JFGrind (1799) - Glenside, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 8, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Silver Foil - 750 ml. A fellow homebrewer was kind enough to share a bottle at the last G.L.U.B. Club homebrewers meeting. He picked up two bottles while recently visting Pizza Port. I know this sample may be a bit "green" but I could not turn down the oppurtunity to sample Cuvee de Tomme. Sour cherry aroma, sweet-tart flavors of wine grapes, lambic, and yeast. Appearance resembles Juicy Juice in my glass. Enjoyable complex ale from Pizza Port.
ClarkVV (3742) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - FEB 3, 2005
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: FEB 15, 2006 2003 Silver Foil Sampled Feb í05. Thanks to who else, Eyedrinkale.
Fantastic pour and aroma, all that you would expect from a top notch Flemish sour. Bright, yet deep, cherry-mahogany brown, hazy and thick, with highlights running the spectrum from light yellow to deep burgundy-brown. Small light beige colored head and an aroma that is near perfect in my books.
Fresh squeezed tart cherry juice mixes perfectly and stunningly with ample funky Brett notes. Sour oak hides in the background with a touch of candi sugar-like residual sweetness. Powerful and unrelenting, I can smell this small sample as strong as ever from the first sip to the last drop.
Flavor begins with tart Brett notes, sour and fruity, with plenty of acidity nipping at the palate. Cherries, light brown malts and a touch of earthy/wood-like notes. My only complaints come from the finish. Rastacouere calls it "sticky" but it is more than the mouthfeel that irks me. It has a bit of a stale or overly dry, nutty, lightly astringent (though not bitter, just bland and drying) note. My best guess would be that there was a large amount of yeast in my sample, as I do belive I got a pour from towards the end of the bottle. Wonít hold it against the beer as the rest is done spectacularly.
Perfect, light and tingly carbonation, with a soothing, oily texture. Instantly one of my new favorites. Itís like everything that is good about beer mixed with everything good about wine. 10/5/9/4/18
Black label bottle consumed on 7/3/2005. Fine bubbles create a lasting, light-tan head, quite dense and very large. Deep, deep mahogany colored body is well-unfiltered. Plenty of lacing coats the glass. Smells of oak, cherry, chocolate. Dry, lightly sharp oak tones challenge the nostrils. Light hints of brett in the background create a pleasing interest. Bits of balsamic vinegar in the nose as well. Flavor begins, up front, with a big complex burst of raspberries, cherries, chocolate liqueur and whiskey. Sharp and highly tannic. Mouthfeel has low, tingly carbonation with some wateriness. Quite acidic. Tastes like a hint of cabernet when chilled, but after it warms and breathes, the whiskey takes over in the nose and flavor, leaving a burning, acidic finish. Some alcohol and light cocoa beans, with light earth tones. Too much whiskey for me, though. Iíll gladly take the older vintages. 9/5/8/3/15
2003 Red Foil from the generous JCW Shared with SuIIy on 2/9/06. Pretty much pure perfection in a bottle. Hard yet simple to describe. Thick cherries, wonderfully balancing brett, vinegar, sweet chocolate malts, drying oak. Perfect mouthfeel, finely bubbled, tight carbonation, strong aroma, lacing, great retention on head, no alcohol apparency. Get where itís going? 5.0
papajohn (1248) - San Diego (Mira Mesa), California, USA - JAN 31, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: NOV 25, 2007 On tap@Oíbrienís: Dark burgundy color, no head. Dark fruit (black cherry) aroma. Flavor is merlot like, tart black cherry, syrupy with a lightly sour finish. Palate is smooth. WOW, an amazing brew from the genius of "The Tomme Arthur".
MI2CA (1340) - Noblesville, Indiana, USA - JAN 31, 2005
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
on draft at OíBrienís - Strong smell of cherry and a hint of red wine. No head. Dark brown with a slight red tint. Taste is wonderful, cherry, malt, port wine. Lingering aftertaste sticks to your throat. Very tasty and gets me excited for a bottle after it ages.
muzzlehatch (4424) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - JAN 24, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
750 ml, silver foil, drunkenly slurped with MartinT, tiggmtl and Rastacouere. Dirty, thick brown with no head...bit malty sour cherry nose, sweet thick and minty with some wood and alcohol noticeable...gorgeous alcoholic cognac-cherry liqueur on the tongue, sticky and thick with maybe a little too much alcohol...very pleasant super-Flemish sour though I think not exactly my thing...still, the work of a master, original brewer.
tiggmtl (4548) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JAN 24, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Silver foil version: Thick and chewy aroma offers earthy cherries with a musky, sweaty, herbal, woody, tart, brett character. Muddy brown with ruby tones and a tiny ring of white head. Flavour comprises cherries, nut-meat, herbal woodiness, alcohol, and mixed spices. Syrupy and sticky with plenty of alcohol warming. Very enjoyable though perhaps not up to the hype I had built for it in my expectations. Bottle enjoyed with MartinT, muzzlehatch and Rastacouere.
