ClarkVV (3766) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 30, 2008
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Original release bottle, drunk a couple times in the past six months, most recently on 11/24/07
So at about 20ish months in the bottle, this one still shows a mountainous size of well-retained off-white head that laces as well as any Belgian-brewed Belgian ale. No surprise there. Leaving the sediment behind, the beer is a dark, but muted copper color in the middle, with lighter gold hues on the edges. Clarity is high, carbonation plentiful.
Aroma is full of grape fermentation notes (sharp esters and phenols, with nectarine notes and some higher alcohols, to briefly sum up what I associate with the grapes). The malt is surprisingly rather full in the nose, with rich, rich honey dough notes (definitely some sticky caramel as well). As far as that goes, it balances the sharp fruit esters and alcohols very nicely. With warming, vanilla and even light citrus notes (esters) emerge to add some complexity, though I donít know that the vanilla works well with the fruit notes and breadiness. Still, the aroma is full, strong and not flawed, as well as distinctly Belgian. The alcohol is the most problematic, but I donít see this as any more alcoholic than any other Belgian ale fermented (non-spontaneously) with fruits.
In the flavor is a luxurious amount of honey, caramel, peach and nectarine, with the tell-tale vanilla on the finish. I like the interplay of the more dry fruit notes with the honey and caramel, but probably itís even a bit syrupy/sugary at this point. There is a touch "breadiness" or premature oxidation that dulls some of the malt intensity (not necessarily a bad thing) and with the alcohol on the finish, itís quite dry and balanced by the end. Phenolic spiciness is easily noted throughout, with an almost herbal-like bitterness on the finish. Texture, as with most Allagash beers, and especially with this amount of malt softness, is extremely supple with engaging carbonation.
As with most of these Allagash one-offs, patience once again proves to be rewarding.
JStax (2568) - Devola/Marietta, Ohio, USA - DEC 29, 2013
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
2013 bottle poured into an Allagash chalice. Pours a translucent gold with a big white froth of foam. Good retention and lots of webby lacing. The aroma is grassy, musty, and herbal. It actually reminds me of a pilsener. Odd. Taste is sweet and grainy. I get notes of vanilla, white grape skins. Bigger bodied with a softly spritzy mouthfeel. Medium carbonation.
redbarenej (10) - - NOV 7, 2013
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Light clear amber color. Grainy smell with a hint of grape. Taste was very bready with a bit of grape balance.
wedgie9 (1737) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - OCT 1, 2013
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
From notes. Tasted at a tasting at Curtisís old house, probably around early 2012, from a corked and caged 750mL bottle that I bought at Lush long ago. Pours hazy deep golden with a thick white head that leaves thin lace. The nose is sweet caramel and grape juice with just a touch of bitterness and some spicy yeast. The flavor is lighter on the sweetness but the same otherwise. The body is full with average but stinging carbonation and a long grape juice and Belgian yeast finish.
gsmitty80 (1736) - Washington DC, USA - SEP 12, 2013
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Fun play on a white wine and beer mix. Good woody tones from the grapes. I didnít enjoy this as much as the Red.
Gachupines (787) - USA - SEP 6, 2013
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Hazy golden color with a thick white head. Aroma is light grape with a bit of hay. Flavor is lightly fruity and very mildly tart. Effervescent and crisp, flavor is vaguely similar to a white wine but not as sweet.
phaleslu (5723) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - SEP 1, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
750 ml bottle. 2011 vintage. Tried side-by-side with Victor and Victor Francenstein. Pours a bright, semi-cloudy gold with a finger of frothy white head. Aroma of white grapes, sweet and bready malts, mild spice, and some farmhouse funk. The flavor hits the same notes, but with more grape and some other fruit, like apricot. Medium-bodied, with soft moderate carbonation and a vinous, malty mouthfeel. Another solid strong Belgian from Allagash. Marginally better than Victor.
Iphonephan (2606) - McLean, Virginia, USA - AUG 28, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
From a 75 cl bottle shared at Ryanís. Pours a clear dark gold with a thick off white head. Aroma of bread and banana. Coriander and melon with sweet candi sugar.
HeadyDE (411) - Delaware, USA - JUL 18, 2013
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Draft at 2sp..billed as dry and spicy with hint of clove..vanilla and oak..pale color indeed..slight off taste profile..didnít enjoy this one as much as victor..glad to try though..not as complex as expected..
Beergeek23322 (1954) - Chesapeake, Virginia, USA - JUL 4, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
May 2011. Corked and caged bottle. Pours amber color with a large white head. Aromas of spice, butter, sugar and fruit. Slightly sour, but very refreshing.
baraciisch (1505) - USA - JUN 21, 2013
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Yellow orange in color... Flavor is buttery and oaky... Smooth but not terribly acidic, grape notes.... Very complex and well balanced beer
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone