BDR (2534) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - NOV 21, 2007
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
A little out of order, but what they hey, latest milestone. Not that I bother to enter anything in order out of the current backlog. In any event, hit Cuvee de Tomme, Lips of Faith, and Beatification and a few other beers at GABF and saw cable car among the options. What the hey, might as well drink it. Boy, was I in for a surprise. Cloudy golden color with nice head. The sourness on the nose was enough to grab my attention immediately. Well balanced flavor with a sourness that never pushes to far on the palate, but never slacks off either. Dry sour finish. Absolutely amazing.
awaisanen (1304) - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 12, 2007
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
GABF 2007, 750mL Bottles. Multiple samples at GABF. As much as Iíd love to have an entire bottle of this myself with which to sit down and spend some quality time, I feel the experience of trying several bottles and pour conditions revealed some interesting insight into this beer that I couldnít have obtained from just a single bottle. That being said, if you are lucky enough to have procured a bottle of this stuff and are anxiously awaiting a chance to taste it, Iíd offer the following advice: Make sure you handle this beer carefully, give it plenty of time to chill and settle before opening, and be as anal-rententive as possible when pouring to make sure you donít disturb the yeast. If sharing a bottle with multiple people, I would make sure to give myself the first pour to ensure maximum clarity. I would also recommend not splitting a bottle more than three ways as this beer really shines on the subtle complexities that can only be unleashed with enough time. This isnít one of those polarizing beers that shoves the flavors in your face. I found myself tasting new flavor complexities even after 10 or so samples. Finally, donít be afraid to drink this beer right now. I canít really see this going down hill with age, but I also canít see it improving much from this level. The harmony between acidity, funkiness, and body is perfect right now.
The un-corking of the bottle unleashes a resounding "crack", which precedes an initial pour of mostly transparent gold topped with a thick head of brilliant white, billowy foam that clings lazily to the sides of the glass. After the first 1/3 or so of the bottle is emptied, the pours get hazier and hazier, and with that the beer seems to drift further away from bright acidity and gets more muddled, woody, and funky. The interaction between acidity, funk, and mouthfeel is amazing, and thereís no need to offset that delicate balance. A bright lemon acidity greets the nose immediately, along with some heavily brett-laced musty leather. A light, milky balsa wood character wafts up, along with a distinct water chestnut wave. Funky chardonnay skins and star fruit. Light bodied, sizzling carbonation with a moderate acidity level. The mouthfeel is simply amazing, so light, dry, and effervescent. Blauw might be the only beer Iíve had to date that could have a better palate than this. Iím always looking for sour beers to have that biting carbonation and sizzling mouthfeel to pair hand in hand with the acidic flavors, and this beer executes this feat perfectly. Amazingly balanced flavor profile, bringing together subtle oak nuances, barnyard brett funk, and tart lactic acidity. Insanely drinkable. Bright lemon zest and sizzling gueuze-esque acidity jump out on the palate immediately, eventually giving way to some soft doughy malt flavors and more water chestnut. White oak and young leather pucker up the finish a bit, adding some quenching dryness and earthy yeast. As the flavors linger on the palate, the oak rests quietly in the background, off-setting a bold yet balanced acidity. There isnít an overwhelming amount of funk in the finish either, and seems devoid of any lingering pedio cheesiness on the back end. Incredibly "clean" and bright, and one of the best balanced sour ales Iíve yet tasted.
ChainGangGuy (4231) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - NOV 10, 2007
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 19/20
Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden body with a white, wispy head.
Smell: A funk-riddled yeasty, fruity, tart-smelling aroma of apricots, citrus, and peaches. Hint of oak.
Taste: Faint malt flavor with a touch of dough and a brief sweetness with a follow-through of the fruits lurking in the aroma. Bright acidity. Musty, earthy yeast character. Faint oakiness. Dry, tart finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Lively carbonation.
