FlacoAlto (3810) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - AUG 9, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Sampled March 2014
A careful pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces a four-finger thick, light amber tinged, dark tan colored head that quickly threatens to overflow my glass (so I end up sucking some foam for a bit). The beer is a dark, concentrated amber / concentrated brown color that shows a brilliantly clear, deep cranberry / ruby hue when held up to the light. The aroma has a tart, uber-berry like aroma to it that reminds me of cranberries, and gooseberries. This is backed by a lightly noticeable, whole grain cracker like maltiness, and a bit of whole grain toast. There is an earthy, somewhat musty note to the aroma that gets wrapped up in a spicy black pepper like note, perhaps a hint of anise, and perhaps a bit of ginger like character. The aroma is perhaps a touch balanced towards the sweet / floral side of things, but keeps things just enough balanced with other notes that it does not seem cloying.
The beer is lightly tart and quite light bodied, which makes for an extremely quaffable beer. The tartness plays up a berry like fruitiness that is more nondescript than distinctive an any particular berry, and there is also a touch of toasted, perhaps even roasted, whole grain bread character towards the finish. The finish has an herbal character to it that is not quite spicy, not quite bitter, and not quite woody, but definitely there and it lingers on for quite some time. Touches of anise, perhaps some grassy notes, a bit of green pepper, some not quite ripe ginger, and a phenolic spiciness that leans towards clove. The herbal / grassy character becomes more prominent as the beer warms up, and I could see this being a bit much for some. The beer is quite dry tasting, with very little residual sweetness left, though there is just a touch of viscous body here, as it does not seem overly thin.
An interesting beer, the heather certainly brings another dimension to this brew & it comes out in a way that I was not expecting.
DuffMan (7030) - the land of bitumen, beef & beer, Alberta, CANADA - MAY 12, 2014
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle, shared at game night. Extremely foamy, overcarbonated pour, nearly a gucher. Dark brown body. Low aroma of estery caramel. Thin caramel palate, moderate yeast that is perhaps a bit spicy, with a lightly medicinal quality. Low bitterness. Thin in the body, not much going on. When I read the label I was hoping for something interesting and complex. Disappointing.
5000 (6299) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - MAY 8, 2014
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle:   Really foamy, dark chestnut color.   A very herbal beer, a it barnish, a touch of pencil shavings.   Not as spicy as I was hoping it would be.   Has a bit of ash and perhaps old plums on the backside.   Decent beer, interesting, but comes across as a touch stale in its spiciness.   Could have been brighter.