Sparky (2132) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - OCT 2, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bomber courtesy of BOLTZ7555. Pours a clear maroon with one finger light tan head. Nose is unripe cherries, lemon juice, vinegar and a light malt background. Taste is oak, sour cherries, a touch of funk and a dry wine-like finish. Not as funky as most sours I’ve had and a lot more malty. It’s an easy smooth drinker and hides the alcohol completely. Medium, prickly mouth feel. This is very good. The sweeter cherry flavors really come alive as it warms. I’ll age my other for 6 months or so and revisit. Thanks Jason!
twoskylights (11) - Boise, Idaho, USA - OCT 2, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Wow! What a shock to the mouth! Not exactly the kind of beer I’d go out of my way for, but I appreciate a good jolt. Everything leading up to the tasting was sublime. Amazing appearance in both keenly designed bottle and handsome, amber, copper, rust color. The head wasn’t much of anything, but that seems normal for this style. The aroma! Delish!! Earth, chocolate, rain, orange and lemon peel, coca cola even! Very complex and very alluring. But watch it! When the juice hits the tongue, you are in for a whopping surprise. This is a remarkably sour beer--not so much in a bad way. I do appreciate that this is quality all around. But I do believe that it fully lives up to its name. The taste is not only sour, though. There is a wine element to this which is unmistakable. And there is an unmistakable bite that comes from the 9% ABV. This ain’t your pappys beer...nor is it your comfort beer. This is a dissident. and very much worth trying.
lb4lb (2112) - Austin, Texas, USA - OCT 1, 2008
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle generously shared by hopsleeroy. Thanks!
Porus a gorgeous cranberry color with a light beige head. Very rich looking for a sour. Smell is sweet, and tart cherry. Also, some light funk is in the nose. Taste is tart, and dry cherry like with a rich flavorful and almost lightly chocolatey subtleness going on in the background. Light alcohol, but not bad for 9%, and still feels like a sour, however with perhaps a bit richer body and slightly less bubbly carbonation. Pretty good.
BlackForestCO (961) - Aurora, Colorado, USA - SEP 30, 2008
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: JAN 30, 2009 Bottle. Poured a deep garnet-brown color with a thin beige head that faded to a ring. Aroma of tart, funky brett with some fruit including light apple and cherry. Smooth, lightly sweet entry with some light cherry and grape fruitiness leads into a lightly tart brett funkiness and a moderate acedic character that finishes dry with a bit of light fruitiness and just a touch of oak. Smooth on the palate with light carbonation, not much tart bite. Sour? I don’t know, it was somewhat funky, but I don’t think I would say sour. Not much oak present either, and the alcohol was pretty obvious for the style. Worth the hype it is receiving? No.
kmweaver (3200) - Petaluma, California, USA - SEP 29, 2008
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
22oz bottle, courtesy of acrdz. Thanks, Mike! Pours a bright, clear ruby-cola color; light-tan head with fine-bubbled lacing. Very nice, delicate nose showing red wine notes, pepper, and toasty barrel notes; lime and toasty citrus from the brett; not overly tart, but complex and quite delicately aromatic. Medium-to-full mouthfeel: lively carbonation; lots of pitty, vinous red fruits, tannic wine notes, peppery cabernet and shiraz; very nice vinous presence coupled to solid brett (lime, toastiness) and basic citrus acidity; not an especially good sour ale, but solid wine-barrel aged beer overall; vinous, complex, and drinkable. Medium finish: toasty oak barrel notes, peppery red wine, and tannic fruits; lightly chalky and balanced overall.
Enniskillen (2029) - Salinas, California, USA - SEP 29, 2008
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark amber/ light brown with a thin white head. Aroma is oak, brett, sour cherries, light alcohol. Taste is a sweetness from the alcohol followed by the sour cherriness, light brettiness, oak. Pretty decent.
zathrus13 (1660) - Mount Laurel, New Jersey, USA - SEP 29, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Pours redish amber, with an off white head. Aroma is cherries, wood, and some funkiness. Flavor is cherries, wood, other dark fruits, and a touch of tart, sour, funk. This not overpowering sourness makes this one scarily easy to drink. Don’t really notice the alcohol until the warmth hits your stomach.
JCB (3999) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - SEP 28, 2008
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
22oz from Bottletrek. Very tough wax to get off the bottle, but I guess Deschutes is into that for their special releases. Worth the wait? Absolute. A very impressive brown-to-ruby pour with a lively head and lasting carbonation. I’m a fan of the style and it’s very nice to see an American brewery doing such an excellent rendition, but not a mere copycat of, say, Liefmans Goudenband (the most obvious comparison in some sense). Nice pert nose, some dark cherries and such in there. The taste adds some rich yeasts to the equation and a verrrry subtle touch of vanilla and oak to make this one a bit distinct. High quality brown at the foundation, with very nice, interesting, and satisfying touches to round it out. Dry finish but not at the expense of the rich, nicely complex flavors.
BückDich (5464) - McCall, Idaho, USA - SEP 28, 2008
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle: Pours with a mahogany ruby color, deep red with a nice puffy head and nice lacing. The nose is nice and woody with a light fruit note and a residual cherry tartness and funky brett note. Very nice balance too, I was afraid at 9% that it was going to be too sweet. Cobbwebb notes abound in the flavor with a not-too-tart motuhfeel and a fruity nice tongue-ability in the tail. For their FIRST sour beer, Deschutes hit a homerun with this one. Wow! Pretty great, and the alcohol is so well hidden.
ditmier (1508) - Boise, Idaho, USA - SEP 28, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2008 Bottle - First, a bitch to get a church-key through all of that wax...pours a rich amber (eventually), with a large slightly off-white head...aroma here is incredible, all the sour fruit and wood esters you would expect, flavour is ripe with contention...half the folks will think this is not sour enough, the other half (myself included) think this is one of the best examples of manipulating a wild strain...while this is not as puckering as an oude gueze or folie, it is much more enjoyable...the folks at Deschutes crafted a sour that plays on the bitter cherry and barrel nuances, rather than brute force funk...for the money, one of the best sours out right now..