IMtheOptimator (1164) - Bethel, Connecticut, USA - DEC 31, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JAN 2, 2007 Black label, courtesy of DarkElf. Poured a hazy dark mohagany with a fizzy tan head. Aroma of black cherries, dark fruit, brown sugar, bit of alcohol. Flavor is dry and mildly tart with the cherries presenting themselves first, followed by some maple syrup, dark fruit, yeast, and a bit of alcohol. Not as sour as I thought it would be... instead, the sourness is really more of a strong tartness. However, Iím left wondering if the sourness is supposed to be the lead flavor, a background player, or somewhere in between. A complex and dry beer, but prehaps a bit too yeasty and far removed from the more traditional Belgians Iím used to for me to consider it world class.
StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 21, 2006
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Black label, courtesy of hezron Ė thanks, Nathan! Translucent when put to light, otherwise, itís scarlet chocolate in color with doily lace at the outskirts. Caramelized beets, broiled raisins, stewed prunes, rum almonde and an underlying bittersweet chocolate tingle of Frangelico liquor break the aromatic barrier. Full flavor onslaught kicks in with boiled chocolate and a tart, black licorice hint. Buttery then dry. Wholesome chocolate with bittersweet lactic intonations. Effervescence is dead-on while the chambord accents the body. Balanced yet ripe, with broiled cocoa and prunes meeting aged raisings, giving legs to the dark fruited nature herein. Tiny, dry and bittersweet sourness accents the unrefined cocoa at the outtake, finishing slightly ashen and altogether splendid. Goddamn delicious.
Brigadier (3275) - Clevelandish, Ohio, USA - DEC 18, 2006
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Milwaukee YeHA! 2006
Thanks to hezron for bringing this to the tasting. This started a string of several excellent beers that capped off the night. Unfortunately it also started to unsettle my stomach as well. I guess the average body is not designed to drink so much brett in a single sitting. Anyways, on to the show.
Aroma / Appearance - Cherry, oak, fruity esters and a sour nutty feel complete a very well balanced nose. Unlike some of the earlier beers which just seemed odd with brett, this one fit like a glove. The body poured a deep amber with no carbonation.
Flavor / Palate - A tart sour mouthfeel begins the pleasure. Vinous, it also dries out the mouth at the same time. The finish reminds me of a strong bourbon that warms the palate. It is a great sipping beer - I canít imagine anyone finishing a whole 750 of this on their own. If so, I hope you have ready access to a stomach pump to deal with the consequences.
hezron (611) - Viroqua, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 16, 2006
3.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Black label bottle from cquiroga, thanks man. The aroma is fairly hot,...lots of bourbon a touch of cherries, sweet caramel/toffee and some oak vanilla tannins. Rich ruby red color with a thin head. Flavor is slightly boozy, but in a good way. Initially I taste buttery bourbon and then it changes to sweet, medicinal cherry and a dryish oak finish. Interesting, strong and crazy. Medium-light body, high carbonation. My only complaint is the medicinal/boozy thing.
jasonp (1557) - Ashburn, Virginia, USA - NOV 16, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Sampled at Dutch70ís "Tasting in the Woods, Part Deux". Dark, somewhat clear brown. Aroma of barnyard, acidity and cherries; quite prominent. Has a strong sour rush on the palate with notes of vinegar, barnyard, cherries, fruity acidity, berries, caramel and Sweettarts. Medium bodied with subtle carbonation.
MilkmanDan (1943) - Eagan, Minnesota, USA - NOV 12, 2006
2.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 8/20
Black label version. Very dusty, murky brown. Nose is very tart and vinegary, quite sour. Also herbal and weedy, some sour fruit, smells qutie intriguing. Flavor is agressively not pleasant, extremely acidic and tart, basically tastes like a big glass of balsamic vinegar. Add to that the fact itís undercarbonated and this isnít much fun. Very disappointing.
kmweaver (3207) - Petaluma, California, USA - NOV 9, 2006
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
TITW Part Deux - 750mL bottle (red foil?) courtesy of jeffin7. Thanks, Jeff!! Dark ruby red; large bubble formation at the perimeter. Beautiful aroma: funky cherries, toastiness and vanilla, vinuous (suggesting the dark fruits of a pinot). Nice level of sourness: tart cherries, medium acidity (shows through on the finish), pleasant vanilla and oak. Long vinuous cherry finish. Awesome beer.
TheBeerLover (1026) - DC Metro Area, USA - NOV 5, 2006
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Enjoyed a sample of this one from a 750ml boittle at the Tasting in the Woods Part Deux. This beer was phenomenal. Pours to a deep ruby red to brown color, with a rocky, beige head, and a moderate carbonation. The nose on this beer is fantatic, with lots of big oaky aroma, paired with aroma of sour cherry. The plate is firm on the tongue, with lots of rich malt, paired with wild, yeasty flavors, and flavors of sour cherry. This beer finishes with more complex and delicious flavors of oak, yeast, and cherry, and ends with a refreshing sour cherry flavor that lingers. The ultimate aperitif, or desert beer, this beer is a true master piece of the brewers art.
awaisanen (1304) - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 31, 2006
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: NOV 24, 2007 From a 750mL Bottle, 2003 Vintage. Deep brown, almost blackish pour with a ruddy tinge and a thin white layer of head. Tantalizing, port-like aromas of ripened figs and raisins - very vinous, very sweet, but a smidgen of tart fruitiness at the same time heightens the senses. Some under-ripe raspberries and cherry pits add to the aromatic complexity. Wow, this is a big, rich beer. Full bodied, almost syrupy mouthfeel with a gentle carbonation. The dark fruits and sweet port/sherry like qualities really grabbed me the most in the aroma, but the brett complexities take over on the palate. Red grapes, oak, and leather overwhelm my tongue, creating a rich, powerful balance between vinous, woody, and brett characters. A hint of chocolate, raspberries, more port, and leathery cherry skins all seem to be concentrated in this vinous elixir. Incredibly unique, rich, vinous beer thats equally creative and fantastic.
bumpskier (33) - Sonoma, California, USA - OCT 31, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottled. I had this where it happend to be brewed. A chance offering to share with the departure of a good apprentice.
Wonderful aromas of the oak that it was aged in. So much fuit and sour to appease a yearning palate. Deep notes of color and mouth feel. Rich and complex from the burbon barrel it was aged in. The Brettanomyces catches you immediatly in the nose. Cherries in the mixture make for a kindness to the senses.
Do not be surprised. This aged ale is Sour. Just as was intended.
I canít wait until this years arrives for the public. Tomme says only in So Cal.
I am gonna make the drive. It was everything I had hoped for.