muzzlehatch (4424) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - JUL 30, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Sampled at the Michigan Brewers Fest. Rustic and rusty thick brown in color with a lasting touch of whitish head...sweet, grainy, yeasty and lightly spicy nose, with hints of raisin and anise and a doughiness emerging after a couple of minutes...body sourish, lightly fruity and acidic, with a creamy and bready mouthfeel, lots of yeast here...touch lactic and more sour towards the finish, good level of carbonation. As David says, perhaps could use some aging, but I like this more than the Montrealers on the whole...another example of the greatness of this gem of a brewery.
Rastacouere (6107) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 28, 2005
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Deep rubyish earthy auburn. Mostly lasting off-white head with initial interesting lacing. Extremely fruity nose with a vinous alcohol protuberance. Grapes, wood and berries are obvious, the barrel giving it an edges over your average flemish sour attempt. Not very sour from the nose, but this is worked around in mouth, the woody tartness works well with the fruits and there is indeed an array of undescribable yeasty funky effects, battery acid, branches, wild fruits, though how they work well together I’m not sure, they sure make up more astringency than I wish for. Drying out nicely on the palate though, I suspect this is better from an aged bottle, because for now, it is fairly chaotic. Medium body, astringent, cleaning carbonation.
SuIIy (1983) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - JUL 24, 2005
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Draft at MSBF. Pours a medium amber color with a nice foamy white head. Nose is sweet and bready, with some nice floral spicy notes. Taste is bready and sweet with some light caramel notes.
beerguy101 (5250) - Newark, California, USA - JUL 17, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Hand bottled 22oz bottle. Medium amber color. Small white foamy head, with decent lacing and some legs. Aroma is fruity and bready, touch of grape tannins. Lots of fruit and spices. A medium bodied Biere de Garde. Malts are fruity, (apricots, plums and some melon) bready and spicy. A lot of oak flavors as well. Touch of grape like tannins (Oak barrel?) and cheeries. Nicely balanced. Interesting beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is crisp and dry with a touch of fruitiness. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.
5000 (5977) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - JUN 28, 2005
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Hand bottled: Deep burnt caramel, basically brown with burnt orange hues, quite cloudy, moderate off-white foamy head, superb lacing. Pale fruity/berry nose, surrounded by fig/date/plum assortment laid out on twelve grain bread... oh yeah, and some strong notes of grape skin as well. Lots going on here! Very bready, with very light caramel malt like flavors, slight dark pitted fruit, but also some oak barrel coming through. Moderate body and mouthfeel. Very yeasty/bready finish. Seems somewhat heavier than other examples, but thats fine with me. When might Jolly Pumpkin start bottling this one? Great brewery BTW! Thanks Mike!
TheBeerGod (4994) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - JUN 5, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Hand bottled and shipped by some, as for now "unknown", Ratebeerians (not sure if they want me using any names - I’ll add them if they don’t mind). Pours a clouded ruby tinged brown. Small lasting fizzy tan head. Aroma is big fruit notes, light caramel, medium spice, light yeast, some graininess and thinned choco notes. Taste is also big darkened fruit notes, light spice, caramel, grassy notes, light wood tones, mild fruit tartness, and mild grainy notes. Body is medium with light carbonation feel, perhaps due to the hand bottling. Light bitterness as well. Finishes with more dark ripened fruits, light caramel, spice, and wood. Mild creamy malt sweetness. Good stuff!
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - MAY 30, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Many thanks to my Ohio benefactor who sent me some early "unofficial" bottles of this stuff. Lightly hazy ruby body topped by a medium ligh tan head. Lace is nice. The aroma is quite interesting: fruits abound, melon and some dark fruit along with spice and yeast. The flavor is equally as nice, the fruitiness is a bit more subdued the aroma might have you believe, light touch of sour and maybe some woodiness. Light puckering of the mouth courtesy of light tartness in a dry palate, body is medium. As I drink more the hops are coming into the forefront more and more. Interesting ber. I can not wait to try this one when it is officially released. Ron Jeffries is doing great things up there in his great litte brewery in Dexter, MI. Go visit him!
11026 (1772) - Alabama, USA - MAY 22, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
From keg at Scroppfy’s party. Brownish to deep amber colored, a little hazy. Nice off-white to khaki head and good lacing. Aroma is quite nice, seems to change a bit also. I initially found it to be very wine-like, plenty of wood charateristics and some flower and spice as time marched on. Medium bodied, somewhat drying. Very pleasant mouthfeel. Fruity, woody flavors tend to pervade. Hops don’t seem to be overextended. Lasting flavor of fruit and wood is pleasant. Should be released now, wood character may end up overpowering this fine beer.
jsquire (3293) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - MAY 21, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
This is part of Schroppfy’s pre-release pony keg that I had both at his place fresh and as I’m sitting here out of one of the bottles that we made. It is an attractive brownish amber with a thin light beige colored head. Fruity sweet nose of melon and tangerine. Well balanced fruitiness with some leather and oak woodiness. Very dry finish that makes you want to take another sip. Clean and refreshing. As we discussed at the time, this beer sure seems ready for release to me.
Schroppfy (2360) - Łódż, Warsaw, Poland; Michigan, Ohio, USA - MAY 15, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: MAY 6, 2006 Rerate again! -- later examples from the second bottling don’t have the livliness of the original,not just in carbonation but in the rich interplay of flavors. Rerate: After several more examples in bottled form, I have to say this is incredibly rich and mature in it’s lactic leatheryness. A delightful beer and highly recommended. Flavor goes up a bit from 8 to 9, and overall by one point too...Original: This is a prerelease version of the beer. We’ve decided to rate it, I think, because we thought it was a great opportunity provided by Ron Jeffries, and because we all thought it was a fine beer now... I like this beer alot - it’s malty and bready and a touch sour, but has a kind of peppery element and a good bit of wood. Leathery fruitiness is the phrase that comes to mind for the flavor...Nice mouthfeel (pretty creamy), and a very nice copper color. Ron considers this a "work in progress". Well, it’s a progressive beer! Rerate: After many more handbottled tries, and more from a keg yesterday, I’ve notched this up a bit. I’m looking forward to the bottled versions that I picked up from the brewery yesterday.