BBB63 (5750) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - DEC 31, 2005
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle provided by Wohlfsenstein: Spent over a week in the frig trying to settle the yeast but never cleared.
Served in my NB flute and poured a murky brown, red, and violet with a pinkish fizzy head that left good lace. The nose detects currants (duh) and orange as well, bready and sweet malts, earthy and Belgian yeast esters, and a touch of ashy woodiness. The flavor matched the aroma profile mostly with the sweet malts at the forefront followed by a dash of tart fruit. Even a bit of alcohol is detected in this overall quite earthy brew. Finished with a strange sourness that lingered on forever. The feel is loose and flighty, carbonated and yet soft with a moderate alcohol warming and puckery finish. Not bad but seemed to just miss in the execution phase. Worth a try if you can dig a fruit beer.
JCW (1274) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - DEC 29, 2005
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: MAR 12, 2007 Bottle. This has to be the funkiest looking beer I’ve ever had. Looks very muddy except that there is a lot of purple mixed in with the mud. Normal head. Odd aroma, mostly sour, the rest like grapes my family would grow to make jelly out of every year. Palate is like eating a sweet tart. Finish is musty, tart, and slighty fruity. Not a beer I would seek out.
Nuffield (3639) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - DEC 20, 2005
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Fruit beers are, I think, the most delicate balance if you’re going to garner praise from the aggregated masses of beer enthusiasts. On the one hand you have to avoid the excessives of fruit beers that titilate tastebuds with sweetness and over-the-top fruit, engendering gendered commentary about beers meant for "the ladies". On the other hand you have to give the beer a raison d’etre, since the fruit is expected to do something. Cassis is an interesting choice for a beer, because it is a flavor not known to many people, or at least not immediately holding you by the ear like a schoolteacher. The first signal that this beer intends to do something is the appearance, a murky, lake-bottom cloud of red and brown, substantial and thick, like the puree of fruit in a smoothie. O, so much promise! I first had cassis in 2000, in the form of a liquor de cassis and white wine apertif. Incidentally that happened in Beckley, Oxfordshire, in a cottage named Rose Cottage. Here the aroma captures much of the same spirit, with the soft, subtle tripel base of the Rose and the gentle and uncommon fruitiness of oranges, raspberries, and lingonberries (ever had IKEA’s lingonberry fruit drink?). It’s not defining in any direction. The flavor resolves it for me, however: the fruit is there, coming across more sour than before, with a yeastiness, too, but it can’t hold up to the alcohol of the tripel. The palate is interesting and good for the entire journey: substantial, meaty, heavy with fruit and goodness, zingy of carbonation, alcohol, and tang. In concept this was a really good idea: two subtle, delicate flavors blended to try to complement one another. But they didn’t complement, even as they didn’t necessarily detract from one another. It was a great concept with no carry-through. It had the potential for everything but the reality of nothing. It was the best of times and it was the most uneventful of times. And, I wish to mention also, my 2000th rating.
5000 (6031) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - DEC 5, 2005
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle: Thick, muddy, brownish hued pinked red, moderate dirty dark pink head, foamy, spotty lacing. Fruity nose, young currant, seems fairly sweet yet with a somewhat sour tinge. Sweetened currant start, but the normal currant tartness quickly emerges and sticks til the end. Fairly malty, even seems a bit wheaty. Fairly thick mouthfeel, body is up there. Tart finish, slightly dry, makes ya pucker for sure. I wouldn’t mind seeing this one being a big sweeter. Otherwise fairly decent. Big thanks to wohlfs for hauling this one up to Seattle for me!
BückDich (5464) - McCall, Idaho, USA - DEC 7, 2005
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Sampled at Oakes’ ’05 Xmas Party
Muddy pink rose color. Stewed head and decent lacing. Nose is musky and fruity like blood oranges; the peel, not the flesh. Grapefruit with light cassis and cloudberry notes in the flavor. Finishes tart, full bodied. Nice change of pace from the strong stuff at HotD.
JoeMcPhee (8216) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 4, 2005
2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 8/20
Murky pink-purple beer. Very chunky, yeasty beer. Yeasty slightly spicy nose, some diacetyl, some currant. Flavour is tough to handle, cassis, dirty yeast, and light spice. Couldn’t even finish mine.
BrewDad (4632) - Olympia, USA - NOV 16, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
A great beer and what a different flavors to add the current berries. This would be a great addition to a winter warmer also. The flavors of malt and hosp where also present so this was a great beer. I got a hint of tartness and a great malt flavors. I can drink this again.
badgerben (4363) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - FEB 8, 2006
2.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 1/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
I honestly thought I had just poured myself a raspberry smoothy from the look of this. Medium head. Aroma of bubble gum. Taste certainly had currant with a slightly sour and tart finish. Maybe I’m just not a fan of currants, but the fruit did not blend well with the beer base. Alcohol not doing the taste any favors either.
goldtwins (4320) - Nesconset, New York, USA - JAN 25, 2006
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Poured a murky brown with a pink tinit and slightly pink small head. Aroma of tart currants and leather. Light notes of alcohol. Flavor of sweet currants and caramel. Finish is acidic and drys somewhat but leaves remanents of the berry and a touch of pepper.
CaptainCougar (7129) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - JAN 23, 2006
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle thanks to wohlfs: Really cloudy murky muddy ruby pour with a pillowy pink head, even after settling in the fridge for a week. Earthy, fruity black currant aroma has some subtle complexity. Body starts with a touch of malty sweetness nicely balanced with a lot of semi-tart black currant flavor. Lightly warming fruity complexity in the finish. A nice, interesting fruit beer.