MartinT (8024) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - APR 3, 2006
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: JAN 18, 2011 Any first impressions?
-A creamy head settles over the muddy dusk.
-Orangey citrus fruit and accompanying herbal spices, comforted by a nutty sweetness, lie on classy wooden flooring.
-Chestnuts obviously provide most of the beerís sweetness, emboldened by an otherwise meditative spicy flavoring.
-The carbonation is ample but delicate, exactly how these Belgian ales should be carbonated.
What if you dig deeper?
-The fruity, nutty sweetness isnít overdone, agreeing with the subtle, intelligent tartness.
-The wooden dryness softly drops the curtain.
-All in all, this is a quite humble spectrum of flavors.
-Another Jolly Pumpkin success, an understated but serene and well-brewed creation.
Bottles; no date.
lachesis (757) - St Idesbald, BELGIUM - MAR 26, 2006
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Hazy deep orange-amberish beer with a nice creamy slight yellowish-off white head. Aroma is mild and soft malty, it has touches of nuts and almond liquor. Also touches of chesnut skin that gives a untherbuild tart sharpness in this brew. Aroma is sweeter than the taste. The mouthfeel is quit dry, it has a soft malty carracter with a slight spicy touch and sharp accents of sour apple skins (renette apples) and orange zest. In the afthertaste there is a nice earthy touch with hints of humide forrest soil, wild berries and wet wood The more this beer gets warmer, the more wine like the beer gets.
JorisPPattyn (8016) - Antwerpen, BELGIUM - MAR 26, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Deep, slightly hazy orange with a good, orangeish, persistent head, leaving some lace. End of bottle full of U.F.O.ís. Fruity nose with preserved oranges, faint strawberries, little bit vinous, and a faint, distant spicey spiking (orange peel, cloves, cinnamon bark). More complex than the taste, which is quite dry, spicey. Fruity, with again much citrus, but without any fruitsugars. Thereís a retronasal sourness, wry, like crabapples and/or orangezest, slowly dissipating in the throat. This gets more marked warming up. Despite the dryness, thereís a fizzy MF present. Not very much body either. Compared to my only other JPAA, this is where Fuego díOtoŮo slightly lacks. Then again, the beer is extremely drinkable. Very pleasing beer, with a great balance, but slightly lacking depth. OTOH, it makes up for one hell of a session ale.
TAR (2517) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - MAR 9, 2006
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Hazy rusty-orange. Fully sustained sticky white cream. Phenols, tangerine peels, and unripe peaches comprise the aroma along with a dash of musty brett and sweet toast. Creamy carbonation softly expands on the palate. Juicy passionfruit and mandarin oranges erupt alongside an herbal sharpness intertwined with artfully restrained brett tartness. Light dose of nutty sweetness slowly emerges to continually brighten the prominent fruitiness while the doughy yeast coats the tongue and buoys the body. Juicy as all get-out, although the brett lends a pleasant scratchiness, which is quite nice. Trace levels of black pepper-dusted honeydew and peach fuzz bitterness. Thereís an abundance of ester-derived spiciness, but the spices which were apparently added go unnoticed. Finishes increasingly spicy, irony, and malty sweet, with a phenolic and musty brett flourish. Woodsy dryness leaves behind a clean powdery residue which resides elegantly with the floral hop aftertaste. Another very good beer from Jolly Pumpkin. Thanks, Schroppfy.
Oakes (12777) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - FEB 18, 2006
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Hazy amber colour. Fairly funky, oaky aroma. Spicy flavour, aggressively yeasty with light backing maltiness and a tart finish. Interesting but Iím not big on the aggressive yeastiness.
walleye (1067) - Sterling Heights, Michigan, USA - FEB 17, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
from the bottle. poured a cloudy copper with a big fluffy off white to light tan head that left a ton of lacing. aroma sour fruits, musty, orange, sour cherries a lot of sourness out of this beer. flavor, more sourness, tart, once this warmed up a bit got malts and some sweetness (maybe this is the caramel but I could not pick it out) came out, bitter . this beer got better as it warmed the sourness became less evident.
