scraff (2121) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - JUL 6, 2005
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle from Astor Liquors - Laurel, MD - Murky golden amberish in color, thin white creamy head. Nose held intense notes of coriander, pepper, pear, lemon wheat, vanilla (might be very light oak tones Iím sensing), and lighter notes of banana. Really nice! Flavor is very well balanced with spices, pepper, light banana and citrus, wheat, and slight hints of wood again. Full bodied, lively carbonation, drying, spiced, fruity finish. Take your best Trippel and cross it with your best Wit, and SHLABAM! You get one hell of an Anniversary brew. Congrats to Allagash on 10 years. Cheers to decades more!
hopscotch (8242) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - JUL 3, 2005
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle... Cloudy, golden ale with a mid-sized, frothy, white head. Great retention. The nose is lightly spicy, not overdone. Notes of biscuit, vanilla and light banana. Well-balanced flavor is malty and lightly sweet with, but the alcohol and hops brings everything back to front and center with a whisper of vanilla. Full-bodied and creamy with fizzy carbonation. The finish is dry with just a hint of salt.
Cletus (6187) - Connecticut, USA - JUL 1, 2005
4.3 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JUL 18, 2005 Bottle. After uncorking the bottle, this beer erupts with white foam. After that subsides, the beer pours out a nice copper hue and the huge head that was present at first quickly subsides down to a nice thin but creamy head that sticks to my favorite drinking chalice throughout the entire tasting. The first smells that pop out at me are of bananas and coriander with some appley notes and a hint of a woody smell. Taste is sugary with caramel, coriander, bananas, toffee and pepper as well as some nice grapefruit and grassey hop notes popping out. On the finish, this one is sweet and sugary but the 10% alcohol is masked rather well. Thereís somewhat of a metallic aftertaste, but overall this is a great beer. Iím not sure Iíd conisder this a whitbier, though. It has more of a grand cru or tripel feel to it.
Rerate July 18, 2005: Iíve now had three bottles of this and while I think it is every bit as good as the first time I tried it, I am deducting 3 points from my overall impression because all three bottles have erupted on opening causing about 5 ounces of the beer to shoot out. If anyone is opening their only bottle, I recommend opening it in a large bowl so you can save most of the beer from going all over the floor or down the sink.
ClarkVV (3579) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JUN 23, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
I suppose at 10% abv, this is hardly a witbier, though it is a blend of two witbiers, with probably a bunch of sugar and yeast added to pump up the abv. Anyways, Iíll leave the style classification up to the admins and write the exciting stuff here.
Had this on draught at the American Beer Fest on 6/17/2005 (quite a few samples).
Pours a thick, syrupy, viscous looking dull-golden, honey yellow, with a smattering of light orange/copper highlights. No head, though there is a thin layer of bubbles initially, and when swirled it can be coaxed out as well, but no actual formation of what I would call a head, thus no retention. Lacing, not in the typical sense, more like legs that a cider leaves; bits of thick, clear residue. Aroma is very floral, very spicy. Like a field of wildflowers with some highly fragrant pollen in the air. Some light citrus notes and a definite overtone of clove. Sweet honeyish malt, but gentle on the coriander and bubblegum. The spices take over at first, really shooting right up your nose, and exacerbated by the light citrus. Flavor begins with a little bit of dry oak sharpness/tartness, smoothing out very fluidly in to some sweet honey-dough malt. Spices congregate quickly on the palate, though they are not overdone. Clove, cinnamon?, vanilla, white pepper and light tangerine notes gently finishing it off. The malt is not so much sweet as it is thick. Donít get me wrong, itís still very-well malted, but I didnít find it to be unbalanced by any means, even for a beer that must support 10% abv. Lightly syrupy, not in a bad way, with very low carbonation. I found the spiciness and wood dryness to provide enough complexity and interest on the palate to make up for the low carbonation, but in the end, more couldnt hurt (though this is probably a draught vs bottle issue, not a brewing problem). And oh yes, I shanít forget the yeast. Copious amounts of that Allagash yeast that we all know and love are very present here. It really gets under your tongue and sticks to the palate, making you lick your lips with pleasure. Thick, chewy and unending. Body has some thinning on the very end, but by no means does it become watery. Perhaps a touch of alcohol, but the spices and thick malt cover it nicely. Moderate spice acidity/astringency grows on the palate, the more that I drink. I find little in the way of hops flavor, probably just saaz or hallertauer adding to the spice effect. Having just had Southampton Double White out of the bottle, this one had some tough competition, but I really enjoyed it. Full flavor, some carbonation issues, but nothing that I didnt enjoy, really. As with Odyssey and Curieux, I think these beers do much better when bottled, so I score it a little leniently, with that in mind.