FlacoAlto (3737) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JAN 18, 2009
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
2008 Release; Sampled December 2008
Pours with a fat, two-finger thick, darkish tan colored head that I fairly dense. The beer is quite dark, with a opaque burnt amber color; when held up to the light the beer passes just a touch of light, but remains quite opaque with a deep haze and a touch of ruby red color around the edges. Up front there is a nice tart berry character but as my nose gets down into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip the oak character becomes quite dominant, the oak ca not shake the cranberry character completely though and there is also a backdrop of Brettanomyces funk. The barrel contributes aromas of vanillin, spicy oak and an almost a bourbon like character, while rich fruit notes of tart berries, prunes and black currants are also here, as are funky notes of musty wood, a touch of butyric acid sweat dried leather and a sharp and funky phenolic note that lightly spices up the aroma. Other notes of black pepper, lemon pepper, toasted malt and a touch of savory add to the overall character of this complex nose. The aroma is quite rich, the beer smells like it has a lot more body than a typical Lambic.
The beer is actually fairly light bodied, it was almost shockingly so after immersing myself in the perceived richness of the nose. The lightness is about right for a Lambic, though seems to be missing that lush, almost creamy quality that a good Lambic has. The beer is somewhat tart, though not aggressively so and this mixes in with the roasted grain character in the finish that further dries things out. The roast character isn’t huge, but does contribute a cold, slightly acidic, burnt, cold, black coffee flavor to the finish that has a touch of charcoal in it. The dark grain actually contributes a fair amount to the acidity of this brew. Interestingly there isn’t much cranberry flavor noticeable, it seems to contribute more to the nose. As the beer warms up it picks up a bit more texture, body and an almost creaminess. This definitely needs to be served on the warm side of cool, as it was a bit too thin at first. The oak character, so noticeable in the nose, almost plays a secondary role in the flavor; the beer has a substantial spicy oak component, perhaps a touch of buttery oak and a certain tannic quality that can coat the palate and dry out the overall effect of this beer.
My second pour has me noticing an interesting farmhouse cheese note in the aroma, though it is quite fleeting. While not overwhelmingly roasted, the base beer puts a very strong stamp on the character of this beer; toasted, lightly roasted grain notes are quite noticeable and keep this from being anything remotely resembling a Lambic. It is certainly a stretch to call this a Lambic of any sort, not only is the base beer completely wrong, but it doesn’t really have the requisite mix of flavors either. Still, name aside, this is an interesting, pretty tasty brew that is fun to drink.
sar50 (12) - , Rhode Island, USA - JAN 7, 2009
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Served out of a champagne bottle with a healthy pop when cork is removed.
Color is dark with ruby highlights when held up to the light.
Smell of some roasted malts with both a faint oak and cranberry bouquet.
Taste is malty with some roasted notes and well balanced hop bitterness. Very tart from the cranberries with a bitter and unsweetened flavor of fresh cranberries. Finishes very dry.
This is a very interesting beer. If you are expecting, sweetness from the cranberries, you will be disappointed. But this beer has a very tasty base beer and if you like the taste of fresh cranberries this is right up your alley. Definately a sipper meant to be shared with good friends.
KimJohansen (10349) - Frederiksberg C, DENMARK - DEC 24, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark brown with medium beige head. Sour aroma with plenty of fruits, barnyard and leather notes. Sour flavour with cranberries, barnyard and leather notes. Sour finish. Excellent!
Miver (609) - Silver Spring, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 26, 2008
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
750ml bottle acquired in trade with Tertons. Thanks!!! Poured hazy brownish amber in color with a small beige head. Aroma is tart. Notes of cranberry, cherries, oak and light funk present in the nose. Tastes of a fresh lambic that needs a little age, but in general the cranberry notes came through. Oak, and light funkiness present. Dry finish. As this one breathed and warmed up it gained more character and was more enjoyable.
dalekliz (823) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 20, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle, at WeeHeavySD’s Halloween tasting, with thanks to WeeHeavySD. Pours a deep, dark amber-brown with a small, white head. Intense cranberry aroma, very sour. Taste is very dry, of tart cranberries. Big carbonation. Lingering tart, dry cranberry taste. Tasty and quite intense.
wetherel (1836) - Encinitas, California, USA - NOV 18, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Smokey berry. Medium red brown color. Lots of tongue burn sourness. Chunks of cherry. Very good.
WeeHeavySD (3359) - San Diego (Hillcrest), Oregon, USA - NOV 2, 2008
4.3 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
750ml via trade with alldaydrinker, thanks dude. Shared at my Halloween tasting 09. Pours blackish red/brown with a tan head. Nose is amazing. killer fantastic. Its super tart with a lot of cranberry. Amazing nose. Taste is sweet and tart with cranberry. Awesome taste as well. Really excellent.
ogglethorp (917) - Ohio, USA - SEP 8, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Pours dark brown/ruby color with a medium tan head. Aroma is cranberry, oak, funk, cherry. Flavor is chocolate, cranberry, oak, funk, earthy. Medium body, high carbonation, finished dry and tart. Very different, the dark color for a lambic threw me off. Has this cranberry/chocolate thing going on almost black-forest like.
RagallachMC (631) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - AUG 9, 2008
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
750ml bottle. Thanks to miketd for sharing. Aroma: Burnt popcorn, Fresh and dried cranberries, light barnyard funk, oak. Nice tartness in the smell. Appearance: Dark reddish brown in color and murky. Khaki colored head was small and foamy with fair retention. Fair lacing. Flavor: Roasted grains/burnt popcorn, cranberry juice, dried cherries, woody oakiness. Funk is light with a barnyard/horse sweat character. Nice tartness and a dry finish. Palate: Medium bodied. Medium carbonation. Overall: This was alright, but didn’t really wow me. The burnt grain aroma/flavor didn’t really mesh well with the funk and tart. Cranberry flavors were there, but could have been more pronounced.
nolankowal (921) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - AUG 7, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle shared by ogglethorp. Dirty brown pour with a tan head. Aroma of funk, cranberry, sour, and musty malt. Tart cranberry, dry malt, and funky barnyard elements. Lively body, tart/funky with a dry finish.