crusianbeer (116) - Texas, USA - JUL 24, 2010
3.4 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from the jug in san fran...
Pours a nice rich dark brown with less than one finger of tan head.
Smells like it is infected, or a sour, whichever is your poison. Hope i am not disappointed in this. Not a huge fan of sours, and this smells like that. Distinct sour cherries.
Taste is considerably different from the nose, significantly different. Slight bourbon, nice oak, nice barleywine...just the tiniest hint of sour...just enough to make it interesting. Barely present.
Oddly enough, as it sits here, the nose has pulled chameleon on me, canít say I have had a beer like this...as the head goes down, the sour nose is completely gone... Now the nose is bourbon and oak...quick swirl, and sour dominates again.
Transformer beers are awesome! Lol.
corby112 (2214) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 16, 2012
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours a hazy dark plum color with a half finger light beige head that quickly settles into a thin ring. †Minimal spotty lacing.
Sweet, slightly boozy aroma with a decent barrel presence countered by leathery malt, toffe and dark fruit. †Hints of dry oak, bourbon, vanilla and spice followed by notes of dark cherry, †plum and grape.
Medium bodied with a strong barrel presence that slightly overpowers the other notes. †Lots of dry oak and alcohol flavor but not much heat, vanilla or sweet bourbon. †Could use more body and bourbon flavor. The barleywine †flavor is overpowered with subtle leathery malt, toffee and caramel and thereís also a strong dark fruit presence. †Becomes more complex but as it warms but is still lacking in bourbon flavor. †It is becoming more dry and spicy but still not balanced enough.
Thorpe429 (4968) - , Illinois, USA - DEC 1, 2010
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Thanks to psiweaver and hopsbreath for getting me out bottles of this.
A: Pours a moderate mahogany with a nice tan head and very minimal lacing.
S: Not too much going on here considering how much really should be going on here. A bit of the Brett comes through along with a bit of malt, but not much bourbon.
T: Brett comes in a bit, as does the malt. Again, not too much--if any--bourbon character. Not sure if this just isnít well balanced in general, or if itís at that point of limbo where the Brett is starting but hasnít brought through enough character to really carry the beer.
M: A bit dry and a bit hot. Fairly thick.
D: Fairly low. I just canít figure out where this one is going. Luckily Iíve got more to cellar, so Iím thinking (or maybe hoping) that Iím just getting to this one at the wrong time in itís development. Looking forward to revisiting this.
Serving type: bottle
Reviewed on: 09-05-2010
FlacoAlto (3737) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - AUG 27, 2010
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
A solid pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a two-finger thick, nicely amber tinged, dark tan colored head. The beer is a dark, concentrated amber color that shows brighter red with flashes of ruby when held up to the light (it also seems to have a touch of haze to it too). Buttery oak aromas mix with mellow funkiness to produce a note reminiscent of overly ripe cheese. Aromas of up front vanillin meld into notes of tart fruit towards the finish; reminds me somewhat of plums and red grapes, or really more of a current like note; if you really dig for it a sort of overly ripe fruit character is noticeable at times, at others I get hints of star-fruit. Big rich aromas of toasted coconut add a sort of candy / dessert like quality to the middle and mixes in seamlessly with the vanillin notes. It is interesting how the varies between smelling of light tart fruit and like very well integrated Bourbon character. The base beer really plays a secondary role in the nose; really only the malt is subtly noticeable with a rich caramel character and some accentuating toasted malt character.
My first sip is sweetish tasting, but quite a bit lighter bodied and drying than the base beer is. The Bourbon barrel at first provides flavors of toasted coconut and vanilling, but finishes with a woody spiciness as well as some oak character that accentuates a warming in the finish. Other flavors of brown sugar baked nuts. Hmm, the finish just had a very strong, really funky Brettanomyces induced flavor that reminded me of a cross between rotting fruit and cheese that is way past its prime; this really dirty foot like note sort of snuck up on me and, completely unprepared for it, it actually had me shudder in revulsion a bit (mostly because it was so out of place with the Bourbon and Barleywine flavors). Fruit flavors of not quite raisins, perhaps some rustic fig notes, tart reduced plum compote and perhaps even some notes similar to quince paste are each subtly noticeable underneath the more dominant Barrel character. The beer has a herbaceous bitterness to it in the finish that was not at first noticed as it was hiding underneath the spicy oak and alcohol notes. Perhaps a touch of cocoa character is contributed by the malt as well as some concentrated brown sugar crustiness and dark, whole grain, molasses influenced bread character.
This is definitely an interesting and complex beer. It is not as Brettanomyces influenced as I was expecting, and even the tartness is a by-product of the Bourbon barrel more than it is from a wild influence. To be honest there isnít enough different from a beer that just didnít age all that well during its time in the barrel; the Brett character really needs to be a lot more distinct and interesting before I would consider this a unique experience. Not bad, but just doesnít resonate; the flavors are actually fairly nice, it just seems to lack a bit in the richness department that it needs to stand up to the barrel influence.
jrallen34 (3478) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 30, 2011
3.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle provided by Agentzero, drank from a perfect pint glass...Medium to dark brown pour, lots of amber though. The head is ok, not much to talk about...The nose is caramel, brown sugar, oak and brett. The brett doesnít add anything to this, seems too forced...The taste is not that good, molasses, burnt sugar and brett. Alex kept saying Dr. Pepper, I get that in terms of the sweet notes. Reminds me of Jackie Oís captain barley heart, this is just not as successfully done. Leave the brett out of barleywines, at this one, because it doesnít enhance the experience. Skip.
Huhzubendah (2228) - Washington DC, USA - AUG 3, 2012
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle shared with Matt, courtesy of Thorpe429. Thanks Mike!
A: Hazy, reddish brown color with very little head. The head hastily withers to a thin, wispy layer and leaves virtually no lacing.
S: Sweet malts, toffee, alcohol, an atypical scent that must be brettanomyces. I am quite unfamiliar with brett in this context, and find this beer quite intriguing.
T: The beer is decent tasting. The flavor is unusual, but not off-putting, like I feared. Of course, itís malt heavy with some nice toffee notes. Bourbon comes through in the finish.
M: Medium bodied with fairly low carbonation and warming alcohol in the finish.
D: A fun and interesting beer. Iíd have this again. This is a good bottle to share a few ways.
Serving type: bottle
Reviewed on: 01-02-2011
Fratto (2504) - Arlington, Texas, USA - MAR 10, 2012
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle shared at the RBWG in Austin. Dark pour with a tan head. Aroma is wood spice, alcohol, and a little funky yeast. Taste is malty, musty dark fruit, and a ton of wood, light caramel, and alcohol.
brokensail (9828) - Orange County, California, USA - FEB 8, 2011
2.1 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
A: The beer pours an opaque mahogany color with almost no head whatsoever. Just some tan foam that forms with the vigor of the pour.
S: Butter? Yes, definitely butter on the nose with some sweet vanilla and butterscotch. Some toffee, bourbon, and oak are there and there are some undertones of tart fruits, specifically sour cherries.
T: The tart fruit flavors are a bit more noticeable here on the palate. Seems to be mostly sour cherries and plums for the most part. Definitely some caramel and toffee with less butter than was evident on the aroma. Certain some bourbon, vanilla, and oak, too.
M: The body is medium with a low to moderate carbonation and an alcoholic warmth/burn.
D: Too bad this beer has gone down this road because the "regular" bourbon barrel aged one is quite good. Seems that the bugs that were "added" to this beer have really begun to take over.