Alengrin (4163) - BELGIUM - FEB 20, 2016
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Classic American sour fruit ale, one of the beers which made Cascade’s name and fame, from an expensive 75 cl bottle with cork and muselet; front of the bottle says "2013 project" so I assume it is about three years old. Opens with a bang and some slow gushing, but nothing unmanageable. Thick, frothy, lacing, moussy, egg-white head over an equally misty, warm and ’sunny’ peach blonde beer with light orangey hue - a beauty, but evidently turning murky and a bit ochre-like with deposit. The bouquet is rich and delicate as any artisanal sour, with numerous things springing to mind: fresh apricot of course, mouldy orange, kiwi, goat cheese, pineapple, overripe gooseberry and a lot of it, sour cream, artisanal yoghurt, vanilla-like oak, tulips and other flowers, dusty cellar, mandarin, green banana and a deep whiff of stale human sweat (as in: unwashed clothes) as well as wet cardboard - breaking the idyll, perhaps, but adding a kind of funkiness on top of the sour diary character and actually fitting into the whole perfectly. Opulent fruitiness in the mouth, not just the basic yeast fruitiness one can expect from an ale in general, but a whole array of ’fresh’ sour fruity flavours with a slight hint of apricot sweetness here and there, balancing perfectly with the acidity of lemons, starfruit, unripe green plums and redcurrant. Carbonation is strong but refined in structure, as in a sparkling wine - or in fact, a well-carbonated ’oude’ geuze. This vivid effervescence lightens the body and so does a persistent, drying, lactic acidity (as in really sour yoghurt), though the caramelly, soft malt backbone remains firmly in place, carrying the overload of fruit acidity and minor sweetishness to its glorious finish, beautifully linking the lactic tartness to the fruit acidity as well as the soft, sweetish malts in the background, and adding a layer of drying, yet subtle woodiness yielding faint vanilla-like impressions retronasally. An earthy hop presence is kept behind the curtains but does its structural job of balancing without bittering perfectly, and after swallowing, a warming glow of calvados-like alcohol reminds you that this beer is a sturdy 8.5% ABV. A slight chalky flavour lingers in the background as well (something in the brewing water?). And in the meantime, an appetizing flavour of crisp lime or lemon remains on the lips... This is a truly wonderful sour which deserves its cult status completely; it has complexity, it has fruit richness and generosity, it has elegance and finesse. The lambic association is not far away (Cantillon’s Fou’ Foune especially, though again very different in many ways) and I love traditional lambics, so this only supports my appreciation of this fantastic brew. The lactic sourness is strong and stretches from the onset till deep into the finish, but on this path, it is met with the underlying sweetishness of the apricot and the malts at first, and with subtly applied oak and very well hidden alcohol thereafter. Lovely, and likely the best sour beer I had which does not fit in the classic Belgian lambic and Flemish red traditions - or, to put it differently, so far the best sour ale I had from the States. Makes me look forward to the Kriek version.
Atom (2075) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - FEB 14, 2016
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
750mL bottle pours a hazy golden with a large white head. Aroma is funky Brett, oak, apricot feast, tart and sweet. Taste of chewy dry sour Brett, lemon, oak, lightly tart, apricot skin, white pepper and sour finish. Nice!
BeergeekKorea (107) - SOUTH KOREA - FEB 13, 2016
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Aroma: Sourish apricot
Appearance: bright orange colour and thin bubble head
Taste: Heavy sour and light fruity sweet
Palate: Medium body, slick texture, fizzy carbonation and the Aroma finishes
sulawang (916) - British Columbia, CANADA - FEB 3, 2016
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Visual: Hefty bottle, twisty wire cap and composite cork. Bottle-conditioned. Pours clear amber with a smallish head, a thin layer of retention, clusters of steady micro streams.
Nose: fruity peach-apricot mixed with puke. (lvl-8)-pungency
Attack: immediate heavy tartness, intense puckery sour, fizzy
Mid-palate: continuous acidic sour, (lvl-5)-sweetness, (MAIN) fruit vinegar, apricot, apple juice, pukey, woody oak
Finish: tart, candy tangy, residual sour fruity finish.
Summary: Goes down better with salty food, and caution to those who have a stomach sensitive to acidic food. Very taxing on the palate and a slow sipper. It has decent flavours and body but the sourness is just too over-the-top for me.
BiereLuc (1259) - Montréal, Quebec, CANADA - DEC 28, 2015
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bière dorée, voilée, avec un nez corpulent de fruits mûrs sur une trame sonore funky. En bouche, un profil acétique s’amène, enveloppé de fines notes fruités. La rhubarbe est nommée au générique. Bon truc. Surprenant.
Vignale (3092) - Malmö, SWEDEN - DEC 14, 2015
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Flaska från demolenbeershop drucken med ölföreningen. Frisk syrlig doft av aprikos/aprikosgodis. Sötsyrlig men relativt torr, lite blommig och aningen tvål aprikossmak. lite kryddig och stram eftersmak. Riktigt snygg och fantastiskt god.
tightslice (789) - Redwood City, California, USA - NOV 26, 2015
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: NOV 27, 2015 Bottle from Beltramo’s in Menlo Park, CA. Aroma is loads of funky, rotten attic bones. Taste is citric acid, atomic warheads, dry fruit skins, fruit pits, lemons. Extremely astringent, pulls at your teeth. Very little apricot coming through. Amazing aroma, disappointing taste.
ChtiBreizh (456) - Rennes, FRANCE - NOV 15, 2015
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
75cl bottle, tasting @ Chez Alain, Rennes. Hazy orange with a thin head. Fresh apricot very clearly, funky malts. Sharp and sour. Very good fruit lambic.
Inbreak (4119) - Loddefjord, NORWAY - NOV 3, 2015
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
03.10.2015, 0,75l bottle shared @ home:
Nice creamy mediumlasting head, quite hazy. Aroma is kind of artificial sour-ish sweet, soda powder, orange candy, grass, oak, unripe apricot, fruit stones, berry skin. Taste is sour-ish dry, sorrel, mild vinegar, oak, raw rhubarb, soda powder, minerals, fruit stones, berry skin. Medium bitterness, dry acidic mouthfeel. Nice.
jc1762 (556) - New Jersey, USA - NOV 1, 2015
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Poured into a plastic cup showing cloudy yellow with sparse white foam.
The nose show strong notes of juicy and tart apricot.
The palate shows moderate carbonation, full bodied, juicy fruit forwardness, very slightly over-tart but flavors and clean with a good presence of fruit on the finish and the linger.