Rastacouere (6107) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 24, 2005
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JAN 27, 2005 Silver foil. Not much head, looks like quelque chose and the aroma has some common notes too. Muddy brown with bold reddish reflects. Although itís totally unique, Iíd compare it to an oerbier reserva. It has an appealing earthy cherries aroma that lets you know from the smell itís gonna be thick. Leafy, heavy vinous, airy, bitter, sweet licorice, leather and various brett tangles. Enjoyable aroma, at the limit of 8 and 9 for me, but the taste is even more so. Extremely vinous, working wonders with a sharp cheddar as I imagine it with plenty of cinammon, I could imagine mulling this. Sharp and strong herbal character, rhubard, star anise, cloves. Never feels like 11.5%.. Maple, flowers, chocolate, meat, caramel, mud, ashes etc... Liquorous texture, very syrupy, not quite still, but definitely particularly lightly carbonated. Surprisingly never too sweet, warming and drying out. A sensory overload. I plead guilty to still expecting it to be better though as Iíve been hunting that one since it had less than 10 ratings. Thanks Eyechartbrew!
arjoseph (634) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 20, 2005
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAY 12, 2008 Updated Rating: 9/3/9/4/18=4.3. First Russian River bottling (the black label one), bought at PP Solana Beach in summer of 2005. Drank this in celebration of graduating law school. Pours a muddy thin brown with a thin fizzy yellow-tan head. Smells: succulent cherries enrobed in vinous alcohol is the first impression; further smells (and there were many) show cherry-skin and other fleshy, resiny fruit notes (white grapes, sour apple sawdust); vanilla oakiness is omnipresent. Smells refined and delicate, intense and well-defined in a way that other intense smells arenít--it doesnít hit you over the head with itís awesomeness, which makes it more awesome. Taste belies strong notes of vinous alcohol. Wood and tartness are the first wave. Finish has two layers at first: initially, an almost lactic sweetness swadled in bright cherry; then, very dry, fleshy vines and a resurgent oak quality. Further sips are a crap shoot as to which qualities in this complex beer take the fore: sometimes a semi-sweet chocolate coating bright cherries, which makes this feel almost full-bodied; sometimes the alcohol and a dry vanilla oakiness over almost plumy portish notes; sometimes, rootsy eggplant-cum-leek-cum-anise bite at the end of harsh warming alcohol. This is so unique and classy, you have to love it. Still, sometimes the alcohol predominated a little for my tastes, which dropped my re-rate a little lower. Iím keeping my original score, however, since I donít know if I handled the bottle as well as I could have over the years; the scores for attributes are a blend of my original and more recent ratings. Wonderful beer. Iím glad I saved it for a special occassion.
Original Rating: 8/5/9/5/17=4.4. GABF 2004. One of the great spectacles at GABF were the ubiquitous debates about "beer of the festival," of course including the beers youíve had on the side at private tastings (the 1984 Samiclaus or whatever). This was like the "had to mention" beer. Not everyone listed it as their favorite, but if you didnít, you almost had to justify why. It was in my top 3. Anyway, cherries like a mo-fo all around this piece, in the nose and on the initial taste especially. Mixed with the initial burst of acidity was an undertone of not-bitter hops (nice complexity); the fruitiness blended with a soft earthiness that didnít detract from the crispness of the mouthfeel. Red-brown in the cup, light brown head. Perfect balance.
SG (465) - Valley Center, California, USA - JAN 5, 2005
4.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 20/20
Silver foil. Bought in 2003 so this is from 2002 or 2003. Dark red hue with absolutely no head. Strong vinegar nose, a little oak hit, and old cherries. Has the velvety mouthfeel of wine with basically no effervescence. Amazing complexity. Cherry, tartness, oak, vinegar, and just plain good stuff. A little sweet/sugary hit as well; this could use five more years in the closet and still be amazing. Still, absolutely fantastic and original.
HoppyBunny (88) - Temptation, Michigan, USA - JAN 3, 2005
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours dark ruby red in color, with no head. Very sweet, tart in flavor. Huge cherries taste along with that chewy sweet tart flavor. Incredible. I love those candies therefore, I could drink this all day.