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RATINGS: 236   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.62/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
Brown ale with secondary brett fermentation.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
FlacoAlto (4139) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - AUG 25, 2010
A vigorous pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces a four-finger thick, nicely amber tinged, tan colored head. The beer is a dark, concentrated, almost burnt amber color that shows flashes of a brilliantly clear, ruby hue when held up to the light. The head leaves quite a bit of lacing on the sides of my glass and even forms a textured surface as it slowly subsides. The aroma has a buttery tartness to it up front that seems to be mainly contributed by the oak. Specific aromas of some sort of fruity tartness that I can’t quite place, buttery oak notes, a spicy woodiness and a definite spicy oak character (peppery and a touch like Bourbon). Other aromas of light cocoa, toasted grain, rustic brown bread crust and, once you really start to dig for it, ample biscuit malt character and whole grain cracker notes. The nose actually is quite malt driven once you get past the initial oak and funk. Brettanomyces aromatics contribute a soft, musty funkiness that has a hint of muskiness to it; much of the Brett character seems to get muted by the fact that it is competing with all that oak character. The aroma is really quite fruit like, especially as the beer warms; it reminds me of notes of dates, ripe figs, caramelized raisins and perhaps a touch of cherries.

Somewhat sweet tasting, though really this is more a complex, rich malt character that has lots of complex sugars and caramelized notes that aren’t particularly sweet. The body is pretty thick and viscous, a beer to be savored even if it is not overly heavy. In a complete role reversal, the malt character is big enough in the flavor profile that the oak plays a much more subdued role. More subtly oak influenced flavors of barrel spiciness, a malt boosting buttery note and as the beer warms flavors of vanillin and a woody fresh sawed quality. Malt influenced flavors of caramelized brown bread crust, touches of molasses, ample crystal malt, touches of toasted grain husks, really chewy dense whole grain bread crumb and as the beer warms more lightly roasted malt character that can contribute significantly at times. The oak also seems to accentuate a spicy, warm, almost hot alcohol note in the finish (though this is a 10% alcohol beer too). As the beer warms up the otherwise very missed Brett character starts to contribute a funky cheesy quality to this brew as well as touches of foot funk, barnyard musk and evne a touch of light tartness noticeable just underneath the malt. An ample fruitiness contributes notes of rich, though not sweet, raisins, earthy figs and a big note that reminds me a lot of dates.

I had forgotten that this was only a Brettanomyces beer, for some reason I was expecting a sour; this is definitely not a sour beer, but it has definitely pleasantly surprised me none-the-less. With the ample fruitiness this reminds me of some sort of dark, barrel aged, Belgian’ish Strong Ale. The Brettanomyces is fairly subdued at this point and could almost, though not quite, be attributable to a funky Saccharomyces strain. The oak can be a bit too much in the aroma at times, but the balance of the flavor definitely makes up for this. Perhaps a warning to those that are planning on holding on to bottles of this, it is already approaching excessive carbonation and with all the body / residual sugars that are left in this beer it will only get more so (Brett is funny that way); watch out this might get explosive in a year or so.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
bhensonb (13982) - Woodland, California, USA - AUG 24, 2010
Bottle from notalush. Pours dark brown with a creamy tan head. Smells lightly of sour and chocolate. Medium body with moderate carbonation. Flavor is sour and chocolate. Weird - but it truly works. Thought it would finish sour and chocolate. And there is a firm oak background. It developed fruit. Ever more complex. And the "chocolate" fades into earthy, sour, oak in the finish.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
marcus (9012) - Sacramento, California, USA - AUG 23, 2010
Bottle shared by bhensonb. Pours brown with a rich tan head and a sour aroma. There is a musty carbonated chocolate flavor with some cherry, pineapple and a slightly bitter oaky finish. Very complex and delicious. This is not a standard sour brown.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
FROTHINGSLOSH (6621) - GREENSBURG, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 21, 2010
From the Rare Beer Club. Sampled from a 750 ml corked brown bottle this beer poured a very dark brown color with a large creamy tan head that lingered and produced great lacing. The aroma was sour and tart with notes of bourbon, raisin, wood, cocoa and port wine. The flavor was tart, sour and bitter with notes of cherry, lemon, raisin, port wine, wood and brett. A bit too boozy. The finish was very long and tart with notes of sweet malts, bourbon, raisin, port wine and wood lingering. Fairly full bodied. Exceptional.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
stobbe74 (3789) - DENMARK - AUG 20, 2010
Bottle. Pours a clear and dark burgundy beer with an offwhite head. The aroma is malt, caramel, tobacco, vanilla, yeast and fruit. The flavor is malt, fruit, yeast and cherries. The palate is slight alcoholwarmth. Overall a really good beer but with a high level of alcohol.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
RCL (2030) - Waltham, Massachusetts, USA - AUG 19, 2010
Light sour caramel and cocoa aromas. Flavor is lightly tart and chocolatey with a very smooth mouthfeel on the palate.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
fonefan (43533) - VestJylland, DENMARK - AUG 18, 2010

Bottle 750ml.

Clear dark brown color with a average to large, frothy, good lacing, fully lasting, off-white head. Aroma is moderate to heavy malty, roasted, chocolate, nutty, wood oak, bretty. Flavor is moderate to heavy sweet and heavy bitter with a long duration, alcohol, dark caramel, oak, brett, chocolate, vanilla. Body is medium, texture is oily, carbonation is soft, finish feel is light to moderate alcoholic. [20100805]

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
scoth (664) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - AUG 16, 2010
Pours dark cherry brown, inky in the glass, with a thick tan head, fine clinging lacing. Aromas of hay, grass, with farmyard notes, toast, toffee, figs, cherry, and wood. Medium body, velvety, crisp, tart, lightly dry. Mildly sweet up front, then medium sourness, with some lingering tartness and a light bitterness in the finish. A nicely done brett, deep, complex, and not over-the-top sour.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
NoiZe (2323) - Zeist, NETHERLANDS - AUG 16, 2010
Had this one at the UDRBM, 31-07-2010. Brown colored brew. Sour, brett aroma. Flavor is sour, some malts. Not bad, not outstanding.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Hophead22 (2879) - Redlands, by way of Wisconsin,, California, USA - AUG 15, 2010
750ml bottle from two sources, BlackForestCO (thanks Jake, your bottle is still unopened) and Sam from H24, thanks for bringing this to our fantasy football draft. Rating #87. Pours a super dense dark brow with a thin light tan head full of tight tiny bubbles. Slight hard candy sweet aroma, light sourness and a toasty underlying scent that was hard to pin down, very interesting. Light tartness, but very silky at the same time, light carbonation and more of sweet toasty malt that I got in the aroma, not bad. (1349)

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