hopscotch (8370) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - APR 14, 2011
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
DraftÖ This beer rocks!Ö Pours a murky brown with a red tint and a small, fat-bubbled, white head. The funky, acidic bouquet furnishes everything a Flanders red should Ė wood, earthy leather, stinky sock, old cheese, sour cherries, a splash of red wine vinegar and a suggestion of caramel. Full-bodied with a lightly creamy mouthfeel and zippy carbonation. The acidic, malty flavor is a swirl of sour cherries, funk and caramel flanked by tart traces of lemon juice and red wine vinegar. Finishes tangy, fruity, then astringent and dry. World class Flanders red!
daknole (8005) - 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.
Ibrew2or3 (6207) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - MAR 26, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap Cigar City pouring murky amber with rosy hues and thin tan head. The aroma pummels its victims with ample amounts of dates, white soured grapes, some moldy tropical fruit and then near astringently tart red grapes, some oak notes, vinegar and nail polish remover. Hmm. It both intrigues and repels. The taste seems to offer up both fruity sweetness and tartness and then flows into wood, red wine tannins and soured fruit. I get sugar coated moldy citrus, malt sweetened curdled grapefruit juice, red wine and wood notes. It picks up mild notes of booziness and paint thinner (assuming the taste and smell go hand in hand) into the finish.
TheAlum (4986) - Lisle, Illinois, USA - APR 4, 2011
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
32 oz growler from askofficerfriendly. Thanks, Greg! Pours a nice dark brownish pour, near opaque, with light brownish edges, a small whitish head dies immediately to a small ring, small lacing is slight. Aromas are red wine vinegar, pretty big and sizable with sour red fruit, touches of lemon, fairly acidic on the nose. Initial is less acidic than the nose letís on, a good bite of sour red fruit, lactic acid, touches of bread, toast, faint toffee. Touches of brett, wet oak and red wine tannins mix in. Acidic red wine vinegar seizes the day on the finish with some good acidity, sweet toasty and bready, biscuity malts. Red wine tannins, red fruit. The acidity isnít as bad as I was expecting, but it is still the prominent factor in the beer. Better than oaked Sea Bass. And near the complete opposite spectrum. We did a blend of both beers that seemed muchhh better than either. The acidity grabs me as it preaches a good sourness and vinegar quality, but at times it is a bit much, with dry red wine tannins providing synergy of the flavor, and not always in a good way. I had a good experience with regular Vuja (unlike some other), this was a bit more intense.
markwise (4093) - 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.
FlacoAlto (3676) - 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.
jrallen34 (3475) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 30, 2011
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
On-tap at the Hunaphu release. Damn, I need to get some Opus One, that stuff does wonders to beer!!!! A muddy reddish brown with an off white head, not a ton going on there though... This smells pretty much like the Sea Bass version, shows how much the wine takes over. Tart red wine, oak, smells great... The taste again is mostly the wine barrel, however I think this is a stronger base than the Bass so more of the Vuja De shows through. Sour red wine with oak, but just doesnít come through as crisp, a bit of musk that I donít love. Still crushable and drinkable, just not quite as good as the Sea Bass.
pantanap (3323) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 5, 2011
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Cigar city vuja de on red wine barrels. 32oz growler thanks to Adam...
Pours a deep somewhat muddled reddish caramel brown with a very
seemingly non-existent head... Aroma us hugely vinegary with sour
cherry and earthiness but more leaning towards the acidicness...
Flavors are somewhat metallic with vinegar tones, sour cherries,
leather, and acetone. Harsh all around and somewhat tough to take down
as a whole. Body holds up with a medium profile.
burg326 (2762) - Florida, USA - MAR 11, 2012
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Another sour beer on draft at Hunnhupu day 2012, poured a muddy brown red color, aromas of grapes, currant, cane sugar, and elderberries. Again not a big van of regular Vuja De, but this one treatment made it better. Some tart fruit, grapes, elderberries, and some sugar. Decent beer overall.
corby112 (2214) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 29, 2011
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Draft at 2011 Hunahpuís release.
Pours a dark mahogany/chestnut brown color with cherry red hues when held to a light and a one finger off-white head. Decent retention, slowly fading into a lasting ring that leaves sporadic spots of lace behind.
Sightly funky aroma with a heavy barrel presence. Vinous with hints of earthy oak and lots of red wine in the nose. Plenty of dark fruit especially grape, cherry and other berries. Funky with hints of dry brett and other bugs. Much more interesting and less offensive than the base version(which was a real nightmare).
Medium boded with a strong barrel character. Pretty tart but not as sour as I expected with a very prominent red wine flavor. Vinous with hints of grape, cherry, currant and other dark berries. Faint malt backbone but not much balance. Slight earthy oak with a good amount of funky dry brett. Nice and puckering but the sweetness balances things out a bit. Could use a bit more diversity but itís still pretty good and easy to drink.
Overall, this beer was leaps and bounds above the atrocity that the base beer was. The barrel aging has done wonders to improve this beer but itís still a tad one dimensional. Iím glad I had a chance to try it and would seek it out again.