Cable (286) - SE, Oklahoma, USA - MAY 23, 2006
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Sampled from bottle purchased at the brewery. This belgian-inspired beer pours a murky purple with a rose-colored head. Oddly attractive. Aroma is not only the expected currants, but also some other over-ripe fruits and black pepper spice from the yeast. Wonderful because it is assertive, but not over-done. Flavor is perfectly bitter just like the HotD beers. Warming, smooth and full-bodied. Very drinkable (or digestible, for the belgian critics). The fruit flavor is subdued as to not overpower the underlying beerís (a tripel) characteristics. Also quite woody and earthy. Sooo much going on with this beer it is remarkable that it is not overpowering. This is the best ífruití beer Iíve had and I wish I had more.
demolayfire (18) - Portland, Oregon, USA - APR 27, 2006
2.7 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
UPDATED: MAY 3, 2006 poured opaque lavender/brown. head was off-white and the lacing appeared and behaved like dish suds. The aroma was dominated by artificial grape flavoring and bubblegum. Currants were very noticeable in the taste, along with a faint tartness. Also very apparent in the aftertase was something similar to childrens cough syrup. I was more baffled by this beer than anything. Interesting idea, but overall quite muddled.
footbalm (1219) - Western Minneapolis Suburbs, Minnesota, USA - MAR 25, 2006
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
This was reallya crazy looking beer. I think it is cool but it looks exactly like Strawberry Yahoo. Looks cool. Has a super funky Beer+Berry aroma. Not like a lambic but like a yeasty lager with a shot of Sloe Gin in it. It was weird but I dug it anyway. I should have kepy looking and smelling as I was a little let down as it just came off a like a tourist at an unfamiliar intersection.
ClarkVV (3579) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - MAR 16, 2006
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle shared by Muzzlehatch on 3/11/06
Murky, dank, heavily clouded, sediment-laden pour, with more sediment at the bottom, but the beer had been resting cold for quite a while, so the first part of the bottle poured true enough, producing a fairly rapidly fleeting, violet-pink head, moderate lacing as well. Itís hard to really fault an unfiltered beerís appearance. I mean, this is beer how it should be, and you just sort of have to accept it. I certainly wouldnt want HOTD to filter their beers. And while brewing methods obviously have an effect on head retention, I think it is a minor detail, hardly worthy of much criticism here.
So moving on, the cassis rises up to meet you in the nose. Almost lactic smelling in its tart, bone-dry currant astringency. Chalky at times, but then poignant at others, with a baffling yeastiness and a variety of flowers, lilac, lavendar and concord grapes.
The flavor almost comes off as citric at times, the currants producing almost a deep blood orange note that slowly intertwines with the yeast to produce the tart, again bone-dry flavor. Chalky in mouthfeel, with moderate carbonation, and almost a wheat-like blandness. Acidity builds up heavily, but no alcohol is ever present. What Lindemans cassis could be if they took out all of the syrupy sugar. If he started with more of a lambic-like base beer, I think this would be more successful. The beer is rather dominated by the black currants, and while Iíd prefer bone dry, to cloyingly sweet, it still could use a better balance and variety of flavors. Still, itís tough to not appreciate everything these guys do.
Pailhead (4242) - Brownstown, Michigan, USA - MAR 15, 2006
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle: Courtesy of Styles. Lots of grape in the aroma that at times is almost bubblegum-like. Hints of raisin, light tartness, and light alcohol as well. Pours a muddy purplish-brown with a purplish-pink head that lasts a minute or so. Canít say that it looks all that appealing. Lots of grape with light plum and tartness up front. Finishes with light chocolate, bitterness, and a touch of alcohol. Interesting, but I could never drink a whole bottle of this.
heemer77 (5061) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - MAR 14, 2006
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Thanks for sharing a bottle, hey_kevin. The body was a light murly red with a light pink colored head. The aroma was cherries with rich fruit and some light hay. There was also some honey and flowers. The taste was sweet cassis with some light flowery hay. There was also a little hint of sour oranges. A decent brew that got better as I went through it.
muzzlehatch (4424) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - MAR 13, 2006
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
12 oz bottle from Blue Max in Burnsville, MN (Dec 2005), shared with ClarkVV at cellar temperature. Wow if Iíd known this was a rarity Iíd have bought more....then again....it pours an opaque cloudy-dirty pinkish brown, darkening to dried blood, with a bit of faintly pinkish head.....it smells of dried and perhaps rotting fruits, cherries and sour apples and currents with a sourdough yeastiness and a touch of mineral, limestone I think....taste is of dried fruits, but also very woody/twiggy, more like sucking on dry plum pits or dessicated currant/raisin skins than fresh fruits....quite sour, with a mouthfeel by turns liqueur-ish syrupys, pulpy and in the end, waxy....this is a maddening, curious beast that I didnít much like at all until near the end of the glass when it won some grudging respect. Worth a try for the adventurous or fans of the brewery.
Ratman197 (8518) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - FEB 21, 2006
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle [thanks to robertburns] poured a murky burgandy with a lasting pink head. Aromas of berries, some sourness and a hint of honey. Palate was medium bodied and smooth. Flavors of currants, some sourness and an earthiness with a smooth, tart lingering finish.
JK (4174) - Uptown, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - FEB 17, 2006
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
This is a pleasant and unusual beer. I think it looks kind of cool. It is a fruit beer, and you can tell by looking at it that it is a fruit beer; I donít think that makes it look bad. It looks like raspberry daiquiri, small pieces of dark sedimetn and a thin and long last layer of pink foam. The aroma is sour berries. The flavor is sour as well, not like a lambic but a fruit sourness with a light acidic bite. The alcohol is completely hidden, and I am surprised to see this is 8%. Fairly thick. Extra points for creativity; this is not your typical fruit or desert beer.
Styles (2014) - Lincoln Park, Michigan, USA - FEB 14, 2006
2.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 1/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 8/20
Bottle courtesy of wohlfs. Right off the bat, this beer definately lacks in appearance. Murky, chalky, reddish-brown color, reminds me of something, Iíd rather not say. Aroma is sugary sweet and sour berries. Reminds me of currant candles. Flavor is over the top currant/berry, again sugary sweet with a slight acidic finish. Just canít get past the appearance, really killed this beer for me.