FlacoAlto (3810) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - OCT 15, 2010
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Brewed 1.18.10, Bottled 8.6.10
A soft pour produces a fat-two-finger thick, nicely tan colored head. The beer is a deep, dark red color that shows a brilliantly clear, cranberry red color when held up to the light. The aroma smells lightly of tart cherries and a touch of cranberries (or is that just the color influencing me) up front. A lingering exploration yields a lactic sourness and a soft, spicy Bourbon / oak note. Interestingly enough this has quite a bit of toasted character; is it malt or oak toast though, it comes off more as being malt derived, but in thinking about it more it is definitely the toasted oak. There is definitely lots of oak and wood character, but I like that the cherries are expressive up front and then again in a long finishing aromatic note. As my nose gets used to this beer a much more expressive vanillin character starts to come out, at times it can even remind me of lightly toasted coconut. Towards the end of this beer the vanillin / coconut character even becomes the most dominant note.
This still has some residual sugars in it that adds a soft sweetness. Up front this has a nice lactic tartness to it, which accentuates the cherry notes. This then moves into a vanillin laden, fruity Bourbon-leaning, and lightly spicy oak finish. There is a lot going on in this beer and it is quite well balanced. I am definitely enjoying this a bit more than I was expecting. Up front the carbonation adds to the percieved tartness with some carbonic acid. The texture is a bit fizzy, though it is not aggressively carbonated. The beer is light leaning, but does have a mediumíish texture to it that lightly clings to the palate. I really like how the cherry flavors intermingle with the rich vanillin notes from barrels, this works together really well. It is also quite nice that the oak and Bourbon character is not too overwhelming for this beer; especially in a beer of this relatively low strength. Toasted coconut starts to come out in the flavor after a bit and becomes a significant contributor to the flavor of the finish.
This beer is quite nice. It is much better than I was expecting for some reason and even the light sweetness works well here. In fact, without it, this beer would be unbalanced as the Bourbon and oak character wouldnít work nearly as well as it does. My biggest complaint is that the base beer and the fermentation character really doesnít play much of a role here; the Bourbon barrel and oak play first billing, and the cherries play a significant role as well, but the base beer plays hardly even a supporting role here. The base beer contributes some soft lactic tartness, perhaps a hint of maltiness in the middle and not much else. Still the flavors that are here are quite enjoyable and balanced between themselves.
daknole (9127) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - OCT 14, 2010
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
LCBS 2010. Reddish pour. Cherries and bourbon. Funk and fruit. Flavor is all cherries, bourbon, oak, and some interesting earthy funk. Delicious.
blutt59 (6020) - Dallas, Texas, USA - OCT 14, 2010
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
bottle, thanks to thirdeye11, copper brown in color with a cherry and caramel toffee aroma, flavor of creamy butterscotch, cherry chocolates, tootsie rolls, bourbon, lasting finish
kbutler1 (1351) - Minnesota, USA - OCT 9, 2010
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle. Clear reddish copper orange color with an of white collared head. Slightly funky brett aroma mixed with sweet/tart cherries along with the bourbon oak notes with a hint of rarity. Light mouthfeel with some good carbonation. To me this has a nice complex and layered taste. The initial and easiest flavor to pick out is the cherries, I mean, letís be honest, New Glarus KNOWS how to make fruit beers and this one is no different. Besides the cherry goodness, there is a really nice blend of vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Not really overaly sour by any means at all and I wonder how time will treat this bottles. Really a good beer that I suggest people try. Very drinkable.
kmweaver (3207) - Petaluma, California, USA - OCT 8, 2010
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
500mL bottle, courtesy of MrPickles. Thanks, Andy! Pours a deep, orange-ruby color with high clarity, light effervescence; creamy, fine-bubbled light-tan head with great retention and lacing (not surprised); beautiful pour. Aroma shows huge amounts of slightly overripe cherries and vanilla notes, in a way very similar to Enigma and their other barrel-aged offerings: warming (not in an alcohol sense), effusive barrel notes with nothing close to rough here; the bourbon presence is very quiet, just appearing as a very slight sour-mash edge; rounded, highly expressive; even some hints of cinnamon coming through. Medium body; medium carbonation; velvety on the palate; moderate levels of acidity, and a mild tartness (certainly not talking Cantillon-like levels of forwardness here), which isnít really surprising considering New Glarusí level of tartness in the past; lightly tart, overripe cherries mixed with toasty oak and vanilla; the cinnamon is more prominent than in the nose, and the bourbon is amped up just a touch as well: sour-mash, light brushes of alcohol, but overall very smooth and a minor role; the oxidative qualities throughout are pretty pronounced. Very enjoyable overall, and along the same lines as their previous barrel-aged sour-ish renditions. Medium finish of light toastiness and lingering overripe red fruits; balanced, soft toasty finish.
drewbeerme (3879) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - SEP 25, 2010
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
thanks kan. p hazed red wh head n butterscotch cherry vinegar, fl
sweet butterscotchy acidic cherry cough syrupy, odd stuff. iím not digging the bourbon in this one.
beastiefan2k (2440) - Emerald City (formely NYC & KS), Washington, USA - SEP 22, 2010
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
500mL bottle shared by csbosox, thanks Chris. Pours clear but dark cola color. The aroma of the beer goes inline with the other New Glarus fruit brews. Iíll burrow Timís statement to describe the aroma, "vanilla-yeast-fruit." Iíll add "thick" to describe it. Itís strong and good (and very much like Belgian Red). There is sweet vanilla and some light bourbon. Flavor is akin to a thicker Belgian Red with a greater alcoholic bite, presumably from the Bourbon barrel. There is a bit of sourness but sweetness to overtake it. Basically, a Belgian Red from a Bourbon barrel.
RCL (2030) - Waltham, Massachusetts, USA - SEP 22, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
BIG vanilla aroma comes storming out of the glass. I didnít find the cherry character overwhelming - it definitely played second fiddle to the bourbon barrel influence. Creamy, softened acidity with great balance as possessed by all of the R&Dís I have had thus far.
slowrunner77 (3443) - Reno, Nevada, USA - SEP 15, 2010
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
pours brick red. smells of vanilla, sour cherries, oak and malt. nice and complex. tart on the tongue. more oaky than bourbon til itís pretty warm with the funky sour cherries always present. cool, cool beer!
JohnC (3000) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - SEP 11, 2010
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
I had this beer at Orange County Brew Ha Ha in Irvine, CA.
Thanks to Ron B. for sharing
Nicely done combination of tart cherry, sour and barrel aging. Tasty