austinpowers (2827) - New York, New York, USA - MAY 5, 2008
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Bottle at Volo in Toronto. Simply terrific stuff! A really thick, only slightly sourish red ale that’s not very tart. It’s got a lot of roast to it and moderate hoppage. Lots of complexity. Some sweetness here and a touch of sourness. Terrific.
matt7215 (1969) - Cambridge, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 27, 2008
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAR 24, 2008 growler fresh from the brewery. i was lucky enough to get one of the 12 growlers of this brew. pours a hazy brownish orange with a small off white head and great soft cabonation. aromas are sour hoppy funk. flavours progress across the palate in this order: sour fruits upfront leads you into a big sweet sticky malt center with a big bitter hop punch finish. after you swallow these waves of flavours keep passing over your palate. extremely complex and challenging. i can best descibe this brew as a hoppy sour ale eisbock. there is nothing else out there like this one and im happy i got the chance to partake in this wonderful creation. Grand River Brewing Rocks!
Elkas (213) - Cambridge, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 20, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
500ml bottle from the brewery. I had it from the growler when it was fresh in February, but now that it’s some time to age, (yes, it’s the exact same batch!) it has really smoothed out the rough edges. The aroma of overripe fruit is fantastic, though I have to admit the murky red appearance makes one take pause. However the amazing combination of sour AND bitter (who knew that was even possible) with the ripe cherry taste between them makes this a great after supper sipper.
MrManning (1982) - Hamilton, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 4, 2008
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: FEB 5, 2008 This sour ale, frozen not once, but to my understanding , twice, is a rare treat. A sour ale with Eis-bock qualities. I’ve had this a few times, but the latest was on cask at the Winking Judge. It poured a murky, tan, almost brindle, with a slight white foam ringing the rim of the glass, that surprisingly leaves good lace. The aroma is quite vinous (white grapes), lots of wood, sherry, over-ripe fruit (in an enjoyable sense), and is full of funky, barnyard Brett like aromas. The flavour profile is like sour grapes upfront, lots of wet hay,cherries, yeasty and tart, with just hints of white wine vinegar, then vanilla and milk chocolate sweetness lingering upfront. The finish is assertive with the alcohol, which makes this all the more pleasant. I can still taste the tart grapes after 10 minutes. WONDERFUL!!! This is the absolute fullest bodied sour I have had. This brewery simply amazes me every time! Thanks Rob, Dave, and crew for crafting such great beer!
IrishBoy (3641) - Bakersfield, California, USA - JUL 17, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
500 ml bottle courtesy of Harry! Thanks! Nose of tartness with slight funk, and woodiness. Cloudy rust with a big beige head. Flavor was very funky with moderate tartness.
Imperial-John (192) - Mississauga, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 16, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at Volo in Toronto. Nice cherry aroma that beckons. Murky brownish red with beige head. Lots of sour cherry taste that was much smoother than I would expect from a sour ale. Great job blending in the flavours.
GregClow (2740) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 25, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Cask at Volo & draught (growler) at Pepperwood Beer Festival. I had this on cask at Volo at the same time as blankboy, and as he notes, it was perhaps a bit past it’s prime, but was still a very unique and interesting brew. Hazy ruby-brown with very thin layer of off-white bubbles. Aroma of sour cherry, a bit of mulled wine, and hops - more hops that I expected. Body is very soft. Flavour has a mild sourness off the top, a sudden aggressive bitterness from the hops, and then more sourness coming through in the finish, although it still doesn’t overtake the hops. A couple of days later, I had the draught version, and found the appearance and aroma to be pretty similar, but the sourness was definitely more prominent, with the hops playing second fiddle - but still stronger than you’d expect from the style. On-style or not, it’s some damn good stuff!
GRM (2515) - Aylmer, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 27, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Brown bottle, 341 ml, purchased at the brewery by my mom on May 18 2008, savoured on November 27 2008; eye: golden, clear, no effervescence, white head that disappears almost completely and turns into a tiny ring, no lacing; nose: lots of malt, dusty hay; mouth: lots of malt, dusty hay, slight sugar, finale in malt with a good presence of dusty hay, thin, average carbonation, lightly sweet, no bitterness, medium-light body; overall: disappointing
Bouteille brune, 341 ml, achetée à la brasserie par ma maman le 18 mai 2008, savourée le 27 novembre 2008; œil : dorée, claire, pas d’effervescence, mousse blanche qui disparaît presque complètement et se transforme en un petit anneau, pas de dentelle; nez : beaucoup de malt, foin humide; bouche : beaucoup de malt, foin humide, très léger sucre, finale en malt avec beaucoup de foin humide, mince, carbonatation moyenne, légèrement sucrée, aucune amertume, corps moyen-léger; en résumé : décevante
VeloVampire (625) - Parkdale, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - APR 20, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Growler from the brewery, courtesy of my sister and bro-in-law - pours an opaque tawny red with lighter highlights at the edges of the glass. Huge dense tan head that slowly diminishes to a surface layer which lasts throughout the glass and laces nicely. Aroma of candied fruit, sour cherry, green plum, and some earthy funk. A hint of alcohol as well. Very, very nice. Flavours are a bit more subdued, but similar to the elements found in the aroma, along with a surprising hop bitterness at the back of the palate. Some brown sugar in the finish as well. Alcohol well hidden, but it does creep up on you as a warming sensation as the growler empties. Certainly a beer to share. This is a masterful brew. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Grand River has been, and continues to be, one of the most consistent and exciting breweries in Ontario. Good show!
shintriad (700) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 7, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Wow! Coppery red with a small head on top, lots of berry (loganberry?) in the nose and citrus, some wood. One would never expect the astringent hop punch that comes from it. A bit of yeast and alcohol, some slight sourness and lots of leafy hops. Amazing quality and very rare.