JCB (3999) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - APR 7, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
375ml bottle from stevefinny on BA - thanks! Dark brown pour with hints of purple at the edges, understated but persistent carbonation and very little retention. Nose is very ripe and tart, difficult to detect many notes that I normally associate with a barleywine but that’s just fine. Plums, dark grapes, wet wood, and young blackberry. Mouthfeel is fuller than I’d have thought, given the appearance, and this allows the lively flavors to come into play enjoyably. Oak and tart flavors come through quite prominently as you get into the tasting, and there are malts that come through a bit as well, along with strong currants. Kinda ends up coming off like Consecration’s little cousin.
bierkoning (9819) - La Tropica, NETHERLANDS - FEB 6, 2011
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle from Secret Santa. Deep dark brown color, almost opague. Grapes and oak in the aroma. Vanilla, roast, oak, apple, grapes and hints of ash in the flavor. tart and fauirly complex. Sweet and completely unnoticeable alcohol. Great beer!
SuperDave (1932) - Beautiful Sunny Mesa, Arizona, USA - JAN 16, 2011
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Deep red brown pour with minimal head. Aroma of sour fruit, malt and chocolate. Flavor is slightly sour, with a lot of fruity and vinous notes, wood and malt. A unique, but nice BW.
corby112 (2214) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 14, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a dark plum/chestnut brown color with a thin beige foam head that had good retention, slowly fading to a lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lacing.
Earthy aroma with lots of oak/wood character as well as plenty of vinous dark fruit, candy sugar and chocolate malt. Hints of grape and other dark berries.
Medium bodied and very well balanced with the dark malt flavor countering the sweet and tart notes. Complex with chocolate malt, vinous dark, oak and vanilla flavors complimenting each other nicely. Hints of grape, currant and other dark berries. A touch too vinous but overall this beer is very flavorful and extremely quaffable.
otakuden (1783) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - DEC 7, 2010
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Appearance: pours a blend of browns, blacks, and burnt mahogany. Little to no apparent carbonation. Deep ruby port glints along the edges. No collar, film, or head with swirls revealing nothing more.
Nose: musty. Raisins, prunes, dates, and brewer’s licorice. Rustic, earthen, and slightly tart prune skins in the back. Burnt woods. Black cake mingles with black strap molasses mingles with a dark oily black essence. Gentle haze of tartness. Slightly oxidized ruby port.
Palate: light, clean, and super tart up front with plum and cherry skins; tannins, too. Plums and cherries are followed by chocolate and fudge which dries the top of my tongue. Brett is fairly dominant though never intrusive. Funk, earth, old wooden barrels, leather, and dust. Sour tingles the sides of tongue with a pleasant addition of cranberries. Amazing. Burnt root and molasses. Flavors are mostly centered in the middle atop my tongue with the sides and back catching shadowy whispers of ruby port, vintage please, and artisanal red wine vinegar. Lovely.
Final Thoughts: from Dolii Raptor to Bran Reserva, Montegioco has definitely made a huge impression. I’ve known for a while that Italy is kicking out some spectacular beers unlike anything anywhere else, drawing influence from American craft and beyond. If this is any indication of their brewing tendencies and skills…may I have another, please.
dcschiller (2201) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - NOV 30, 2010
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
(375ml bottle). Pours dark cola color with thin rand head. Aroma of concord grapes mostly. Taste is semi-sweet with some sourness. There is a malty backbone to this, however. This smells like a sour, but the base beer is still noticeable. Medium to full bodied with a silky mouthfeel. Grapes definitely coming through in the end. One of the more unique beers I’ve had lately. I would get this again.
fiver29 (1025) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - OCT 2, 2010
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle shared by Alan. Thanks! Pours black with tan head. It whisps away quickly. Aroma really picks up the components of the wine well this beer was aged in. I almost thought I was smelling wine, not beer. Interesting. Plum and blackberry comes through. Medium mouthfeel. Flavors are like what I would expect. It really tastes more like a red wine. Without the strong tannins associated with one. But its still got a touch of tannic feel. Very interesting brew.
badnewsbeers (2317) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - SEP 23, 2010
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Black pour with small off-white head. Aroma of blackberry, oak tannins, sour funk, and yeast. Flavor of black cherry pits, caramel, roasted nuts, and oak. Some citrus as well. More of a sour than a barleywine, though the flavor doesn’t quite match or live up to what is expected by its nose
dionysus (1449) - Arizona, USA - SEP 10, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle pours deep brown with a khaki head. Aroma has lactic dark fruit goodness with red grapes, black raspberries, and strangely enough....chocolate. Flavor shows the same with additional oak notes. Overall body is light, somewhat sweet, and the acidity is present yet somewhat flat.
bhensonb (10343) - Woodland, California, USA - SEP 10, 2010
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
333 from Pizza Port Bottle Shop. The plastic bottle cap liner is more 3D than any I’ve ever seen. Pours quite black with a fluffy, bubbly 3/16 inch tan head. It smells like sour wine. Not vinegar. Sour wine. Near full in body with very mild carbonation. The flavor is vinous and sour. Red wine yes. Barbera? It seems too smooth for such a crude wine. Maybe oak aged Barbera (vice E&J Gallo) does become smooth. So barley wine? No way. This is a sour ale. Friggin brilliant. Right in there with Flemish sours. Perhaps a discriminator is that there seems to be a hit of sweet at the end of each sip. Or this may be too complex for my palate. Friggin brilliant!!!!!