FlacoAlto (3810) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - AUG 26, 2008
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
The cork is way to far in and requires a cork screw, but this beer is incredibly well carbonated as it forcefully ejects the cork and cork screw mid pull. Luckily I had my 25cl tulip nearby and I didn’t lose any beer despite some foaming up. The head is quite voluminous and has to be scraped off twice to prevent over-flowing. I end up with a five-finger thick, pale, almost perfectly white colored head. The beer is an orangish, pale amber color that shows a hazy, but brighter color when held up to the light. The aroma is a nice mix of malt, hops and fermentation character. Spicy with notes of pepper, ginger, almost a touch of cinnamon, an earthy-almost coriander note and a wood note that are balanced by fruity notes similar to apple, pear and a light orange-blossom aromatic. The aroma is also grassy, with a nice, clean, pale malt toastiness . The hops, while slight, accentuate the grassy note and provide a touch of herbal character and something that is a bit like fresh cut, aromatic weeds. This has quite an interesting nose, it is quite easy to spend some time just smelling this without even needing to take a sip.
On the other hand, I really need a beer so sip I must. The flavor is sweet and spicy up front with a substantial citrus / orange-blossom note that is followed by spicy higher alcohols and phenolics. The finish has a mix of clove, warming higher alcohols, a piquant pepper-like note and just a touch of an herbal hop bitterness. There is quite a bit going on in this beer, in addition to the previously mentioned notes I get flavors of clove (lots of this), sweet-ripe aromatic pear, pickled ginger, a light note of sweet-tart perfectly ripe plums, a touch of damp earthiness in the finish.
An over-confident second pour leaves with more foam than I can suck down and a puddle of foam on my desk. The beer gets a bit more fruit focused as it warms up and subsequent pours have a really pepper, quite zippy carbonation as well as quite the carbonic bite. The texture of this beer is just about spot on; the prickly carbonation ensures a tongue scrubbing airiness with every sip and the body has just a touch of viscousness without keeping this from being quite quaffable. While this never actually gets hot, it doesn’t really hide its alcohol all that well; mostly the higher alcohols give this away, but they do add some interesting notes so it is certainly not all bad.
This beer is quite complex all around, it is perhaps a touch sweeter than I usually prefer, but I think in this case, this beer needs the sweetness to balance the piquant fermentation character; ample higher alcohols and phenols which could easily be too much, but here are tempered by the malt sweetness. The head of this beer is just about perfect, everyone of my four pours is fluffy, textured and long lasting, and the hazy orange-amber color is quite nice as well. A beer that is very enjoyable, perhaps even more so than I would expect.
3fourths (8099) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - AUG 17, 2008
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
750ml bottle pours golden amber with a faint haze to the body and large, overflowing off-white head on top.Super sweet candy sugar nose with a minerally chemical band-aid yeast note. Very sweet throughout the drink, a lot of crystalline candy sugar and fruity lemon and candy orange flavors, along with that same minerall/dust yeast flavor. Nothing major to complain about, but the presentation and price warrants something a little more interesting.
JK (4520) - St. Louis Park, Minnesota, USA - AUG 17, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
This is an excellent beer. Belgian yeast in the aroma with malt and spices, citrus, coriander, flowers. Sweet flavor with some salt. Orange, and lots of yeast that gives a flavor like a beer from Abbaye des Rocs.
beachbum25 (1085) - Powellville, Maryland, USA - AUG 5, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
750 Ml Bottle-Cloudy, off orange color w/a moderate, white head. Sweet, spiced, Belgian aroma. Nice, crisp, Belgian w/flavors of grass, cane sugar, light fruit, spices/pepper, floral hop, vanilla, banana, & orange peel. Had a bit of a dry, malt backbone. Had a lot going on, but not in a bad way. Kind of rough & gamey, not overly filtered. Long, spiced finish which left you wanting more. Quite enjoyable.
bhensonb (11234) - Woodland, California, USA - JUL 30, 2008
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
750 ml bottle, corked and caged, from Wine Specialist. Coppery color with a multi-finger off-white head. Aromas of floral hop over lightly roasted malt, with a light spice note. Medium body with frothy, creamy carbonation. Flavor is rather sweet, with light stone fruit and spice; could be a bit of citrus peel. Noticed a light dose of pepper in the finish. Finishes drier than it started. Tasty. Leaves my mouth feeling good.
Stine (1599) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JUL 30, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Poured from a 750 ml bottle, yeast blended. Cloudy, sandy apricot orange appearance. Floral lemongrass and baked apple aroma; tart, and fragrant. Soft, cookie-like malt presence. Herbal tranquility presides in the flavor, cool and calm, of leafy mint, jasmine, cinnamon stalk and a whiff of vanilla alcohol. Medium-full palate is initially sharp with carbonation but easily softened; lots of creamy almond sweetness in the middle, and a warm finish of dough and caramelized pears. Classy. Thanks Bob!
badgerben (4478) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - JUL 28, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Courtesy of Skyview. Hazy copper color with a thin head. Strong orange and citrus aroma, along with a bit of toast. More toastiness in the flavor. A bit of Noble hop floral. Sweet malt finish.
Skyview (5242) - Papoose Jct, Minnesota, USA - JUL 24, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Received 750ml bottle via Secret Santa. Pours a hazy orange amber brew with a thick, spritzy and rocky head that has some excellent retention and excellent lacing. Aroma of honey, multi-grain malt, some cloves, banana esters, orange zest, candi sugar and a touch of grassy hops. Taste is medium bodied, well-carbonated with flavors of coriander, multi-grain malt, cloves, candi sugar and a touch of tart cherries. Finish is slightly dry with a lingering clove and banana aftertaste. Flavor overall hides any alcohol character is this Belgian Ale.
JMFG (1587) - Florida, USA - JUL 16, 2008
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Courtesy Beerlando. Slightly cloudy light amber color, nice tight white head. Slight peppery and herbal tones back some sweetness and Belgian yeast aromas. Pretty straightforward sweet grainy Belgian taste. Pretty stock, but a nice offering.
eaglefan538 (2897) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - JUL 10, 2008
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pour with huge carbonation, hard to control actually. Full orange-amber color, lacing streaks decent all the way down. Lots of bread, yeast, grass in aroma, some candy fruity aromas too. Flavor followed the aroma, candy apples with lots of balancing grass. Mouthfeel was airy bloated, overly carbonated. Not bad, not great. Tune down the carbonation and let’s see what this beer base really has to offer? Decent, nothing great, though.