PilsnerPeter (3028) - Flushing, New York, USA - SEP 15, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle: Hazy copper/blush hue with a dense off white head. Soft buttery oak aroma with vinous notes, raspberry tartness, leather and some lactic acidity (mild), as well as a touch acetic. Fairly creamy body. Tart and oaky flavor- the raspberry tartness is very subtle underneath a sharp white oak note as well as cheese rind, leathery funk, and lactic tartness. Some tannins are apparent with vinous qualities. A solid sour.
FlacoAlto (3676) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - SEP 5, 2009
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
A generous pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip glass produces a three-finger thick, pale tan colored head. The beer is a richly red tinged, dark amber color that shows a lightly hazed, red stained gold color when held up to the light. The aroma smells floral and fragrantly of raspberries, but there is a lactic note that was noticeable as I was pouring this and if you dig for it there is a fair amount of funky Brettanomyces character in the finish. This last contributes a musty, phenolic soaked blanket note, as well as a touch of musky barnyard character. I like that the raspberry doesn’t completely dominate the nose, but it is still quite strong and most definitely easily the loudest aroma here by a long way.
The beer is quite dry, with a lightly bracing tartness. The beer has a certain lightness to it that I wasn’t quite expecting from a beer of this strength; it almost seems a touch too thin. The raspberry notes in the flavor are held well in check by the overall dryness of this beer; there is still a fleshy raspberry pulp flavor here as well as a bit of tannic raspberry skin character that mixes with tannic oak notes that lightly coat the teeth. The oak also contributes a spiciness to the finish that mixes with a touch of warming alcohol. The raspberry notes are quite floral in some ways and the fruitiness provides a perceived fruitiness to the middle of each sip. The tartness seems to be derived largely from the lactic fermentation, but also from the raspberries used. The tannic notes and spiciness from the oak balance, quite well, with the light lactic acidity. The body seems to pick up a bit more heft to it as time wears on, perhaps it is just my palate getting used to the beer; this doesn’t become heavy, but does pick up a touch of slickness that works a bit more than the almost watery character that I noticed at first. The oak and the alcohol in the finish contribute a touch of peppery piquancy to the finish. Up front some vanillin mixes in seamlessly with the floral raspberry character; how can you go wrong with raspberry and vanilla flavors.
This is not bad; it is nothing like what I was expecting, even though I don’t really know what I was expecting here. It isn’t all I had hoped it would be though either. It could use a touch more sourness (which might actually help balance this beer somehow) and the body seems a bit thin at times. It could use a bit more complexity; perhaps more funkiness whether acidity, Brett or yeasty spiciness; even a hint of sweetness might be welcome. The beer started out a bit on the weak side but finishes with a much stronger showing that ultimately pushes this into the enjoyable category for me. This ends up being a solid first entry to this limited series by Allagash and I can only hope to try the future releases in this series.
puzzl (3216) - New York, New York, USA - SEP 3, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottled. The aroma is acetic, drain cleaner, honey, and mild fruit. Funky, doughy. Flavor has a nice funkiness, with chewy dough, and some nice, light raspberry. Balanced, not especially sour, with a good body. A broad range of sour flavors, not dominant in any. Slightly effervescent. Lots of oak, wine. Not my favorite ever but a well brewed beer; this took perhaps a bit too much from the wine barrels — subsequent batches should be a bit toned down and better.
hopscotch (8367) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - SEP 3, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle (dregs)… WTF OMG!… Murky, caramel-colored ale with little to no head. The aroma is a nice blend of caramel, bready yeast and acidic funk. Full-bodied and creamy with moderate carbonation. The flavor is sour, with heaps of acidity, but bready, caramel undertones throw a little balance into the mix. Tart, buttery, caramel finish.
thenick (766) - North Bellmore, New York, USA - SEP 2, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Sample @ EBF ’09 (from notes). Pours a cloudy deep orange with very little to no head. Aroma is brett, a little light fruit, and wood. Taste is sour cherry and other light fruit up front, with a woody/brett finish. Beer is pretty smooth and drinkable - and I like it a lot.
yobdoog (1888) - Woodridge NY, New York, USA - SEP 1, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Cloudy brownish orange color with no head. Aroma of wood, sour fruit and acid. Taste has lots of wood on top of sour cherry and grape skin with other fruit as well. Mixed berries. Light body and very sharp on the tongue. Very faint brett character and has a lingering woody sourness.
gkost (1703) - Tampa, Florida, USA - AUG 30, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
bottle @ WTF OMG! Poured a hazy deep orange. Nose is lactic sourness, some grape and definite funk. Flavor is mild. Lactic acid, mild funk, sour grapes, young fruit. Good, but super hyped.
wickedpete (634) - Lexington Park, Maryland, USA - AUG 25, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Body is hazy red-hue gold with a tall white head that fades to a misty covering. Some soapy lacing. Tart raspberry aroma right up front with a twangy funkiness coming through. The sourness gives way to a sweet red fruit. Some acidity is also noticeable. The flavor is light on tartness but the sweet fruit shows through nicely without being cloying. It’s a very natural fruitiness and I almost expect to feel raspberry seeds in my mouth. Palate is ok but I would like to have more tartness and acidity.
egajdzis (5116) - Spring Mount, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 16, 2009
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Hazy orange amber color with a small, white head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of wild yeast, vanilla oak barrel, toast, and light fruit. Taste of citrus fruits, vanilla, wild yeast, funky, dark fruits, and a sour finish.
holdenn (2062) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - AUG 16, 2009
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle thanks to Beejay at the First Annual Chicago Sour Tasting. Pours a clear amber orange with a thin beige head. Nose of oak, citrus, and fruit. Citrus, dark cherries, oak, and some alcohol flavors that are rich complex and blend together really well. The earthiness and oakiness develop more as this warms up putting off that beautiful balance, but still a really tasty beer.