hopdog (11560) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 7, 2008
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
750ml bottle - I brought this one out to San Diego to share at the Strong Ale Festival. It was nice to have it watching the sunset from the beach. Poured a pinkish tinged reddish amberish color with a smaller sized head. Aromas of currants, funky, wood-oak, vanilla, and bretty. Tastes of vanilla, oak, funky, cherries, and currants. Nice tart finish. I really enjoyed this.
TomDecapolis (4618) - Milton, Delaware, USA - DEC 6, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle at IH Wilm. Pours a pinkish amber with a smaller bubbly white head. Aroma of currants, perfume, floral, barnyard and light funk. Flavor
Much of the same. Lots of tartness.
wetherel (1863) - Cupertino, California, USA - DEC 6, 2008
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: DEC 7, 2008 Bottle from hopdog opened at the 2008 Strong Ale Festival. Thanks Steve. Drank during a wonderful sunset. What a great beer. The best of the fest. Cloudy purple color. Lightly sour. Super easy to drink. Excellent.
FlacoAlto (4152) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - NOV 28, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Served lightly chilled, the beer pours into my 25cl tulip glass with an almost three-finger thick, amber tinged, pale tan colored head. The beer is a hazy, cherry red color that shows a bright red color with gold highlights when held up to my desk lamp. The aroma is quite tart and there is a substantial currant note to this beer, though no sweetness; both of these aromas are noticeable as I am visually inspecting the beer. A deeper inspection of the nose yields a lot of funkiness; sweat-dried, musky blankets, musty / moldy hay, barnyard funk and butyric muskiness seem to be the most noticeable part of the nose. Some oak character contributes to the nose as well, though it seems heavily influenced by the Brettanomyces funk; must wood, a hint of buttery oak and perhaps a hint of vanillin are noticeable in the nose.
Tart up front the beer finishes with a tannic, palate coating note that seems to be contributed both by the fruit and some barrel notes. The second sip sees the sourness softening quite a bit, more of the fruit flavor starts to come through as some soft berry-like notes become noticeable. There is a background phenolic note here that suggests hints of nail polish (this also seems to be contributed by the currants somehow). The acidity here is nice, it is predominantly lactic in character but does seem to have a bit of an acetic edge to it that adds some complexity and, in combination with the fruit, hints at red wine vinegar.
This is fairly well carbonated, but somehow the carbonation does not have a big effect on the texture. My second pour of this is a bit chunky as sediment has been stirred up from the bottom of the bottle. This is incredibly quaffable, it is light enough, but still has some velvety texture to it to keep things interesting and to smooth out the sourness. This is not an overly sour example, but still has enough to give me a solid sour fix. Strangely for a 750ml bottle, I feel like this beer disappeared way to fast. The currant impact here is actually fairly soft, I am pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to guess the fruit in a bland tasting. In fact, while there is a certain wine influence here, I could almost see mistaking this for a Flemish sour; the touch of acetic and the fruitiness actually are fairly reminiscent of this style. Either way though this is a really nice beer. I had a couple sips of the Framboise at the GABF and was not really impressed, but this definitely has me excited to try all of the Iron Hill Lambic flavors fully.
JAXSON (550) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 18, 2008
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: JAN 26, 2009 750ml bottle, this was evidently brewed at the Wilmington location. Pours a really nice hazy peach rose color, a ghostly ring of tiny bubbles persists. Awesome lacing. Really sour, funky aroma, lots of the typical banyard nuances, not overwhelmingly strong, and a slightly off note that I can only assume is the currants. Really soft in the mouth, perfect texture and carbonation. My main issue with this beer is the fact that currants were used -- I think it’s one of the least desirable fruits to use in any kind of drink. However, this is exponentially better than some of the other cassis beers I’ve had, in particular the Lindemans, in that the currant note is not overwhelming, and the brett and genuine lambic flavors shine through greatly. A nice effort.
egajdzis (6105) - Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 30, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: DEC 14, 2008 Poured a murky, purple red color with a small, pinkish white head that left light lacing on the glass. Aroma of brett, oak, vanilla, black currant, hay, and leather. Taste of black cherry, currants, vanilla, oak, and wild yeast, with a nicely sour finish Totally deserving of the GABF medal.
GMCC2181 (1591) - Newark, Delaware, USA - OCT 30, 2008
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: JAN 8, 2010 An expensive 750ml bottle from Iron Hill Wilmington. Bottle shared with/by Wolf. When I popped the bottle it didnt have much build up. Poured into a snifter, no head. Dark ruby red color. Good aroma of sour tart fruit. Taste is complex, but well balanced. Up front the sour tingles the tounge. Fruity currant taste but with a hidden sweetness in the background. Light and easy to drink. Sours are not my favorite style, If you are a sour head this one is for you. I just prefer something else. I know it took almost four years to make this beer but I still think its over-priced
Swolf3 (262) - Elkton, Maryland, USA - OCT 30, 2008
3.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle Poured ruby red with small head. Aroma is tart fruit. Taste is tart fruityness, with a bitter after taste. Finished smooth and light in texture. I am not one for this type of beer so i did not enjoy it very much.