fiulijn (16424) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - AUG 11, 2007
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
3 years old
Dark brown color; thin collar. Very nice aroma, with a good mix of vanilla from the cask and the typical yeasty sourness from BFM. Good body structure, with malt and caramel flavor, some sweetness, with the medium BFM sourness and astringency, harsh but softened by the velvety vanilla notes from the cask; maybe the alcohol is too evident. A very good and complex beer. It was worth waiting a few years.
BBB63 (6426) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - JUL 22, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Tosa gathering and bottle provided by Captain Cougar, many thanks: Cloudy brown hue with a small lasting head and some lace. The aroma is funky and cheesy, musty and earthy, woody, mineral, and an interesting blend of cherry, apricot, and grape fruit esters.
The taste has a heavy yeast component with a bready background. Nice addition of cherry like sourness and oxidation which works within the framework of the brew. The finish shows the barrel aging with doses of oaky wood, red wine twang and a hint of alcohol. The mouth feel is lush and sticky with a shocking dry finish. This is great world-class brew indeed. I have had small samples of the 2005 but will wait to rate from my bottle in the frig, only hope it is nearly this good.
Brigadier (3230) - Clevelandish, Ohio, USA - JUN 27, 2007
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
750 ml at pre-RBSG tasting
Once again, thanks to Tom for being generous enough to crack open a bottle of something rare at a tasting. I don’t know if he has a magic fridge like 1FastSti or what but everything he brings to a tasting seems to be on the list of beers I want to sample. This one is no exception - now I need to track down a bottle of 2005 to see how it compares.
Aroma / Appearance - The deep red body is the color of the sky just as the sun is on the horizon. An offwhite thin head dances around barely covering the top of the liquid. Sourness, wheat and yeast dominate the aroma but still leave room for caramel, chocolate and cherries to sneak through. This has definitely Belgian strong ale associations.
Flavor / Palate - Chocolate and vanilla play off each other on the first sip. Next comes fruitiness in the form of pears, cherries and apples. The finish is a little tart but does not dry the mouth completely. I wish it had just a little more body; this was the only major flaw I found with my sample. Otherwise it was a excellent release which straddles the line between Belgian strong ale and Flemish sour perfectly.
sliffy (2040) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - JUN 26, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pre-RBSG Milwaukee: Bottle shared by Tom: Poured a cloudy reddish brown with a tan head. Aroma, a nice sourness, light fruits, wine like notes, oak, and some sweet sugary notes. Flavor, fruity, lightly sour, some nice malty sweetness to it, grapes, and some oak. Really nice brew.
Ughsmash (7354) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JUN 26, 2007
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle, many, many thanks to Coug! Poured a deep chocolatey-amber with very little head. Aroma picked up deep, sweet vinous notes and whiskey sugars.. some candi sugar.. heavy, complex barrel influences include vanilla and toasted oak as well.. sweet and powerfully alluring! Flavor was equally deep and intriguing.. sweet grappa vinous notes and lightly-smoked whiskey ride through the first half, with toasted oak, vanilla, and alcohol warmth rising through a minute or so after the finish.. the barrels took over, but this was lovely! Medium-bodied and very well-executed. Thank you Tom!!!
Mangino (1027) - Mississippi, USA - JUN 21, 2007
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thanks Tom. Dark brown color, no head. Nose is hugely complex. Wine notes really shine through. Tastes amazing, huge complexity and sour and wine notes blended into it. Both sweet and perfectly blended.
boboski (1095) - Alabama, USA - JUN 18, 2007
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: SEP 22, 2007 Sampled fresh, at 15 months and at 30 months, this rating is for the more impressive, older sample. Hazy dark brown pour with glints of red. A rocky tan head is very well retained and leaves spectacular lacing. A knockout of an aroma begins with vibrant red wine notes and freshly split oak. then it just takes off into realms of complexity rarely encountered: notes of figs, dates, tart tropical fruits, grappa washed barrel, sun-blasted and withering grapes, tart yeast, plentiful grain, chocolate syrup with an excess of sugar, spices, caramelized brown sugar, rose petals and a handful of cherries. Alcohol has a vast, encompassing presence and is really the only thing that keeps this from being perfect. Different notes from different casks are evident and married so well in the final blend that nosing this becomes a touch surreal; unexpected pleasures are always the most exciting. Such elaborate, entangled nuances, both subtly aromatic and forthright at once, brilliant! The flavor is just as amazing, incorporating the aforementioned elements in an incredibly drinkable amalgamation. Alcohol fades quickly after the first sip...what’s left is just as impressive as the aroma. Vinous notes are all over the board, focusing on very tart fruits and grape notes. This is as much like and as impressive as any Flemish Sour I’ve encountered. Tartness melds with sugars and becomes very intense with each successive sip. Sweetness is moderate, bitterness is heavy at times but sedated by sticky grapeskin tastes and reckless yeastiness. Acidity present dices through the malt and sweetness and preserves some balance. The finish is lightly bitter, very sweet then dry, with awesome tartness that quickly fades and leaves drying alcohol warmth and a touch of toasty malt behind. The mouthfeel is highly carbonated and really soft, but interlaced with giant spikes of tartness, keeping it lively. Medium bodied and exquisitely satisfying. I would absolutely flip out if I had another chance to sample this again. BFM is a wonderful addition to the modern brewing world.
1FastSTi (3344) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 30, 2007
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JUN 9, 2007 Thanks for sharing Chuck! The beer pours to a really hazy dark brown body with a creamy tan head and spotty lacing. The aroma is fantastic. Merlot wine brings the forefront to light followed by Grappa and then the Cabernet. Grapes galore in this one. Sweet barley and yeasts balance it nicely. Initial tasting yields and an alcoholic hotness. Subsequent tastes don’t have any of that. Very winey. Notes of granola on the finish. The beer has an exciting flavor that’s well brought together. The palate is tart and nicely sour. That grapey quality dissipates rather quickly and leaves a moderately malty mouthfeel.
DavidP (1747) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 29, 2007
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Dark brown body with a small tan head. Nice dark cyrstal and chocolate malt aroma - maple syrup smoothness. The flavor brings in favorable strong tart lemon and raspberry elements over light chocolaty graham cracker. Wraps up with bittering hops, clean alcohol and raspberry. Better than the ’05 version but still not stupendous.
JCapriotti (1379) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 29, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Muddy reddish brown color, thin bubbly light tan head. Vinous dark sourness, cherries, oak, dark meat spices in aroma. Very nice aroma... love the wine. Taste starts a little boring, but my mouth is quickly wrapped in a dry oaky wine character. It has a hidden strong and dry alcohol character that might be coming from the grappa or whiskey. Light dry cacao too. But that vinous thing is still there which wraps it up nicely. Overall... nicely done. It seems hard to find the belgian aspect... maybe that is the spices I noticed. The wine barrel character is the biggest thing, which is yummy.