oliodnb (662) - ITALY - OCT 30, 2015
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at Moeder Lambic, Bruxelles. Hazy amber, beautiful creamy off white head. Aroma is sourish with fruity and wine notes, taste is similar, not too sour, very complex and satisfying. Medium body, light carbonation.
tricksta_p (3538) - Steenwijk, NETHERLANDS - OCT 28, 2015
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
From tap at Moeder Lambic Fontainas, Brussel. Aroma of tart red fruits, some malt, toffee, vinegar, tart berries, red wine. Flavour is moderate to medium sour and light sweet. Body is medium. Tasty sourish red fruity ale.
Alengrin (4529) - BELGIUM - OCT 2, 2015
3.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: OCT 3, 2015 Another beer-wine hybrid from Italy: apparently the premise was a Belgian strong ale, to which must of Freisa (an Italian red wine grape variety) was added for refermentation. I had similar Italian experiments before and keep fond memories of them, so I expect a lot from this 2011 vintage bottle (to be consumed before end 2015, according to the back label). Pours a deep, warm and ’autumny’ coppery amber colour, lightly hazy with low sparkling, under a regularly shaped, lightly lacing, moussy egg-white head retaining well around the edges in the first instants, but quickly disappearing altogether, so that the content of the glass (especially in the oversized wine glass I’m using) eventually looks more like some wine-based apéritif than a beer. As more of the bottle is emptied in the glass, the overall looks become increasingly headless and murky. Strong aroma of rosé wine, FFF (freshly fermented farmland) but remaining elegant in some sort of way, old dry sherry, strawberry wine, elderberry syrup, ripe purple gooseberries, balsamico, pickled gherkins, candied orange, melting brown sugar, honey liqueur. Vividly fruity onset, blue grapes as expected, along with passion fruit, strong red raspberry and bittersweet prunes, soft carbo but still quite tingling seen this bottle’s age; supple, vinous mouthfeel, deep and restrainedly caramelly malt sweetish base supporting a sherryish and raspberry vinegar tartness which makes up the core of this beer and lending this a sour-sweet effect not unlike an ’oud bruin’ (Flemish sour ale). This ’sherry- and berry’-like fruitiness continues deep into the finish, drying the mouth cavity in a gentle but certain way, becoming even a slight bit lemony every now and then; oxidation is there, but is apparently very restrained even at four years of age and does not conflict with other flavours - it blends in nicely, as in a high quality oloroso sherry. Hops are nowhere to be seen; a liqueurish alcohol glow is there, but only subtly so and not becoming astringent. Bizarre, but it does have a theme: ever since Baladín introduced craft beer to wine-soaked Italy, this country has spawned an array of innovative craft brewers which, instead of reacting against their own ancient wine culture (which I have the impression Spain is doing now), have embraced it and made (still little exposed) cross-pollinations between both, of which this one is an excellent example. Especially with the head having left (grape pits are known for being counterproductive towards head formation - ask Cantillon), I almost felt like I was rating some fortified wine instead of a beer - but fortunately the old familiar malts weren’t that far away. Succulent late night sipper worth cellaring for some years. Va bene!
Turtles (1989) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - SEP 19, 2015
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
330ml bottle from Systembolaget. Hazy, amber. Great lacing, egg-white head. Brett aroma, stable, earthy and fermented cherries. Medium-bodied, light mouthfeel,very fizzy, you can taste and hear the fizzy bubbles on each sip. The taste is brett, mid-sour, mild funk, green apples, grapes, yeast, spice. Finish with earthy hops and cirtus.
superspak (4675) - Michigan, USA - AUG 24, 2015
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
330 ml bottle into tulip glass, 2010 vintage bottling. Pours hazy reddish orange color with a 1 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace that lingers. Minimal lacing on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of tart cherry, strawberry, raspberry, raisin, plum, currant, red grape, caramel, brown sugar, toasted oak, leather, light red wine vinegar, hay, straw, grass, musty funk, and yeast/oak earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, grapes, oak barrel, and dark malt notes; with good strength. Taste of tart cherry, strawberry, raspberry, raisin, plum, currant, red grape, caramel, brown sugar, toasted oak, leather, light red wine vinegar, hay, straw, grass, musty funk, and yeast/oak earthiness. Light-moderate fruity/acidic tartness and light oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of cherry, berry, raisin, currant, red grape, caramel, brown sugar, toasted oak, light vinegar, musty funk, and yeast/oak earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice robustness, balance and complexity of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, grapes, oak barrel, and dark malt flavors; with a great malt/tartness/spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, moderately acidic, and slightly slick/sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice fruited wild ale style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, grapes, oak barrel, and dark malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on with the balanced acidity. A very enjoyable offering.
Borup (11681) - Albertslund, DENMARK - AUG 15, 2015
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
From tap at CBC 2015. Hazy dark amber colour with an off-white head. Aroma and flavour of vinegar, barnyard, malt, caramel, fruit and acidic.
harrisoni (17282) - Ashford, Kent, ENGLAND - JUN 27, 2015
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at Craft Clerkenwell. Hazy russet. Fruity aroma. Some sourness from the tart fruit. Extremely tasty. Good cherry.
suurjuust (2854) - ESTONIA - JUN 13, 2015
2.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Hazy red beer, small off-white head. Tart and fruity nose. Flavor has tartness, woody dryness, but also some vinegar, which gives the whole thing a rough edge. Not undrinkable, but this could be a fair measure better without the vinegar.
mgajdaczewa (1673) - Katowice, POLAND - MAY 24, 2015
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
W aromacie pomimo stosunkowo jasnej barwy sporo nut flandersowych, czyli czerwone owoce z przewagą czerwonej porzeczki, wyraźne wiśnie i winno - octowy kwasek. W smaku kwasek i octowość naprawdę wyraźne, piwo ściągające, taniniczne, pojawiają się nuty "czerwone" jak i brzoskwiniowa pełnia. Trunek naprawdę przyjemny, choć brakuje mu troszeczkę złożoności i sznytu.
FatPhil (13867) - Tallinn, ESTONIA - MAY 12, 2015
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Pleasant sour aroma, a little bit of the woody aromas. Palate is slightly harsh and dirty. Refreshing, but there’s a hint of aceticity again, which is a no-no. I’d like to try a beer from this brewery some time, so far their range of vinegars has been very interesting.