TAR (2514) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - JUL 28, 2005
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Auburn in color. Dense off-white froth. Small rocks form as it settles. Musty stone, iron, medicine, red licorice, and sun-dried cherry aromatics. Beautifully integrated earthy husk whiff. Lush, palate filling carbonation. Quite dense. Sharply sour cherry-flavored explosion with secondary notes of shoe polish and strident medicine. Zingy, irony, and well rounded. Sassy brett pairs up with the pristinely attenuated body to prolong the tartness. Lurking, complementary mineral harshness and firm, but dainty, cedar. Finespun, understated oak-derived tannins mesh effortlessly with the brett laced briskness whilst brightly tart sour cherries continue to ride an earthy husk and clingy medicinal wave. Light candied malt sweetness enhances the acidity. Finishes moistly full, but equally dry with a low-toned woody graze amid invigorating aniseed and cedar exhales, as earthy husks deflect the ensuing leather and fully sustained acetic-tinged tartness. Absolutely stunning. If the aroma, alone, doesn’t inspire you, nothing will. Note: Although the malt doesn’t really thrive until it warms up, the body does become less dense and the acidity declines as it warms, so I recommend drinking this heavily chilled.
matta (1140) - Tampa, Florida, USA - JUL 26, 2005
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
There was no bluster when Shelton said that they believed to have found one of the best Sour Red’s in the world!
The beers packaging is beautiful… and then I find that the fluid within is a blessing from the gods! I must make an attempt at description…. as any fine disciple would do!
The body is crimson with edges of glowing garnet. The head is rocky with a natural khaki existence. Boldly sour yet arousingly sweet aromas bite at my nose… my olfactory is at attention! Vinous flavors of sour cherries lay within the depth of the oak. Mosaic flavors of fruits are radiant: green apple, key lime, cumquat and pineapple induce the supernatural. The darkened tanned crust from raspberry pie. Fresh grape juice melded with oaked balsamic vinegar…. cracked black pepper corn… where does the mysterious bitter sweetness come from…. Is this Bordeaux blended with Gueuze? The depth.. notes of leather from a worn horse saddle… a tray of rotting blackberries… it’s so tasty that it’s almost contrived! The palate is oily yet leaves a bittering sweet and sour burst in at the finish… Sensational! A most Marvelous beer... the beer of My dreams! I can’t wait for the circumstance to open another bottle! I will wait everyday in anticipation! My New Favorite Beer!!!!
-- I become such a tool when it comes to good beer!
TheBeerGod (5314) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - JUL 24, 2005
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. Courtesy of ClarkVV!! Bottled in 2005. Opaque ruby with a foamy khaki colored head. Nose is knockout! Sour fruit, wood, balsamic vinegar, mild earthy notes, damp basement, and an almost Sour Patch Kid candy-like note. There’s a mild sweetness that conjures that thought. Taste is very tart and bordering on Cantillon sour. Mild sugar notes, wood, citrus fruits, faint yeast notes, lighter vinaigrette dressing, sour berries and thinned lactic sourness (watery sour milk). Body is tart and acidic and Sahara desert dry. Mild carbonation feel. Light-medium overall. Finishes with bigger tart fruits, light yeast, wood, lighter earthiness and balsamic notes. A phenomenal Flemish sour. More stuff from Italy should be this good.
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - JUL 20, 2005
4.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Big thanks to jimmack04 for the bottle via our recent trade. <br/ ><br/ >It is funny when you think about it; I read a web site on the internet(s) that is all about beer. And on this site there are a multitude of people that will gladly send you a bottle of something that you yearn to try in exchange for a bottle of something that they in turn yearn to try. My most recent hankering was for this strange beer from Italy. A Sour Flanders style ale from Italy?!? Seriously?!!!? Yes indeed! My favorite style, if forced to pick one, waffles from Barley Wine to Gueuze to Flemish Sour and back again. It is mainly a seasonal affair. Well it looks as if it is time to iterate from position 2 to 3 (or 1 to 2 if you are a programmer geek). <br/ >
This beer looks so damn fine in the glass. Murky brown red with one of the finest heads I have seen. It starts out quite large then whittles down to a small light tan sheet that lasts forever. The lacing is so lovely. The aroma is nice but neither huge nor terribly complex. Vinegar, cherries, light sourness, and some spicy yeast. Onto the flavor, wow this is where things really pick up. For the complexity that is lacking in the aroma the flavor makes up for it in spades: a huge explosion of tart cherry, balsamic vinegar, wood, tobacco, even some cocoa. The sourness is perfect and it is one of the most refreshing beers I have had. Lovely palate: medium textured, mostly attenuated but some sweetness to keep things moving. <br/ >
The comparisons to La Foile or Rodenbach are inevitable. For me La Foile is one of the best beers I have ever had. The Rodenbach Grand Cru is good but killing yeast outside of one’s gullet is a sin. This one deserves to be in that company but falls a tad short of the La Foile, especially in the aroma. I am just not picking up the complexities that others have mentioned.
<br/ > Postscript: I find it encouraging that some of the best beers of this style in the world are brewed in the US and Italy. Maybe we will start seeing more examples. Fingers crossed.
<br/ > Postscript Postscript: If you do not like sour beer then either: 1) Don’t bother with this beer or 2) Open your mind and try it. Lots of people find bitter flavors very offensive but yet learn to love lupulin.
DragonStout (1408) - Pickerington, Ohio, USA - JUL 19, 2005
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Poured brown with a small head.Has sour fruit, wood and vanilla on the nose.Tastes of sour cherry and the wood definately comes out.The finish is where i seemed to taste the vanilla.
CapFlu (4588) - Victoria, British Columbia, CANADA - JUL 19, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUL 20, 2005 (750ml bottle) Sampled at the Belgium Comes To Cooperstown 2005 in Cooperstown, NY. Pours a fully dissipating yellow head with a clear mahogany body. Sour-ass cherries, Unreal tartness, grapeseed and red wine vinegar. Outstanding stuff. I would love to store a dozen bottles of this away for a couple of years!
ClarkVV (3892) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 18, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
750mL bottle from Julio’s in Westboro. 2005 vintage consumed on 7/7/05. It’s really encouraging to see a beer from Italy achieve this level of quality. The 8% abv is perfectly hidden and I think the best part of this beer is a combination of the balance, unpasteurised/unfiltered character and the correct attenuation for the style. Still, I’ll take a La Folie or a Special Brouwsel, but this could be a little young yet and could gain some interesting character with age. Great stuff. I’d write more, but I already wrote an article, so by all means give it a read and let me know what you think. Here’s the <a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Beer-News/Article-517
rudolf (2342) - Buffalo, New York, USA - JUL 17, 2005
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: AUG 17, 2005 US version @ BCTC. Oakey red nose - rich funky & floral. Very tart cherries. Somewhat balsamic. Oakey tart cherry finish.
egajdzis (5384) - Spring Mount, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 17, 2005
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Poured a reddish brown color with a small, off white head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of chocolate, sour cherries, wood, and caramel malts. Taste of wood, nuts, tart cherries, and finished very dry.
Lou18 (1353) - West Paterson, New Jersey, USA - JUL 15, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
This is for Miabock. 2005 bottle poured a cloudy brown body off white head. Nose was all over. Cherries and fruit, and vanilla with wood earth, and citrus. The taste was, well, sour with lots mixed in. Sour, sour, tart, dry, sour. Pucker pucker. Way tart for this boy. Damn.