FlacoAlto (3800) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAR 23, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
This beer pours from the growler with a very murky, dark plum color that shows a deeply hazed, rich amber hue when held up to the light. The beer is topped by a thin, amber tinged, tan colored head. The beer smells tart, woody, spicy (from oak), a touch buttery and really reminds me quite a bit of an oaky red wine (though the tartness is certainly a departure from this). This is quite fruity smelling as well with aromas of tart berries, and a definitely fruit character reminiscent of a red wine grape. The nose is quite oaky with notes of peppery, woody oak and a backbone of buttery oak character. The tartness actually dies down after the first few moments and it becomes more about the oak (primarily) and the fruity notes.
This tastes tart up front and only gets more so as the beer moves across the palate; there is a jam-like, currant like, red-wine fruitiness, buttery oak character and tannic coating character that joins the tartness in the finish as well a drying, sometimes peppery, fresh woody character that boosts the texture. It is interesting how buttery this beer tastes (and smells for that matter), it is not diacetyl, but definitely derived from the oak, but it is quite distinct and actually works pretty well here. There is perhaps a touch of spiciness in the finish that could be contributed from acetic acid; in fact as it warms I think there is a touch of acetic here, in fact the acidity here is fairly light overall and there may not be all that much lactic acid really here, but there is only just enough to add some interest instead of dominating the profile. The carbonation is pretty light here, but does add just a hint of a prickle and the body has some definite tannic structure to it as well as some viscosity that, along with the tannins, lets this beer cling to the palate. There is perhaps a touch of sweetness to this beer (though some of this is apparent sweetness contributed by the acetic acid). There is also a touch of acetone character towards the finish that seems to get wrapped up in the acetic character. There is perhaps a hint of toasted malt like character towards the finish that just barely shows through.
The red wine character is really quite dominant in this beer, even the acidity seems to accentuate this character. There isnít actually a whole lot of the base malt character, but much of the acidity in this beer definitely seems to be likely derived from the hibiscus; this makes sense in retrospect, given that most of the acidity here is way too smooth to be acetic in character (and this didnít really seem to be lactic in character). I also wonder if (actually it seems quite likely) if the bright fruitiness in this beer is much accentuated by the curants that were added to this beer. This is quite nice, the acetic is much more well integrated than I might have originally expected, and the acidity from the hibiscus certainly helps this (actually the black current likely contributes to this as well). The balance between the oak and fruit becomes even more well integrated as the beer warms up; in the end I am really enjoying this beer quite a bit more than I expected.
craftbeerdesign (2175) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - MAR 16, 2011
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
on tap at CCB on Hunahpuís Day - 3/12/11. deep red pour with bright red highlights and a 1/4" off white head. vinegar nose with oak, tart apple and light funk. medium body - very acidic with notes of red wine, vinegar, oak, light vanilla. creamy vanilla tart finish.
50belair (2219) - Florida, USA - MAR 15, 2011
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
On tap at CC. Murky brown pour. Aromas of grapes, red wine, and citrus. Really tart with the cabernet barrel characteristics showing up big time. A great choice for the aging of this beer..
daknole (9052) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - MAR 14, 2011
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Brown pour, off white head. Aroma of red wine, light vinegar, unripe fruit, some interesting herbs and spices. Flavor of opus 1...well not really, but it was from an Opus 1 barrel...red wine flavor, tart vinegar, faint sweetness. Quite a unique beer.
markwise (4467) - North of Tampa, Florida, USA - MAR 14, 2011
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Wow. This was one of the most under appreciated growlers released on Hunahpu Day. Pours the Vuja De brown color with a small white head. Nose is vinous grapes, wood, tartness, vinegar, some slight citrus, and lactic. Flavor is similar with the barrels and the red wine character of maybe a cab sav complimenting all of the tart qualities of Vuja, but then the funk and the sweetness also have something to add. Then there is the Teenage Mutant Ninja Yeast that has something to say right up to the finish. A bit thinner in body that the regular Vuja, but still very nice.
steelcitybrew (430) - Orlando, Florida, USA - MAR 13, 2011
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a murky brown. The nose is grapes, wood, licorace. Red wine comes in the taste. Lemon and tartness are heavy in it. I like this but I thought red wine seabass was better
mlunger12 (645) - Orlando, Florida, USA - MAR 13, 2011
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
This was on Tap at Hunahpus Day 2011, pours looking like the regular Veja De, the taste of this is much, much deeper, the taste of the wine really comes to the forefront. Interesting, but almost too overwhelmingly sour and bitter, its a weird combination. I literally got the "Bitter Beer Face". I wouldnít want to drink a ton of it.
gkost (1710) - Tampa, Florida, USA - MAR 13, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a murky brown. Nose is vinous grapes, wood and lactic acid. Flavor is very sour with hints of dry wood, red wine, apples and sweet and sour fruits. Strange beer.