FlacoAlto (4127) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - AUG 9, 2014
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Sampled March 2014
A steady pour into my New Belgium globe glass produces a two finger thick, amber tinged, tan colored head. The beer is a concentrated, amber-tinged, dark brown color that shows a brilliantly clear, rich, concentrated, red hue when held up to the light. As I pour this the aroma smells nicely roasted in character. A closer inspection yields definitely floral notes, and really even rose, backed by a roasted character that leans towards toasted / roasted nuts, and toasted whole grain, rustic bread crust. As the beer warms up the rose character comes out more with ample floral notes, lots of floral spiciness, and petal like herbal character. A distinct, smooth, and at times rich, chocolate character is noticeable as the beer warms up as well.
The beer has a fruitiness up front that leans towards berry character; this is clearly brought out by the rose character. The middle gets a soft tartness to it that firms up a bit towards the finish were it lingers just a bit. The finish also has a roasted, slightly burnt character that lingers with a touch of bitterness to it. The rose character is fairly prominent here and provides a bit of a floral spiciness to the beer that mixes in with the tart rose character. There is a rounded roasted character here that isn’t quite chocolate like, but perhaps leaning that direction and there is a definite roasted / toasted nutty quality here. The body here is fairly light, but has touch of texture to it that adds a bit of heft, though the tartness and roast character seems to lighten this out in the long finish.
This is a nicely done rose beer, though the chocolate is not distinctly noticed under the roast flavors, but it is distinctly noticeable in the nose, even if I would possibly have thought it was due to the dark malt used here if I had not known otherwise.
5000 (6599) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - JUN 3, 2014
2.7 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 10/20
Bottle:   Herbal nose, big, but also a bunch of pencil shavings.   Light beef broth, a touch of cocoa, some dandelion like astringent floral notes, herbal but not bright, along with a bunch of pencil shavings.   It seems as if about a quarter of Propolis beers have some minor or major aspect of pencil lead and #2 pencils.   Brings me back to elementary, but won’t be bringing me back to this one.   Some have been quite nice, floral and herbal, but a few really taste like pencil shavings, and its hard to get past that.