cquiroga (371) - Tujunga, California, USA - JAN 17, 2004
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAR 11, 2006 RE-RATE: 3/11/06 Poured out of 330 mL bottle, bought at Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, CA 12/10/03. Rated blind. Slightly murky orange-red color with a tight but somewhat broken, tan-gold head, great lacing-- tight and slow. Lightly musty nose, some faint sourness with lots of woody, tannic weirdness. Flavor has cherry and wood, soggy, earthy malt all over. some dark malt, almost cherry-chocolate like a Cuvee de Tomme but more tannic, less sour. More like a petrified cherry with its woody weirdness. Mild alcohol presence, but mostly from the numbing mouth sensation and some nostril burn. Good, sort of bizarre stuff. (8/4/7/4/16/3.9)
ORIGINAL RATING: 1/17/04. Poured out of 330 mL bottle, bought at Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, CA 12/10/03. Damn, this stuff is amazing. Wish I had more of it. Pours to a dark reddish-amber color, clear with a slightly smaller than expected head (used to those mammoth explosions of carbonation that most De Dolle beers offer), but expectedly terrific retention. Aroma is unbelieveable-- incredibly strong, sour oak and vinous notes, a hint of vinegar and some cherry and grape fruitiness. Very much like a wine. Taste is totally overwhelming, even upon its first sip-- strong alcohol heat and sharpness, heavy tannins and cherry, oak, peat, and raisiny, resinous flavors. Just extremely tart and astringent. A bit of vinegar somewhere in there too, on the nose and especially on the taste. Literally breathtaking in its intensity, as I found myself gasping at least once from the power of this brew. This one could use some time, methinks. On the finish, my mouth just begs with equal strength to have more and to have respite from the intensity. After the assault is past, there’s a quite nice pepperiness left over from the alcohol and a hum of yeasty, estery sugars-- finally some sweetness pokes through. Very long finish and very complex, but not quite as elegant as I’d hope it will get with (a lot) more time. Simply amazing stuff, but it needs to rest before I drink another bottle of it. . . (10/4/8/3/17/4.2)
Final rating reflects some kind of average between the two.
Hopistotle420 (1178) - Amherst, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 15, 2004
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Orange, ruddy amber. Foamy light tan head. Roast grain, yeast, fruit, sweet and sour nose. Very nimble beer on the palate. Sweet, raison, velvety smooth, rather acidic, wood, earth, faint alcohol everywhere, cherry, awesome body, awesome sour finish. This is friggin sweet. Get your hands on these if you can!
bubslang (438) - Kentwood, Michigan, USA - JAN 13, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
deep brownish amber with a large beige head. Aroma's of oak, cherries, plums, and malts. moderately sweet chery taste at first leading to some nice sourness, and finishes with some woody oak and bourbon notes. Well done and very tasty.
unclebleen (620) - California, USA - JAN 10, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours an amber orange color with a nice large rocky head. Aroma is tart and citrus. Flavor starts of similiar to sucking on a grapefruit but other, more complex flavors ensue. Apples, vanilla, blue colored sweetarts, fundip. Body is medium and not as dry as you might expect from the tartness of this one.
muzzlehatch (4424) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - JAN 10, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
330 ml bottle, courtesy of The Man, Psychprof. Murky cherry body, large but fast-fading unstable head. Nose at first surprisingly citric (grapefruit) and one-note, but quickly warms into something rather spectacular, with toffee, sour cherry, melted butter, a bit of vanilla and yeah, that oaky whiskey quality. Just fabulous. Alcohol initially fairly heavy on the tongue, but does little to spoil the intense sour-fruit acid quality as this treasure burns of trail of joy down your throat. Amazingly smooth going down, and the warmth just gradually builds. 12%? Doesn't really measure. ecrvich is pretty well spot-on in describing this as a beefed-up Flemish Sour, and though I doubt I'd take it over Rodenbach Grand Cru, it's pretty special. I think a little more time aging might give it just a tiny hint of sweetness to counteract the intense midpalate acidity. Then it would be sublime. As it is, merely excellent. Thanks again Michael!
21iceman40 (1731) - vienna, West Virginia, USA - JAN 9, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Brownish with a hint of purple. capped off with a faint amount of dirty white head. Has a huge sour apple, bordering on wine feel to it. This was pretty solid i must say.
Eyedrinkale (3213) - Astoria, New York, USA - JAN 6, 2004
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: AUG 22, 2005 Thank you Hi Time Cellars!!! Cloudy red color with big puffy head. Every fruit was tasted apples, pears, berries, Just fantastic. Finish of nicely balanced malts and hops.
urbnhautebourg (997) - Annapolis, Maryland, USA - JAN 6, 2004
2.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
The Prof provides. But I am undeserving. I missed it. Sour cherry oaked flavor that I find is not at all my scene. I can't tell if it's the sourness or the oak, but it does not agree with me. I suppose I'm sort of like the opposite of Henry James's ideal: the Man on Whom Everything is Lost.
FlacoAlto (3737) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JAN 5, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: NOV 24, 2006 2002 Release, Sampled 22nd of December, 2003
Aromas of plum and raisin waft from the glass as I pour the beer. It is a hazy amber color, and the beer forms a tan head when roused. Aromas of alcohol, sherry and dark fruit in the nose, and perhaps a hint of sourness. The aroma reminds me of a fruit cocktail.
The taste is lightly sour and has a tannic back bone to it akin to an oaky wine. There is a bit of buttery-vanilla taste in the finish, that is quite persistent though fairly subtle. Ah, I see on the bottle that it was aged in oak, so the oak presence certainly makes sense. The tannins and the acidity really dry this beer out, though there is a bit of sweetness that pokes through the dryness.
As I sniff the the aroma again I can definitely pick out the oak here as well. Not nearly as fruity in the taste as it was in the initial aroma. There is some definite funky Belgian yeast character here, but the oak is the dominant flavor.
I am glad I have another bottle of this, I think that this will be awesome in 2007. At this point the oak character is disproportionally large compared to the beer character. Like a fine wine though, I have a feeling this one will age very well. Thus my rating is based on the potential of this beer. If I had to rate it on only this bottle I would give it a 3.4.
P-tor44 (886) - Anchorage, Alaska, USA - JAN 5, 2004
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
OH YEA!!!! Raison, malt bitterness, mild woodyness. Light whiskey, moderate alc. Ultra dark brown with lots of bubbles rising fast with and off white average head that lasts and has loads of lace. Some yellow in the head as weel. Wow, where to start. Tons of fruit, a bit sour, lemon, cherries, wine, woody, a bit acidic. OH Man do I love the sour tartness of something this big. Awsome.