1FastSTi (3360) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 21, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Tap at GTMW 2011. Poured to a super hazy/murky not filtered straw-ish colored body. There was a lot going on with this one. It was sweet and fruity but still discernible as being a Kolsch with those nice bready characteristics and crispness. Peaches and nectarines meets sourdough bread with subtle apples. I was quite happy with this one.
HonkeyBra (4036) - Lemont, Illinois, USA - AUG 15, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Draft at GTMW. Thought Iíd have to wait until FoBAB to try this one but luckily they brought this to GTMW. Hazy orange pour with white head. Aroma of mildly tart fruit, brandy sweetness, citrus, oak. Flavor is somewhat tart, lots of fruit, doughy sweetness. Some vanilla, some booze. Pretty interesting idea that worked out surprisingly well for Half Acre.
NobleSquirrel (3438) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 25, 2011
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draft at Acre, suckas! Pours a hazy orange. Nose is actually funky, light lactic gong on with a ton of sharp citrus acid. Great nose, very fruity. Not much oak at all really. On taste, initial acetic kick that fades into some earth notes. Nose begins to express some booze and vanilla. Chewy booze mouthfeel with citrus taking the stage. An odd mix but it works really well for sure. Very cool beer.
Frank (4024) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 22, 2011
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
So we were all making fun of the idea of a brandy barrel kolsh and then it turned out the be the best beer of the night. Itís light, mildly tart and very refreshing. Carbonation is on the mild side which might make a lighter beer tend to feel flat and sluggish but this is made up for my the tartness. While the concept might be suspect, this still works.
holdenn (2110) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 21, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap at the Co-Prosperity event with Marias for CCBW. Hazed orange thin head. Bright citrus nose oranges tangerines fruity complex aromas that are really interesting. Bright tangerines dark fruits (likely from the Brandy) lots of citrus flavors. The fruits are bitter, juicy, and inviting. The alcohol is noticeable but not overdone. This is crazy and damn interesting. I could see how the alcohol could get burdensome to people, but in small pours its excellent. Tart tangerine finish. I wouldnít be surprised if they put this one in the barrel after they took Ambrosia out. While the booze and everything else was unbalanced and over the top in Ambrosia, its more subtle and balanced here. Good stuff. 8/4/8/4/15
TheAlum (6991) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - MAY 21, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap at the Co-Prosperity event (Chicago, IL). Poured a murky amber hue, some glow on the edges with a fairly big offwhite head that dies down to a film and laces small. Aromas are still quite like the base, bigger citrusy influence of oranges and lemons, grapefruit and some bread dough mesh into a touch of barrel presence. Slight Brandy and touches of wet oak, vanilla, cool on the nose. Initial is still lighter bodied preaching a really smooth drink with luscious oranges, citrus, and smooth light bodied feel. A touch of Brandy works in, gentle and not overbearing with vanilla, wet oak, and touches of Brandy. The synergy between these two as opposed to the Ambrosia experiment are night and day. This is well balanced and still quite drinkable. Finish is fairly clean with touches of lingering citrus, fruity esters, and some oak tannins. Probably my favorite barrel aged Half Acre offering to date.
Hair6a11 (1481) - Illinois, USA - MAY 20, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at the Co-Prosperity Sphere; pour into this plastic cup is murky honey golden with a very modest off white head. Unlike the barrel aged ambrosia, this brew has brought on a defined brandy barrel character, for better or for worse. Mind you, I havenít sampled the base brew, so keep that in mind. This brew doesnít bring much to the table on the nose honestly, though the brandy is there; the flavor profile is interesting; the brandy barrel provides some butterscotch, brandy, apple cider, grapefruit, and a general bitterness, with a muted bready malt present on the backburner. I donít know if it works terribly well, honestly.