Drinkability: A very fine beer. Iím quite pleased I had the chance to try this one.
kmweaver (3200) - Petaluma, California, USA - NOV 10, 2007
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: NOV 27, 2008 Note to self: revisited this at Toronado SD, 2008 vintage, and was similarly impressed, if the nose was just a touch more muted this time around (could just as easily have been the glassware). My wife and I shared this as our last bottle purchase of our 3-month roadtrip.
750mL bottle, generously shared by artusory. Thanks, Ryan!! Pours a hazy, toasty golden color; bright white head with brilliant, fine-bubbled lacing holding tight to the sides of the glass; a bit more clarity or retention and it would be perfect looking. Probably the most satisfyingly aromatic beer Iíve had in a while; the fruit character actually reminds me a lot of a certain Finger Lake (I know, but the whites can be excellent) reserve gewurztraminer wine that I havenít had in years but still think about: tons of lime, dripping tree fruits (tropical, lychee), and sweet sweet honey notes, all surrounded by a mouthwatering tartness and funk and toasted oak; I couldnít stop smelling this. Tons of citrus and tropical fruits (passion fruit, lime) at the core, but, unlike Castleton, where highly-carbonation citrus takes center stage, this has so much surrounding it: toasty, chardonnay-tinged oak and well-integrated sourness; not intensely funky, but some funk and mustiness and dripping, ripened fruit; better than the Cuvees, better than PH1, and equal to Blauw. Excellent integration and depth. Lengthy, tart and citrus and tropical fruit in the finish; when the tartness subsides, a soft doughiness appears at the very end.
TAR (2378) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - NOV 7, 2007
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Clear straw. Dense and fluffy white head. Balanced nose of iron, lemon cake, hay, horseblanket, wool, melon, and vibrant oak. Hint of musty books. Natural carbonation is soft and expansive. Opens with a rounded lacto-derived acidity and snug oak accompaniment which firmly claps the palate. Pineapple esters explode at the core and mesh beautifully with the nuanced coconut and vanilla barrel extractives. All sorts of tropical complexities. Irony acid lends a quenching quality as well as some astringency before harmonizing with the supple fruitiness. Brett-derived phenols are extremely vivacious, snappy, and spicy, and bolster the vast array of subtleties. Straw-tinged-malt blossoms with a feathery daintiness and complements the faint but bright oaken sweetness. Finishes well-attenuated with a fluffy dryness, yet slickly and brightly fruity with a lingering kiss of coarse oak. Overall, quite polished, nuanced, and well-layered, all marks of a well made beer. Wasnít expecting a whole lot, but this certainly exceeded my expectations.
waolsen (1328) - Littleton, Colorado, USA - NOV 3, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
bottle. GABF 2007. white grapefruit juice, sour aroma. strong sourness initially but fades in to a round warm mouth. woody, citrus, sour. awesome.
bu11zeye (11740) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - OCT 31, 2007
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
(750ml bottle) Pours a lightly hazy yellow body with a medium off-white head. Aroma of white grapes, cheese, lemon, and earthiness. Flavor of subtle citrus tartness, wood, Granny Smith apples, and some herbs with a dry finish.
goldtwins (4320) - Nesconset, New York, USA - OCT 28, 2007
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: FEB 7, 2009 GABF 2007: Poured a crystal clear yellow color with a large white head. The aroma was funky and tart. Yeasty with light malt. The flavor was tart and mildly acidic. Light leather notes on the finish. Dry with a light body.
2008 Bottle. RBSG @ LA. Hazy deep yellow color with a minimal head. Tart citrus and leather aroma. Malty and tart flavor Citrus with a light leather and funk taste. Dry brett finish. YUM.
1FastSTi (3220) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 23, 2007
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Many, many samples at GABF 2007. Pours to a bright yellow body with a creamy white head. The aroma is sour funk. Flemish sour-like with leather like a gueuze. Amazing aroma. Funky barnyard fruits. The flavor is tart and acidic with some buttery toffee. Sour fruits. The palate is tart and acidic. Could have more acid, but this one is very nice.
fro2218 (470) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - OCT 23, 2007
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Cloudy yellow. Big white head. Musty bretty aroma with lemons and wheat to boot. Nice tartness and sweetness from the malt. very nice.