BuckNaked (1230) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - MAR 10, 2006
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
750ml bottle thanks to Styles: Pours to a mostly clear dark amber that shines with some ruby-brown hints when held to light. Though it does becomes hazy further into the bottle. A large beige colored head forms quickly on top that is bubbly and quickly disapating without much lacing. The aroma has some distinct dark fruit notes up front: vinous grapes, plums, raisins, light figs, along with hints of sweet caramel and dark bread which really remind me of a belgian dubbel. Beyond this some mild lemon, tiny bit of hops, as well as some tannic oak barrel, light molasses, caramelized sugar, along with pepper & ginger. (Believe it or not I didn’t read FlacoAlto’s rating until after I wrote this). The flavor begins with an ever-so-slightly sour and acidic bite that shows some lemon/citrus notes (maybe even a hint of hops?), then quickly opens to a bit of apple, grapes, a mix of merlot and california sparkling wine, plums, and light raisins. There’s plenty of spice in the flavor too: cloves, pepper, hops, ginger, and even the oak adds some zest here. Finishes with some mild tannins, a touch of bitter floral hops, a fleeting hint of figs, and a bit of straw. Medium bodied, lively carbonated, ends up feeling quick full in the mouth without getting chalky, syrupy, or heavy. At first I liked it but was not blown away. However after taking my time drinking and really allowing this one to breathe, this beer reveals itself to be a marvelously complex beer. I think initially the bitterness from the hops and oak was a bit too much to allow the flavor to develop, but as my palate adjusted (or the beer breathed) the flavors really opened up. Nice.
FlacoAlto (3737) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - FEB 16, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Sampled February 2006
Pours a lightly hazy, ruby-hued, dark amber color. It is pretty well carbonated, which produces a two-finger thick, frothy, lace prone, tan colored head. The aroma is nice and fruity up front with a mix of raisins, sweet plums, and fresh figs. The aroma is quite fruit focused actually, underneath this is a solid caramel malt note, which in its brightness only tends to accentuate the fruit aromatics. Among the fruit notes there is a light tartness as well, but it is fairly subtle. There is also a bit of spiciness that becomes noticeable after a bit of time; I get notes of bergamot, some clove, and perhaps a little bit of something sharp (sort of a cross between black pepper and ginger). The aroma is quite nice, though it is perhaps lacking a bit in the complexity department, I really like the straight forward, appealing fruit notes that are rounded out by the other supporting aromatic notes.
The taste has that same rich fruitiness to it. In fact it almost has a jam-like quality to it, though this beer is certainly not sticky or sweet. There is just enough sweetness to accentuate the fruitiness, but without anywhere near the levels of sweetness that would make this unappealing (this coming from one who is not a huge fan of sweet fruity beers, even of the more complex variety). Definitely ample notes of ripened plums play center stage here, it is joined by some raisin-like notes, which at times are even more prevalent than the plum notes. There is some spiciness here, but mainly that of the sweeter variety; some definite clove, and perhaps some allspice like notes (including a bit of a ginger-like thing). The finish has a certain astringency to it, I would almost guess that some of it is wood derived, and some of it would most definitely be fermentation derived.
This is quite a rich beer, and I don’t mean that in a sort of thick, palate sort of way. Instead the fruit notes just give this beer a certain richness, that seem to make it an appropriate after meal time drink. A solid, though light, acidity finishes this beer off at the end of a sip; it is tart like an apple or plum perhaps. This is really accentuates that feeling, for me, that this would make a good after meal drink. The acidity almost acts as a digestif for me, it keeps this light enough on the palate to be drinkable, but the rest of the beer keeps this rich enough to be a contemplative after meal treat.
goldtwins (4320) - Nesconset, New York, USA - FEB 15, 2006
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Poured a slightly hazy color witha small whte head. Fruity aroma with caramel notes. Woody and lightly tart and citrusy. Flvaor follows the fruitness. More sweet caramel. Semi-dry finish with a light bitterness. Some warming sensation. Thanks Jay.
Sammy (8024) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 7, 2006
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
cloudy amber colour, lots of lace. Sourness in nose.Wheaty, biere de garde, aggressively carbonated, making for full mouthfeel Well malted more than Jenlain. Bitterness at end.Woodiness. aftertaste
Dextolen (151) - Michigan, USA - FEB 7, 2006
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
A rich amber color with light tan head that leaves decent lacing. Earthy, plum, raisin and oakey aromas. Caramely sweet flavors with a bready aftertaste. A bit of a bite. Good stuff from a great brewery.
SpringsLicker (3035) - Tennessee, USA - JAN 30, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: DEC 2, 2007 Thanks to Sully (Secret Santa) for enabling me to share this with the Georgia Crew at our Cask Eve Tasting!
This begins with a clear dark amber body under a medium off white head that slips away fairly quickly leaving nice lacing behind.
A combination of maple and dark fruits in the aroma.
Smooth and lightly sweet flavor with a touch of acid and a bit of astringency in the finish. Another winner from JP!
aracauna (2985) - Georgia, USA - JAN 29, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
The beer pours an amber body with good carbonation. The aroma is full of fresh grapes and a bit of maple and Caramel. The flavor is pretty complex, but still remains fairly light.
Styles (2014) - Lincoln Park, Michigan, USA - JAN 21, 2006
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAR 27, 2006 Finally rating this after several bottles. Cloudy dark orange/almost mahogany. Huge off-white head that eventually fades to film. Great lacing. Shot of sourness up front in the nose, turns to woodsy yeastiness. Cherries and dark fruit are muted, but there, with the tiniest bit of alcohol. Flavor again has a real quick sour kick to it, but turns to sweet malt and dark fruit, mostly fig/prune and faint cherry. lots of woodsy, yeasty, farmhouse character in the finish. Although I don’t get alot of spice in the flavor, the lingering aftertaste is dominated by the spice. Another fine creation from Ron! Second batch released Sat.March 25th. Picked up a case today. Very transparent dark amber, reddish-brown color. Off white head very minimal, fades extremely fast, might need a little more time in the bottle to fully carbonate. Previous despription fits aroma very well, oak, funk and cherry, maybe not as sour as I remember. Strange because seems like all the batches have been growing in sourness. Flavor not as diverse as I remember. Sour up front, fades in and out, harsh oak/wood character, sort of drying. Tad thinner on the palate than I remember. New score would most likely be a 3.9, knocking everything except aroma down a point. Have 1 bottle left from last year may have to do a side by side.
whaleman (2178) - North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 26, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Body has a hue of polished copper with fine particulates and a big foamy and rocky off-white head. Aroma of warm, wintery and yeasty spice, such as clove, moderate, slightly medicinal phenols, and a note of oxidation. Flavor suggests dried cherries and wood polish and has a metallic, dark caramelized sugar element and some corky oxidation. Moderately acidic with a wild aspect. Nice and distinct, especially as it opens up. Thanks for sharing argo0!
shadey (1845) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - DEC 25, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Beautiful red swirly color with a nice white frothy head. Aroma is rich yet light. Spices and malt, yeast and earthy.
Flavor is spicey and yeasty with a little bite at the end. A very nice winter ale.