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Buzzards Bay Barrel Aged Cranberry Lambic



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RATINGS: 88   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.52/5   SEASONAL: Special   ABV: -
The world’s foremost cranberry region is our very own South Coast. Thus, we had to brew this beer and indeed, we’ve been a little cran-crazy here at Buzzards Bay Brewing. We brewed a special batch of black lager and barrel aged it in a Cabernet Sauvignon soaked French oak barrel (from the Nevers region) for 12 months. During that time the lactic bacteria (already in the barrel) fermented the remaining sugar and created a deliciously dry and somewhat sour beer. We took some South Coast cranberries fresh from the bog, crushed them and added them to the brew. The cranberries added not only a delightful cranberry aroma and mouth-watering tartness, but also a wonderful red hue. Bottle conditioned, this is a very tasty, tart, South Coast rendition of the traditional lambic style. As this is a natural beverage - unfiltered, unfined and naturally carbonated, expect yeasty stuff as well as bits and pieces of real fruit to be floating around. Great for Thanksgiving! Yeah! Drink now or age for 1 to 5 years.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
GodOfThunder (1249) - Orlando, Florida, USA - MAR 19, 2009
Thanks to MikeTd for the taste! Pours a thin dark cherry color with a tart aroma. Flavor was surprisingly light with tart fruits. This is good, I just wish it was a little more bold. It seemed lacking in both flavor and on the palate.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - MAR 13, 2009
UPDATED: MAR 20, 2009 750ml bottle, courtesy miketd. Pours an extremely cloudy, rusty, reddish-brown color with a fluffy tan head. Sudsy arch lacing breaks apart at the middle, the two halves drooping back into the pool beneath. The nose shows a mild barnyard funk overtone amidst a tart berry baseline, with hints of cocoa and a good deal of soured, saturated oak. Flavors are not as tart as the nose indicates, moderate cranberry sourness tempered considerably by substantial oak and hints of floral, herbal character. It’s quite earthy overall, some dustiness coming from the brett yeast. Medium bodied and balanced on the tongue, the finish is semi-dry to dry, but somehow lacking in substance. Interesting beer. I enjoyed reading about how it was made. It’s definitely not your standard fruit lambic, that’s for sure...more of a wild ale with fruit.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 5/20
Odeed (1799) - Bakersfield, California, USA - MAR 3, 2009
(sample from irishboy)dark brown with a light brown head.funky,sour,medicinal,and dirty.thats the best i can describe it.not very enjoyable.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
IrishBoy (4096) - Bakersfield, California, USA - MAR 2, 2009
2007 750ml bottle from AllDayDrinker! Thanks! Nose of light funky brett with a bunch of earthy oakiness thrown in. It appears opaque when the glass is fuller but when the level gets to less than an inch it is clear rusty red brown with a small beige head. Flavor is light, funky barnyard with some oak and light cranberries. The earthy oak mostly covers the cranberries.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
FlacoAlto (4147) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JAN 18, 2009
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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
sar50 (12) - , Rhode Island, USA - JAN 7, 2009
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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
KimJohansen (10416) - Frederiksberg C, DENMARK - DEC 24, 2008
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!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Miver (609) - Silver Spring, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 26, 2008
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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
dalekliz (908) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 20, 2008
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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
wetherel (1863) - Cupertino, California, USA - NOV 18, 2008
Smokey berry. Medium red brown color. Lots of tongue burn sourness. Chunks of cherry. Very good.

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