FlacoAlto (4045) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - OCT 14, 2010
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
5.5%, 2010 Bottling; Sampled October 2010
A vigorous pour fills my 25cl tulip glass to the rim with an amber tinged, tan colored head. The beer is a deep red color that shows an almost clear, cranberry red color when held up to the light. The aroma smells of richly caramelized sugars, a wisp of smokiness, brown-sugar coated toasty grain and a sourness. The end has an interesting mix of sourness and almost cinnamon like sweetness that is really quite loud smelling at times. The nose is actually too sweet smelling, it might be able to pull it off if it was a bit more complex. The nose makes me think this is a sweet desert beer of some sort and now I am curious if the flavor follows suit (though I really hope not).
The beer is not nearly as sweet smelling as the nose suggested… and now I get it, that boosted sweetness / spice character in the nose was coming from some barrel aging; ample vanillin and a big toasted coconut flavor sweetly spice the flavor of this beer. This beer does have some sweetness to it, this is evenly balanced by the lactic tartness that is found in this beer. While the sweetness is perhaps a touch to much for my preferences, the tartness is not anywhere near noticeable enough; especially with the big, smooth oak character and supporting sweetness this beer could have used a whole lot more lactic sourness. As with a lot of New Glarus’s beers, this is quite clean and approaches being too simplistic; this can be ok in something like a Pale Ale, but a sour really should have some wildness and funkiness besides the clean lactic character that is in this beer. The combination of the sweetness, the vanillin and the coconut as well as the light tartness makes this beer seem quite fruity tasting; it reminds me of berries, or really cherries (hmm after checking the label there actually are some cherries added to this).
After realizing the oak presence in the flavor, it is now quite apparent in the nose with lots of layered vanillin and a solid, but strikingly fruity coconut character that almost dominates the nose. The body is somewhat full for a beer of this strength, but not overly so, but it definitely clings to the palate a fair amount.
The oak really saves this beer from being overly simplistic and clean. This is a nicely drinkable beer; it is quite approachable and is a great beer for those that are used to the likes of Lindeman’s but are looking for a bit less of the cloying sweetness. While this is not a bad beer I am finding myself deeply disappointed that this beer is not more interesting; it is actually quite surprising how clean this beer is considering the label says that it is spontaneously fermented.
Hair6a11 (1436) - Illinois, USA - OCT 12, 2010
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle: Pours a Clear Amber, with a modest off whitish head. Aroma is distinctly cherry with an interesting hint of oak and caramel. Seems fairly carbonated, mouthfeel is light to medium.This brew is at first cherry with a butter like complexion, coupled with smoked oak, barley, and there is the vanilla, finally. Interesting brew -
HogTownHarry (6371) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - OCT 12, 2010
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
12oz bottle shared with blankboy and garthicus courtesy of JCapriotti. Clear amber, average frothy white head. Smell - mmmmmmm - oak, cherry, mild sweet toasted caramel, just a hint of lemon, mild alcohol - a really simple and deeply appealing aroma. The taste ... so soft, so subtle - cherry, mild green oak - hell, everything’s mild and understated, but it just floats over you palate, leaving a whispery memory of lemon, cherry, caramel, oak and awesomeness. Soft, lightly acidic mouthfeel, mild carbonation, a fantastic tingly light aftertaste. Stunning stuff, so drinkable.
garthicus (2826) - Dublin, IRELAND - OCT 12, 2010
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thanks to HogTownHarry. Appearance: Ruby red, medium white head. Aroma: Lovely sour aroma, tangy, spicy, cloves, cinnamon, cherry. Delicious. Flavour: wow, cherry, pumpkin spices?, wood, cinnamon, lovely sourness, lots of sweetness, slightly tart, beautiful long sweet finish. Awesome.
craftbeerdesign (2254) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - OCT 8, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
12 oz. bottle thanks to Tharreld. Enigma pours a deep red / light brown with ruby highlights and a 1 finger off white head. The nose is full of sour cherries and oak. Medium smooth body with more cherry tartness, vanilla from the barrels, deep wood notes and a slight acidity. Sweet finish with a semi-dry back, more oak and cherry tartness. Overall Enigma is a very nice entry level sour beer that flirts between fruit beer and sour.... this is not really that sour and you don’t pick up the typical lacto bacteria that is present in most sours. It is very enjoyable and drinkable. The use of the oak gives this beer such a solid foundation. Glad I got to have a bottle....
JohnC (3004) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - OCT 4, 2010
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thanks to darklordlager for getting me this beer.
It pours an opaque amber/red color with a small head. The mouthfeel is creamy. It’s a thirstquenching beer with flavors of tart cherries, vanilla and a few other goodies that I can’t quite place.
IMO, this is a very approachable beer that’s complex and very nicely crafted.
juiceisloose (1204) - Windermere, Florida, USA - OCT 1, 2010
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
12 oz bottle courtesy fantomas23. This one pours a mostly cloudy reddish amber color and topped by a smooth head of beige colored foam. The aroma isn’t what I remember from the original version. Notes of sweet-tart cherries, apple cider, spices, and some sweet vanilla from the oak push through in the aroma. A otuch of lactic acidity creeps through as well. The flavor follows suit with the tart cherries and apples up front followed by plenty of spices that suggest at clove and anise. Some lactic yeast pushes through to add some tartness, but clean cereal grain malt and vanilla from the oak add sweetness to the fold. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and some residual sugars that linger in the finish. This version is a little sweet and on the spicy side for me. A little let down from the previous version. Maybe this one still some more time in the bottle.
Kevin (2159) - New Mexico, USA - SEP 30, 2010
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
bottle. pours reddish brown with a thin greyish head. tart aroma with toucheas of pear and cantoulope and brown sugar.taste is at first a tart chery laffy taffy candy with a mild enjoyable banana flavor. some cinnamon in the finish. odd banana and marshmallow note takes over in the finish. cherry and pear flavors keep it up with an emjoyable tart not quite sour flavor . mild hints of toffee pop up and really make this beer.
ucusty (2691) - raleigh, North Carolina, USA - SEP 28, 2010
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Easy drinking beer. Its sister was one of my gateway sours. As far as a review goes what Turd said.....
envane (568) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - SEP 27, 2010
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Hazy reddish amber with a small off-white head. Aroma is oak and cherry. Taste is cherry and oak, with vinegar and lactic tartness. Oily texture.