FlacoAlto (3800) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JAN 28, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Incredibly well carbonated, a steady pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces a four-finger thick, pale tan colored head, that only slowly subsides and leaves a substantial, structural mesa as it does so. The beer is a darkish amber color that shows some haze and a bright orange-amber hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of citrus zest and phenolic, Brettanomyces signature funk, both of which are backed by a solid, supporting grain / malt character. More specifically notes of Curacoa orange zest, touches of tangelo, with an ample, slightly plastic like, musty, not quite sharp, funkiness and a grain character that reminds me of crackers with just a hint of caramel malt. The citrus laden, American hop character is quite nice here and definitely works quite well with the Brett character.
Aggressively carbonated and quite effervescent, my first sip has a biting bitterness and a sort of tartness that is accentuated by the citrusy hop character. The beer has a fairly light body, with almost no viscous heft, though it doesn’t come off as being watery. The citrus hop character provides flavors of tangelo zest, touches of ruby-red-grapefruit and even a citrus like pine needle character. The finish is quite dry with a pale cracker like grain character as well as a touch of nutty, toasted malt character; the dryness is also accentuated by a phenolic, sort of funky, slightly musty and even slightly musky Brettanomyces character that is also found in the finish. The bitterness from the hops combines with the phenolic, sort of plastic like character to provide even more sharpness to this beer.
One can’t help but compare this to Orval type beers, this is far, far better than the latest incarnations of Matilda (the last really good batch I had was 2005), and even gives Orval a run for its money (though I wouldn’t put this on that level quite yet). I can’t wait to see how these age, but I wonder that the Brettanomyces character is already so pronounced; this can’t be that old yet, and the Brett is extremely noticeable already, young Orval is barely kissed by the Brett, so I will be curious to see how these age. My one worry is that the plastic character from the Brett will get a bit out of control as the beer ages. Visually this beer is about perfect, from memory it seems a touch darker than Orval, but I could be wrong, and the extensive, long lasting head is quite impressive. This beer sets itself apart from Orval in its use of expressive, fruity and citrus laden American hops; as a sucker for many an American hop, I can’t help but love this beer more for that.
corby112 (2214) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 26, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a dark golden orange color with a one finger off white head that quickly fades into a thin ring. Streaks of soapy lacing left behind.
Musty, funky aroma with lots of earthy Brett and funky yeast along with some zesty spice and light fruit. Hints of pepper and clove along with some pear, alcohol and more Brett.
Medium bodied with a slight creamy texture, zesty spicy musty, dry Brett and light fruit. Pretty complex with dry funk that lingers throughout over hints of pepper, clove, apple, pear, bread and alcohol sweetness. The musty brett is dominant but really well integrated into the flavor of the base. Complex but well balanced and extremely drinakble.caramel,
tastybeer (1728) - Bloomington, Indiana, USA - JAN 25, 2012
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Pours gold with a white head, excellent retention/lace. Aroma is dusty, fruity esters, pineapple/citrus hops, bread. Taste is dry, bitter, with light dusty and tropical brett notes, citrus, bread. Palate is dry, oily, soft, bitter dusty finish. Really digging these Belgian IPAs lately and the light brett presence is a nice twist.
Dogbrick (8141) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - JAN 24, 2012
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Sample at Ale Wine & Spirits in Powell on 01/20/2012. This brew pours a hazy dark orange color with a medium foamy off-white head that burns away slowly. Patchy lacing on the glass. Aroma of citrus, brett and sweet malt. Medium body with flavors of brett, floral hops, yeast and toasty malt. The finish is mildly funky with a sweet malt aftertaste. Nice Orval-esque beer from start to finish.
ChazMania (653) - Pasadena, California, USA - JAN 24, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle poured into my favorite tulip glass. Huge aroma of dank bread like yeasty bread fragrances with just a dance of floral hop. Pours with a gorgeouso frothy head and a mildly murky amber hue. Taste is just as they describe, if GF was originated in Belgium, this would be the flagship. It certainly is nowhere near as piney as the wonderful WCIPA, yet for the Belgian style Pale it is, I think it is rather remarkable.
GT2 (8440) - San Diego County, California, USA - JAN 23, 2012
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
[RB Scavenger Hunt 2012 Engrish Challenge] 355mL. A huge, towering rock, cream, white head that pours hazier strawberries. Cathedral Si and powerful head retention, tulip explosion. Lace is big and sticky. The first nose is very muted orange and viscosity hoppier than expected move, a bit like horse manure, farm, micro plasticy yeast phenol poopy odd funk orange part. Warm, but fortunately lost most of their income and Satsuma tangerine fruity character. Taste is salty, bitter, leafy hoppy, but fortunately not sticky or sweet. It is better to get a lot of dry, not sticky sweet and hoppy. Character is not out of date. Blood orange and Curacao taste and quenching. Large farmy, outdoor, fresh character. Tasty. Can not wait for more. N6/Ap5/T8/P5
Sammy (8644) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 23, 2012
2.5 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
A light golden body with a white foamy 3/8" head, lacy. Funky aroma - armpit sweat, menthol, my socks wt and used. The taste is comparable to floor wax, foot liniment, and pepper. Lots of menthol build up as I drink further into it, but it is not all that drinkable and I am forcing myself. Crazy stuff.
Ratman197 (9808) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - JAN 23, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle poured a clear orange amber with a lasting creamy ivory head. Aromas of biscuit, horseblanket, lemon zest, white pepper and straw. Palate was light bodied and crisp with a dry finish. Flavors of straw, horseblanket, citrus and white pepper with a crisp dry lingering funky finish.
troopie (2292) - Munchen an der Willamette, Oregon, USA - JAN 22, 2012
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Excessively foamy pour, cloudy orange, Good yeasty aroma, Well balanced flavour, citrus, malt with a nice herbiness. Lasting pleasant finish. Very good of kind.
Strykzone (4933) - Wood River, Illinois, USA - JAN 21, 2012
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. This poured a hazy golden and had a decent head. The nose was yeast and complex hops. I taste citrus, grass, barnyard, and some yeast. This is a nice take on the Belgian IPA style.