BuckNaked (1230) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - FEB 14, 2006
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
750ml bottle thanks to Styles Medium carbonated, pours with a small amount of fizz to a murky, opaque medium-dark amber with some brown hints. The small head is light beige, with large bubbles giving it a rocky appearance; it does not last long. Mild caramel, tart grape stems, a smell exactly like grape seeds taste, lightly tart fruit, a bit of unripened blueberry, light mint, orange spice(similar to celestial seasonings manderin orange spice tea), allspice, a hint of strawberry/raspberry syrup, a bit of pumpkin pie spice, showing just a bit of horseblanket, mild barnyard, and something thatís almost like sour melon or rotting fruit. Much like the aroma, the taste is quite complex. It begins with with a very mild acidic tart shock, but nowhere near the strength of any lambic. This flows into a lightly tart fruit, and complex spice medley (allspice, melon rind, bitter orange zest, alligator pepper, what I take to be chestnut, and something similar to bog myrtle but it could be the chestnuts - Iíve never had chestnuts in beer before). Some sweet caramel malt shows through in brief flashes towards the middle along with some tannic wood notes. Finishes very bitter, you can actually feel the dry bitterness in your mouth and the back of the throat, with notes of earthy nut, lemon grass & caramel along with something akin to the outside flesh of a walnut(if you ever tried biting one of these you know exactly what Iím talking about). Medium carbonated, medium bodied though feeling pretty light on the palate without much texture. Overall one of the more complex beers Iíve tasted in aroma and taste which certainly makes it fun to try to pick out all the flavors. Ultimately the flavors are mostly confusing and do not blend very well into a coherant beer. In addition, the acidity is very well balanced but the beer is much too bitter (Iím assuming this comes from the chestnuts?), which makes it difficult to drink. This is well worth a try to exercise your palate and I have a feeling this may become great after a few years in the bottle.
omhper (19805) - TyresŲ, SWEDEN - FEB 14, 2006
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottled. Cloudy dark orange. Lightly acidic fruit aroma with medicinal notes. Dry and fruity with lively mouthfeel. Notes of melon and a light, lambic-like lactic acidity. Feels fresh and has a lot of complex flavours, but the medicinal notes are on the strong side.
FlacoAlto (3810) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - FEB 12, 2006
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
This beer is pretty well carbonated, it pours with a frothy three-finger thick tan head, that starts to leave a lacing pattern as it slowly, and falls back in a cratered rocky fashion. The beer is a hazy reddish-tinged amber color. The aroma is intoxicating, it is immediate as soon as I start pouring this beer; it is a mix of tart notes and fruit up front. As I go in for a deeper draught of the aroma I get a signature of Brett that is a bit horseblanket, and quite funky (especially if you linger over the aroma. The tartness is still here underneath the Brett character; notes of tamarind and tart plum are quite evident. The aroma is quite complex, and quite nice I could smell these beers for quite some time. Comparable to a Lambic in many ways but there is that balancing sweet note, which contributes to the fruitiness, and is not typically found in a bone dry Lambic. After a bit of time I start to pick up a fruity concentrated note that reminds me of sweet strawberries and kiwis; Interesting.
The beer has some body to it, and an astringent woody/ tannic note that definitely make one think of the barrels that this was fermented in (or perhaps some of it is from the chestnuts). It only has a light sweetness to it, but it is enough to play up fruity notes of apples and plums. The beer is spicy with a nice carbonation note in combination with some spicy oak notes and sharp acidity. It is notable that the acidity is almost subtle here, I am not saying that it is not here, because it is definitely tart, but it is so well integrated with the rest of the flavors. The spices that were used are also quite subtle, in fact I can’t even pick any of them out, which in my mind is about perfect, I like the integrated character that spices add, but don’t like them to be individually noticeable. The Brettanomyces is here in the flavor, but not nearly as noticeable as it was in the aroma. This really works for this beer, because the Brett does not dominate the flavor profile; it contributes an underlying funkiness that sort of wraps around and accentuates the other characteristics found in this beer. As time goes on this beer picks up a wonderful creaminess to it, which really brings the mouthfeel to another level.
My final word on this beer is that it is so well integrated, and so well balanced. The wood character, the tartness, the funky notes, the fruit character and everything else just combines to form a really nice drinking, complex brew. Once again Ron has created a masterful brew, so far he is firing on all cylinders and I still have 5 more of these to go.
willblake (2654) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - JAN 31, 2006
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: APR 28, 2008 01.31.06 750ml bottle thanks to Schroppfy. The beer as it rests in the tulip globe glows as a November sunrise, blazing, fiery, and a smoky haze. The head is lasting, creamy, the color of Mantoloking sand. Aromas greet the observer without prodding as wafting but attenuated waves of succulent floral, misty woodlands, toasted sage, and dried citrus potpourri come quickly forward. The palate is delighted with this perfect snapshot of the season and I am struck with glee. Flavors and aromas meld to bring a sense of a damp oak forest in autumn - a mossy streamside with rotting leaves, mineral rich soil, and musty, buttery chestnuts gathered in a wicker basket. More savory spice emerges with time and temperature as a revelation of corriander and spicy yeast notes comes to the fore. A pleasant mix of tart fruits (grape), mild astringency (apple, floral), miniscule but necessary sourness, and perfume throughout. I would wish only for a somewhat firmer body, less smooth and perhaps more astringent. If Orval brewed an autumn beer, it might just be this. Excellent.
20070303 vertical with 05 and 06 versions. The 05 had great development, melding of hops and brett. Finish has smoothed out. The 06 was bright, hoppy, and fun. Of the group, I was the only one who preferred the younger.