FlacoAlto (3450) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAY 29, 2012
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
This has a huge, incredibly distinct, hoppily fruity aroma to it as I pour this beer into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip. The beer forms a large, five-finger thick, pale head. The beer is a deep gold color and shows a brilliantly clear, yellow-gold hue when held up to the light. The aroma has an intense fruitiness to it that is a mix of Juicy Fruit bubblegum, super floral honey, concentrated tangelo blossoms, apricot, huge lychee, kumquat zest and perhaps even some Guava. The hop fruit character is what dominates the aroma, but towards the finish, and in a much more subtle manner there is a sort of dusty, or perhaps even more musty, sort of “cob-web” like and slightly medicinal Brettanomyces signature; This still is quite subtle, and has a long way towards adding character to this beer (a good reason to age a couple bottles perhaps). As the beer warms up it gets more spicy, quite a bit more funky and just that much more complex.
The beer is quite dry, in fact exceedingly dry for an IPA even, but this really isn’t an IPA. The dryness certainly reduces the hop fruitiness substantially in the flavor, but there is still an oral nasal, floral fruitiness that just can’t be completely held in check. The finish has a medicinal, sort of aspirin like, almost mineral like note that seems to be brought out by a combination of the hop character and the Brettanomyces influence. The finish has a bitterness to it (in actuality the entire flavor profile has a certain level of biting bitterness), though this isn’t a super bitter beer, and this combines with a biting note from the Brettanomyces phenolics and perhaps even some astringent green hop character. There is definitely an herbal character to the flavor that wasn’t noticeable in the aroma (again the dryness of this beer brings this out); it reminds me of tobacco, some pine, perhaps of something menthol like, none of these are really distinct in and of themselves though, perhaps it is better described as a peppery, spicy herbal character. This beer is quite light bodied, as one would expect, it is quite quaffable, even dangerously so given the beers strength.
The problem with beers like this, incredibly hoppy / citrusy but bone dry, is that much of the juicy citrus character is lost in the flavor due to the dryness. This beer is a testament to the wonders of Indian coriander, it doesn’t have that dirty herbal character that western coriander does and it really integrates very nicely with the kumquat and Galaxy hops; interestingly enough, I hadn’t realized that coriander and kumquats were used here; I wholly attributed their flavor contributions to the hops, but now having read the label they most definitely contribute. The pepper to adds a nice spiciness to this brew that was again mistaken for hop character. Back to the problem, without the residual malt sweetness that even supports the driest of the usual IPAs, this beer has lost the juicy citrus character that would be otherwise be noticeable in the flavor. While I have compared this a lot to an IPA, it is clearly not one, given the interpretive take the style can have, I would say this fits into the Saison category (at least better than it fits anywhere else). Since I do love hoppy and I do love Saisons, this beer is right up my alley; exceedingly enjoyable and I doubt I will be able to hold on to my second bottle long enough to allow the Brettanomyces presence to increase much.
Gription79 (1597) - Bountiful, Utah, USA - MAY 27, 2012
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
750 ml bottle. Drank on Dante’s View in Death Valley. Highly carbonated, super dry, both of these qualities are due to the Brettanomyces. Juicy hops mixing well with the fruit and spices. Earthy notes round out the beer. Nice on a warm afternoon in Death Valley.
ekoerper (549) - Iowa, USA - MAY 26, 2012
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Aroma: lemon, pepper, some light dusty/funky brett notes, citrus hops, faint light grain character, mellow oak/earthiness. Pours slightly hazy, straw color, thick white head leaves abundant lacing. Flavor: lots of citrus fruits and fresh lemon peel, hop character is there but seems to be taking a back seat to the brett and spiciness, medium bitterness, notes of oak, quite spicy - lots of black pepper. Light body, high carbonation.
JulienHuxley (1708) - Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 26, 2012
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Pours a hazy light yellow/white pour with creamy white head. Aroma is very spice forward; quite peppery, some oak, yeasty (a bit of brett but not too powerful) very hoppy, the hops seem to compliment the pepper and make everything even more peppery. Very good aroma. Taste is rich and layered as well, very spicy, some light wheaty notes and a strong hop finish. I didn’t pick up an awful lot of brett and/or other sour flavors, but everything was really well balanced. Palate was med bodied and highly carbed. Very tasty.
MJGG (852) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 23, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bouteille de 24 oz, lors d’une dégustation. Arômes de houblon très fruité (agrumes, melons) et de brettanomyces. Robe blonde très pâle et trouble, effervescence assez active et belle petite mousse. En bouche, on retrouve un bel houblonnage aromatique tirant sur les agrumes et la résine. Le blé s’exprime également bien, tout comme les brettanomyces, qui contribuent des notes épicées et d’herbes fraîches. Légères notes vineuses. Finale sèche et moyennement amère. Très bon et original.
jethrodium (356) - Berkeley, California, USA - MAY 21, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
750 ml bottle. Pours a hazy golden amber with a small white head settles to a ring and leaves some light lacing. Big fruity aroma with lots of mango, light brett, some oak, lemon, pear, and apricot. The taste has a light initial sweetness with mango, apricot, some spiciness, and a bit brett earthiness. The finish has a decent bitterness. Medium-light body. Low carbonation. Quite enjoyable.
MartinT (6934) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 21, 2012
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
My Bottom Line :
Tantalizing floral, citrusy hops bloom alongside this creation’s peppercorns and biscuity brettanomyces, as coriander and wheat slowly take hold of the flavor profile.
Further Personal Perceptions :
-A fluffy head of foam tops the misty pale blond.
-This is yet another superbly aromatic brew from Anchorage. Wow. I guess it can be offputting for someone not in the mood for such a bouquet, but I don’t see how one cannot be impressed by the elegance and complexity of this perfume.
-Effervescence is intense yet soft at the same time.
-This is nearly as drinkable as a Witbier.
-The barrel-aging job is nicely done.
Wittales (440) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - MAY 20, 2012
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Appearance was hazy pale gold with a diminishing white creamy 1 finger head, spotty lacing throughout. Aromas was sweet biscuity malts, then fruity barnyard funk with grapes, melons, lemons and spice.The esters of the bretts are the real stars, wonderful complex goodness. Taste was sweet malt, floral fruity herbal yeasts playing off the mild piney citrusy hops,but more like a stronger tripell than IPA. Palate was smooth champagne like carbonation with medium body. The glorious friuty smooth average length finish is a winner. A wonderful Belgium IPA...
tastybeer (1313) - Bloomington, Indiana, USA - MAY 19, 2012
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Pours hazy yellow/gold with a big white head, excellent retention/lace. Aroma of melon, citrus hops, brett, funk, oak, coriander, light clove. Taste is moderately bitter: big melon hops, citrus, dust, earth, coriander, medicinal notes. Palate is soft, creamy, average carbonation, lightly bitter funky finish. Really interesting.
Oakes (10941) - Savusavu, FIJI ISLANDS - MAY 17, 2012
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Very pale. The aroma has lots of brett, fruity notes, and lightly orangey character. Mellow with spices and a hint of coriander. Quite hoppy, with herbal bitterness and coriander spiciness. Fun beer, not a lot of malt, but a tasty idea. On reflection, this really does need a little more malt. Gotta get to the bottle early I guess, before the brett chews up too much sugar.