meerbier (1383) - Pijnacker, NETHERLANDS - NOV 25, 2012
2.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Bottle@Home. Lots of overripe apples and dust. Overwhelming but not in a good way.
Defreni (2223) - Husum, DENMARK - OCT 27, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Flaske: Lysegul let diset øl med et stort skumhoved. Duft af malt og en smule gær. Ikke god til at begynde med, men igen vinder den langsomt på en. Smagen er tør og en smule metallisk men ikke på den dårlige måde. Fin øl.
Ernest (5929) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - OCT 26, 2012
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle (2012 vintage).
Head is initially large, frothy, rocky, white, fully lasting.
Body is hazy dark yellow, bottle conditioned.
Aroma is moderately malty (toasted grain, sugar cookie), moderately hoppy (flowers, herbs, apricot), lightly to moderately yeasty (cobwebs), with notes of gum, pepper, cinnamon, pineapple, pear skins, alcohol.
Flavor is moderately to heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter.
Finish is lightly to moderately sweet, lightly acidic, moderately bitter.
Medium to full body, velvety texture, lively carbonation, lightly to moderately alcoholic.
This is a great example of what many beer geeks fail to appreciate about craftsmanship in the beer world, and what separates the really good brewers from the mediocre. On the surface, this has what most RateBeer folks like (and I typically hate)...lots of alcohol and sugar. That alone seems to usually be enough to encourage high ratings. What Rulles does here, and which 95% of other brewers fail miserably at, is making the beer all of the following things: enticing/alluring, clean, and balanced. So-called complexity is not a requirement, but certainly highly desirable. To expect or want all of these things doesn’t seem like such a tall order, but so few brewers can pull it off! And for me, these high alcohol, high sugar beers have the cards stacked against them from the start. Syrupy sweet, yuck. Burning alcohol, yuck. Brutish raw hops, yuck. Simplistic sugary nose, yuck. Mix Karo syrup and vodka and a little bit of fruit or pine sap and you get the vast bulk of beers in this territory. I nearly didn’t even buy this when I saw it was 10% ABV. And even though I haven’t loved everything from Rulles so far, I know (from Estivale) that they are capable of greatness. Well, this is one of those occasions where they hit the bull’s eye. Scrumptious nose that allows you to bathe in every delicious ingredient as well as the fermentation byproducts, wonderful sweet/sour/bitter interplay in the mouth in which the sweetness starts assertively and richly but dissipates quickly in the finish and leaves you lip-smacking for another sip immediately, amazingly well-hidden alcohol (it’s hard to believe the 10% label, since this drinks like it’s 7.5 to 8%), remarkably clean (no husks, raw yeast, dirty aftertaste, etc.), etc. I have a tendency to overthink a rating sometimes, but there are these ultra-rare occasions for me anymore where only 10-15 minutes or so into an evaluation it’s an "awww, yeah" experience, you know you’ve got a 4+ experience on your hands. This is one of those cases. Some people say that "big beers" have it easy in the rating department, because flaws are covered up or due to the instant-wow factor, but it’s the opposite for me...big beers are almost always drain pours because they’re usually clumsy sugar-and-alcohol bombs with zero finesse or elegance or balance. Rulles pulls a rabbit out of a hat here, combining a gorgeous and complex aroma with a shockingly clean and drinkable mouth experience...almost unheard of (for me) with beers of this weight. Bravo!
kindacold (197) - Norfolk, Virginia, USA - OCT 24, 2012
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Had an aged/vintage pour of this.Pours hazy yellow with thick lacy head that lasts. Smells like lemonade and vinegar. Very complex. Sweet melon, bubblegum, yeast, lemon hints, spices. Finishes creamy.
Borup (4525) - Albertslund, DENMARK - OCT 22, 2012
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Hazy golden colour with a white head. Aroma and flavour of spice, fruit, alcohol, spice, hops and herbal notes.
TAR (2393) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - OCT 20, 2012
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Golden hue. Thick white meringue coats the glass with attractive lace. Pleasant aroma of peach marmalade, piecrust, sugar cookie, wintergreen, cotton candy and honeydew melon. Lesser dabs of gum, celery seed, pear, baked apples, and a blend of leafy, peppery, licorice hop (Spalt?) aromatics. Yeast character is lightly plastery and musty. Soft and creamy mouthfeel. Initially supple and sweetish with a robust candy sugar punch tempered by a subdued peppery hop twinge. Beautifully balanced and quite sumptuous, with a dazzling exhibition of beefy, mouth-enveloping malt-derived starches and equally luscious fruity esters of pineapple, peach and melon. Hugely quaffable, as pervasive wintergreen lightens the sweetness to great effect while the impeccable attenuation cleanses the tongue and lures you back for another sip. Hugely flavorsome despite the high alcohol. Slippery fruitiness and the profoundly soft and weightless pale malt take on a much needed accompaniment of depth-lending rigidness as lightly browned banana bread links up with a coarsening dose of musty yeast and minerals. Appreciable astringency from the alcohol. Finespun peppery hop finish is accentuated by ongoing wintergreen and a sturdy yet remarkably clean pale malt cushion. A delightfully fruity, dangerously quaffable example in the tripel mold. If not for the baked apple/pear taint, which thankfully happens to be subtle, this would be a 4+ for me. Lots of fun.
77ships (3100) - Antwerpen, BELGIUM - OCT 19, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draft 25 cl. @ Chez Moeder Lambic Fontainas: A: hazy bright golden with a creamy white head – S: hay; very strong esters, quite BE in their way; citrus hops, very heavy on the spices and hoppy in a BE way – T: very bitter, hay, BE esters, strong bitter with heavy bitter spices; lingering bitterness; zesty; alcohol in the back, light sugar – B: clean; very drying – a not bad Belgian bitter beer overall – an ok Belgian IPA if you must
harrisoni (12089) - Ashford, Kent, ENGLAND - SEP 30, 2012
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Draught Moeder Lambic. Hazy pale gold. Lasting white head. Some soap on aroma. Some hop. Some herb. Some esters. Not really my thing. Bit of puke. Not my thing
rickgordon (3833) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - SEP 26, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Excellent beer! Phenols and herbs in aroma and somewhat Saison-like with its dirtiness. Sweet alcohol feeling in mouth with almond paste and herbal. Medium to full bodied and well balanced.
pintbypint (2291) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - SEP 13, 2012
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750ml green bottle. Best before Feb 2017. Gold in colour, quite hazy with a few odd dark floaties. Large white head, lots of clinging foam leaving multiple lace rings. Nose is citrusy, herbal, yeasty, spicy. Taste starts with citrusy-candied orange sweetness, bread and honey, moves into yeasty spicy notes with grass notes. Late grassy and straw like notes with a bitterness that sticks around. Body is medium, lively and fine bubbled carbonation on the tongue. Big drinkability for a 10% beer, doesn’t ever feel heavy or boozy. A nice strong golden Belgian brew.