it works very well.