TAR (2393) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - JAN 1, 2012
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Rusty copper with a bit of haze. Gentle pour generates a towering crown of persistent white froth. Sharp brett aromatics of sulfur, medical tape, sherbet, sassafras, white pepper and horseblanket. Potently phenolic, approaching smoky. Underlying pencil eraser/burnt rubber and aspirin/chalk. Expressive carbonation. Brisk phenols scrub the palate dry while offering up a fervid snap reminiscent of horesblanket, band-aid and burnt rubber. High-alpha hops clash with the feisty brett and tarnish the cleanness with a brutishly resinous weight. Hops teeter on becoming palate-fatiguing with an unwavering chalky astringency, though a dab of soft peach compensates nicely. In spite of the high attenuation, the center shows some flabbiness as the malt lacks vivid definition and the esters on the unripe-fruit side of the spectrum. Hops also lend ample acid which interferes with the cleaner and more-rounded brett tartness, though a staunch punch of minerals fills the palate and provides some structure. Peppery and sulfury brett-laced finish precedes a fusion of tealeaves and apricot jam. This is a very respectable effortÖultimately it comes across as a slightly overcrowded, Americanized rendition. Was really yearning for something along the lines of a golden ale with noble hops, pilsner and/or wheat malt and a pinch of Munich. Well-made and perfectly quaffable, however, even if a bit misguided.
Ernest (5924) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JAN 1, 2012
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: FEB 1, 2013 Bottle (~6 months old).
Head is initially large, frothy/creamy, off-white, mostly lasting.
Body is hazy medium amber, bottle conditioned.
Aroma is lightly to moderately malty (toasted grain, cookie), moderately hoppy (herbs, apricot, flowers, grapefruit, resin), moderately yeasty (cobwebs, barnyard, horseblanket), with notes of dried mango/papaya, pepper, gum, band-aid, lemon zest, alcohol.
Flavor is moderately sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, lightly to moderately bitter.
Finish is lightly sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, moderately bitter.
Medium body, velvety texture, lively carbonation, lightly alcoholic.
Iím going to say it...this is more consistently better than Orval in recent years. I honestly have not had a great bottle of Orval in probably 3 years...itís fallen off that much. Iíve consumed countless bottles of this from multiple batches and seriously...every single time I take the first whiff I exclaim out loud "god DAMN!" Itís a touch sweeter, and thatís part of why I enjoy it more...Orval is often overly dry and thin and watery, it just doesnít have a great mouth experience. And itís frequently got too much band-aid phenol too. Rayon is a dream in aroma, flavor balance, AND mouthfeel. Itís best after about 6 months in the bottle (too resinous when itís fresh), and might even be as immortal as Orval (Iím drinking a bottle that I think is one year old right now, and itís still as bright and fruity as ever). A truly amazing beer.
jkwalking05 (3073) - Arlington, Texas, USA - DEC 31, 2011
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Light amber and hazy with a decent off-white head. Aroma of fresh cut flowers, peach skin, hay, pine, light cheesey funk. Taste is of hay, hops, light grass.
bhensonb (9866) - Woodland, California, USA - DEC 31, 2011
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle from the Davis Co-Op. Pours amber with a 3 finger frothy off-white head. Aromas of yeast/spice, citrus and light stone fruit. Slightly barnyard. Med body. Flavor is earthy/barnyard with yeast/spice and light stone fruit. Itís dry, almost astringent. Very fresh. Very good drink.
thirdeye11 (5343) - Dallas, Texas, USA - DEC 31, 2011
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
(12oz bottle) clearish deep gold, huge lasting creamy tan head. Huge funky/earthy Brett and floral presence with a light mixture of citrus fruitiness. taste is dry and lightly bitter, earth, florals, full of flavor without being off in any real way though. Awesome carbonation and nice linger. Great beer.
TURDFERGUSON (3760) - Carrboro, North Carolina, USA - DEC 30, 2011
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. 7% seems a little high for the belgian ales Iím used to drinking but whatever. Pours a deep reddish amber with a thick white head. Nose is hoppy and phenolic, some herbal and spice notes, sugar cubes. Flavor is weird. Again, it just feels heavier than it should. Flavor is dirty hops, quite earthy, more herbal notes, but still lots of sweetness. Brett hasnít really had enough time to take hold. Sort of a soapy, dry finish. Wonder what it would taste like if it was more in the 5 to 6 abv range. Kinda tastes like every other belgian ipa on the planet.
boFNjackson (3921) - Portland, Oregon, USA - DEC 29, 2011
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle @ The BeerMongers... Poured a golden, coppery orange with a creamy, white head. Big drying and danky yeast flavors. Citrus fruits, pepper spice, floral hops and a hint of bitterness. Mildly brett-like, but not overbearing. Earthy and full flavored and a little drying towards the finish.
BOLTZ7555 (2603) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - DEC 28, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark honey pour with a white head that dimishes to a cloud and a ring. Nose of caramel, lemon, spice and brett. Flavor is very English in nature...definitely get the malt and Brett influence. Interesting.
BMan1113VR (7702) - Los Angeles, California, USA - DEC 28, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Pours with a hazed golden hued body with a massive, just barely off white head. Good retention and very respectable lace. Aromas are very funky, horsey, brett brux, leathery, sandal wood, light esters, lots of spicy phenols in addition to the brett funk brigade. Light hops, earthy, spicy and a touch citrusy. A mild hint of chlorophenol. Mild malt character (a bit of grainy). Apple, pear and barnyard. Flavor are straw like, grainy, a bit of cherrio (too young for a funky beer), funky, horsey, bready, grainy, mild bitterness. Slightly floral hop character. Dry, crisp if not for the funk, lively carbonation. Pretty solid.
cmonster (939) - Portland, Oregon, USA - DEC 27, 2011
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAY 11, 2013 Bottle served in a tulip. Pours dark honey with heavy champagne bubbles and a GINORMOUS head. This little 12 oz. bottle filled three glasses! Outstanding retention and lacing. Huge bretty aroma. Also some sweet candi sugar, floral hops, bright grass and spices. Light sweet, medium bitter, light tart flavor. Medium body, creamy-oily texture, average carbonation, and a bitter, dry, light tart finish. The brett is obviously amped up since the last time I had this. This is off the charts for a straight up Belgian ale.