JMFG (1587) - Florida, USA - MAY 6, 2008
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Courtesy SoLan, sampled @ redlight. Hazy copper color with a broken white head. Tartness on aroma yields a bit of cherry, but really was more acetic in general. No defined oak character on aroma. Aggressive sourness at first, smoothes out a bit as it warms. Again, a bit of cherry here, but not enough kriek characters here. Interesting but not great.
pepsican (1464) - @ $13.99, Iowa, USA - MAY 4, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours pink with a thin white head. Very tart aroma with cherries underneath as well as butterscotch. Flavor was more tart cherries, butterscotch, and just the slightest bit of funk. Finished very acidic and refreshing. Very nice!
StefanSD (2217) - Lakeside, California, USA - MAY 3, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle shared at Toncatcher’s awesome tasting. Pours a pinkish color with a small off-white head. The aroma is funky and tart, with a light nose of sour cherries. The flavor is also overtly sour and tart, with sour grapes in the forefront along with some oak, but the cherry character in the flavor never really gets off the ground. The palate was just a bit thin and the carbonation was lively. The finish was long and tart. Overall: Since I rather like sour, I liked this offering. We tasted the 2005 Cantillion Blabar later in the tasting and I noted many similarities between these two, I think this lambic would fare well at an all sour lambic tasting.
pintsize (1042) - Austin, Texas, USA - MAY 3, 2008
2.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
Red orange semi clear pour. Smell is cat urine and sour tart funk. Yes, this is tart. However, there is really no flavor. The first drink - you get tart and then the more I really try and break down the flavors - there is nothing there. The palate is really thin and the body is very watery - there is nothing there really aside from the tartness that isn’t amazingly bold. There is a rubbing alcohol effect present in the finish. The big smell doesn’t match the lame flavor which doesnt match the thin palate. Overall, not harmonious.
lb4lb (2563) - Austin, Texas, USA - MAY 3, 2008
2.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Pours a thin reddish, almost rosy pink color. Smell is lightly creamy butterscotch and sour cherry. Taste is thin and tart cherries. Definitely shows sign of tartness, but still feels overly simplistic, like thin juice, and doesn’t have any funky complexity or anything. A certain amount of acidity and dryness in the finish as well, but also has a faint buttery finish to it, perhaps from the diacetyl, too. While this wasn’t bad, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I’d hope considering the price.
DenverLogan (834) - MileHi, Colorado, USA - MAY 1, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Ruby brown barrel aged cherry sour beauty with so much intrigue and loveliness and balance that I oh so much need to try it again la de da.
padrefan98 (854) - (San Diego) Santee, California, USA - APR 28, 2008
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle purchased at the brewery and shared with some other guy. Awesome attempt of a sour ale. Good going Alpine. Keep it up. You are just scratching the surface of a style that needs more representation in the US market. Loved it!
WeeHeavySD (3359) - San Diego (Hillcrest), Oregon, USA - APR 24, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: DEC 29, 2008 Non infected re-rate a bottle from Chris, thanks for giving me the oppurtunity to do this justice. 8th rating of this brew, shared with bikesanbeer to congratulate him on grad school stuff. Pours surprisingly ilght pink with a bright white head. It looks a little like fruit punch. Sour tart nose with big punches of dyacetal, that nasty nose of gross buttered popcorn. Thankfully it is only on the back end in the taste. Nice big cherry tartness on the front end and some nice other characteristics. Some of the oakness comes through as well, and each sip leaves less present diacetal in my mouth but when the beer leaves my mouth its all thats left. The good parts of this beer are exciting the bad parts are severely disappointing. Without the diacetal it would probably really shine, with it there are some clouds obscuring a bright sun. I hope that Alpine doesn’t take this as their only shot at this style and goes for broke on more endeavors.
FlacoAlto (3810) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - APR 23, 2008
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
As I pour this brew I smell a funky, ripe wash-rind cheese note along with a musty moldy note. The pour barely forms a one finger thick, pale, off-white colored head that quickly disappears to a thin layer of not quite covering froth. The beer is a deep honey color that shows a hazy, red stained, light amber color when held up to the light. A deeper draught of the aroma yields a sour fruitiness that reminds me of a mix of cranberry and sweet cherry juice (think a light wiff of the cherry syrup topping for a sunday). Buttery popcorn aromas are fairly pronounced, though I can’t quite tell if this is oak influence or diacetyl (pediococcus perhaps). The buttery aromatics drown out a lot of the other notes in the nose, but there does seem to be some spicy oak character here and the tart cherry notes are usually noticeable.
Tart tasting up front, but it quickly picks up a very slight, soft sweetness. Cherry pie flavors quite distinctly show off the signature of the Montmorency cherry character, but are not an over the top influence on the flavor. The combination of sour flavors and cherry notes are perhaps the biggest flavor contributors, but there is some other things going on here as well. The cherry sort of tastes like watered down, tart cherry juice. The finish has a light oak-derived spiciness to it, while the buttery note from the aroma is almost non-existent in the flavor (leading me to believe that it was the oak that contributed this in the first place, if it was diacetyl it would have been all over the flavor). Fairly light bodied, the beer does have a slight viscousness to it, though it remains a fairly refreshing, definitely easily quaffed experience.
As my palate gets used to it, some of the buttery-oak character from the aroma creeps into the flavor (really it becomes noticeable as it seeps into the nasal passages while taking a sip), it remains fairly light and is found more up front than anything. The cherry notes are fairly simplistic here; tart, fleshy, cherry pie notes show up somewhat softly, but it is missing that deeply staining, cherry skin flavor, that tannic cherry bite, the light almond-like pit character and the deeply complex, vibrant, fleshy cherry character that I like to see in the best examples of the style.
A very interesting beer, I definitely like it, but it falls far short of the best beers that it was inspired by (assuming that Kriek Lambics were the inspiration for this brew). It doesn’t have the intense cherry flavors, nor the bracing acidity and funkiness of the examples that I like best. It really is like a Lambic for those who are interested, but not quite up to the harder versions of the style. Don’t mistake me though, it clearly separates itself from the fake fruit Lambics being produced. In the end this is a tasty tipple that I am happy to have tried, but I wish it was not so one-dimensionally dominated in the nose had a bit more complexity and depth to the flavor.
Purchased: South Bay Drugs Pharmacy, Imperial Beach CA
JorisPPattyn (8121) - Antwerpen, BELGIUM - APR 23, 2008
2.5 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Little rosy rim around pink-orange beer with a little haze. Strange chemical smell, acetone? Faintly fruity, unclear which fruit. Sweetness, which clashes with the acid character; sweet corn, and cherry - but not coming over as natural. Smooth - too smooth as there’s quite some acidburn buried below. I’m not convinced - rather afraid.