SamGamgee (2452) - down the whirlpool, California, USA - AUG 23, 2009
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
50cl bottle, thanks to CaptainCougar for hooking it up. Gold color with a big fluffy white head. The aroma pops out with a very brett-in-primary signature fruitiness, with lots of floral brightness as well. Herbal and somewhat phenolic tasting with just a touch of sweetness, some funky dustiness and light bitterness. There is also a juicy, almost pineapple fruitiness that enhances the illusion of a sweeter beer before the dryness of the finish hits you. Pretty light on the tongue with plenty of carbonation. This is pretty nice right now, with a great, bright mix of fruity, spicy, and herbal elements, but I can see it getting great with more time in the bottle.
valpoaj (659) - Valparaiso, Indiana, USA - AUG 23, 2009
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Plan to add to this rating as I try my bottles over time...that being said...initial rating on 8/23/09: Pours a orange-gold color with a miniscule head. Aroma is nicely done...huge floral bouquet and some citrus fruits...good dose of orange emerges, and thereís a lot of herb/spice notes in the background as well...complex yet smooth. Flavor is complex and has a youthful feel to it...Funky brett notes are present throughout, and it does change from sip to sip as it warms slightly. Catching some fruit notes up front that change to leather/blanket with a good dose of spice (pepper). Finishes very dry and lingers, but in a good way. Palate is smooth with a lot of carbonation. I know I keep hearing Orval, and maybe I need to try a couple more Orvals, but this one didnít compare that strongly IMO. Each is a good beer in its own right!
illidurit (2224) - San Francisco, California, USA - AUG 23, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle courtesy of SamGamgee. Poured into a 400 mL goblet. Bright orange gold with a slightly fizzy off white head. Aroma is very orangey, with notes of the drupelets, peels, and oils. Also some light phenolic character and maybe a hint of that chlorinic bretty funk. Super funky taste with pepper, earthy hops, horseblanket, slight orangey fruitiness. I can definitely understand the comparisons to Orval but itís not really really similar or anything. Good candidate for aging, it would be interesting to see where the brett takes this beer over time.
tennisjoel (1191) - Rochester, Minnesota, USA - AUG 20, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Sampled at the Great Taste of the Midwest 2009. I was stoked that this brewery only beer was brought to the event. This really has a lot of Orval like qualities, though not quite as dry. It was a treat and Iím glad I got to try it, as it is doubtful Iíll get down to the brewery to try any.
BDR (2534) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - AUG 19, 2009
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Draft @ New Glarus. Holy crap. I never bothered to read the description. I was surprised to encounter an amazing hop bomb upon trying this. A dry, citrus (orange with a hint of lemon) aroma with just a strong herbal character (almost Italian spices, but nothing comparable to those horrid pizza beers - this is pleasant). The color is amazing, a mildly translucent color with foamy white head. The brett was not at all noticeable in the aroma or and only mildly apparent in the body two months after bottling. I wish Iíd noticed the brett component. Iíd have bought some for aging :(.
sthlm (1240) - Minnesota, USA - AUG 17, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
[Bottle, and on-tap at GTMW í09] Pours slightly hazy golden with a tiny off-white head. Huge aroma that is bursting with lemongrass, sweet tart, citrus, notes of mint and other undefinable herbal qualities. Taste is once again very herbal, with mild bitterness, and a strong underlying maltiness. Medium mouthfeel, with a slightly dry, average length finish. Really interesting, and I have craved this a few times since I have had it. Not surprisingly this was much better on-tap, but I also thought the bottled one was very solid as well. Thanks again, Levi!
That1Guy (2005) - Greeley, Colorado, USA - AUG 17, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Honkeybra gets the credit on this one. One hell of a fucking beer. Smooth, creamy, and buttery. Sweet, honey aroma with an incredibly smooth malt presence with some awesome funk in there, too. Never actually tasted a Belgian ale like this. New flavors abound. I hate to quote a Jew, but as Linda Richmond would say, ďItís like buttah.Ē
jj21 (84) - Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 17, 2009
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours hazy gold with a frothy head that quickly dropped with so-so lacing. Aromas of brett, Belgian spice and some fruit. The brett isnít too pronounced on the palate like a lot of Russian River beers which makes this a bit more refreshing. There is some oakiness on the palate and decent carbonation. Very crisp with green apple tartness.
Think of this as an Orval Jr.
madvike (3033) - Middleton, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 16, 2009
2.6 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 9/20
UPDATED: JUN 23, 2012
500 ml bottle from the brewery - So Iíve had this from a bottle at the brewery and from a bottle at home, and breweryís bottle was much better. I didnít take notes, but I remember the Brett tasting and smelling more like barnyard. Of course, we were drinking it while overlooking the rolling hills and farms of New Glarus, so maybe it was a little real barnyard. But I digress...
From the bottle at home, I got a beautiful pour, al cloudy amber with a creamy, bubbly white head. The first thing my wife said when she smelled it was it smells like a new shower curtain just out of the package. I figured sheíd just never smelled Brett before, but I had to admit she nailed it on the head. Overshadowing some nice floral and yeast smells was a plasticy, manufacturing smell. It was very distracting.
The taste was much better. The shower curtain receded to let through orange and lemon, grass, soap, and earth notes, with a little sourness. The first couple sips had a metallic aftertaste, but that thankfully went away. I liked the hop bite on the finish, and itís very bubbly in the mouth. A bit resiny too.
I had this after I had an Orval, and I have to say Orval cleaned its clock (with the realization that this beer wasnít meant to clone Orval). Iíve got several more of these for the cellar, so weíll see what they do, but overall Iím pretty disappointed.
Update (6/23/12) - So Iíve had this 7-8 times since my initial rating, and Iíve been underwhelmed more often than not. The plasticy brett character always ruins this beer for me, as itís so overbearing so as not to let anything else in. At itís best, itís earthy and smooth, with a nice herbal hoppiness mingling with barnyard funk. But I canít keep the original 3.4 with a clear conscience. I do see, however, that there was a new batch in 2011. Would love to try this so I can compare.
GodOfThunder (1248) - Orlando, Florida, USA - AUG 13, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Thanks to hoppymeal and hopscotch. Clear straw color spicy, minty aroma. Nice fuity and slightly funky flavor.