highlandlad (1416) - Blue Mountains, - MAY 16, 2013
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
What conceivable 21st century benchmark is valid for rating a 15th century dark sour ale? None I can think of, so I’ll stick with RateBeer’s hedonistic scale. This traditional ale is one strange history trip. It raises nary a hiss when uncapped and sits in the glass as still as the grave. Close inspection reveals a few tiny, tight bubbles at the edge of the surface but nothing to else to break a Cola-coloured body. The aroma is smoky and rich with sweet’n’sour summer fruits - blackcurrants mainly. On the tongue, it’s as flat as the appearance suggests - basically still - quite light in the body and a little oily. Tart and refreshing with a puckering sourness that gets the saliva flowing. Some mild chocolatey malt and leather, definite Cola notes and Ribena fruit acids. Almost wine-like in character - a souring zinfandel comes to mind. What I like about this is that the brewer hasn’t diluted his/her intention to make a traditional ale. There’s no pandering to modern tastes - this is is an uncompromising brew. Aside from the fact I’m slightly scared at how my 21st century intestine is going to handle 330ml of this, this deserves a wider audience. I suspect I could get to like this stuff. (330ml bottle from Leura Cellars)
gnoff (7750) - Mölndal, SWEDEN - AUG 23, 2013
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottled 33 cl at Kerbside, Brisbane, on July 20, 2013.
Black color, pretty much no head. Sweet, sour, roasted scent. Sour, acidic, citrus, lemon, vinegar taste. Medium mouthfeel, very low bitterness. Sour aftertaste.
floydian1 (917) - FNQ, Australia, - JUN 11, 2013
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
From a 330ml bottle. Not unlike a Flemish regional sour ale, this one has big red wine vinegary and lemony aromas on top of a subtle brown malt base and cherries. Palate s lightish bodied and vinous flat with tart fruity sour flavours and an astringent finish. Pours dark brown with absent head.
ShaneJ (499) - AUSTRALIA - MAY 24, 2013
2.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 8/20
Bottle from Slowbeer. Silky black, no hear or visible carbonation. Smells like peat, smoke, some sour fruit. Taste is something else - mouth-straining tartness/sourness that I just couldn’t get past. Not for me, sorry.
ComradeK (1006) - The Vale of Dundas, AUSTRALIA - DEC 30, 2012
2.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
330ml bottle. Pours an opaque muddy black, with absolutely no head whatsoever. The main aroma is sourdough bread, with some leather and sour lemon notes mixed in. There is the faintest hint of chocolate up front, but it is overcome by and absolute tidal wave of sourness. Sour lemon is the main detectable flavour, and it lasts into the aftertaste. It would appear that carbonation hadn’t been invented by the 15th century, since there is none at all. This is a very strange beer. It is incredibly unbalanced, with nothing to balance its sour flavour. Whilst this may well be history in a glass, I’m not entirely certain that the 15th century agrees with me.
Pyobon (908) - Sydney, AUSTRALIA - OCT 26, 2012
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
(Bottle). Darkish cola brown with no head. Aroma is a mix of vinegar, smoke, wood and hints of sweet over-ripe fruit. Medium body with a slight tingle of carbonation. The flavour is dominated by a sourness that is initially quite shocking but rather quickly grows on you: part vinegar, part citrus and part very green apples. This somewhat balanced by some malty sweetness and hints of spice. Overall this is very unusual and I am glad I have tasted it but don’t expect I will choose it again. Beer has come along way in 500 years!
hawthorne00 (2399) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - OCT 5, 2012
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle, 13C. Dark brown, no head. Aroma of dark malt, spiced sour apples, shrivelling grapes. Interesting and weirdly enticing, but also a little like some sort of protective treatment for timber. Very low carbonation. Vaguely slippery mouthfeel. Quite sour and herbal but has a chocolate and dark berry sweetness to it. Less confronting than Canute the Gruit. The sediment looked a bit scary so I left it in the bottle, but even so it’s surprising how clean it is. Again it’s the balance of the interesting things that’s impressive.
mkel07 (3300) - Brisbane, AUSTRALIA - SEP 19, 2012
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
330ml bottle. Very thin and dark black with absolutely no head at all, almost looks likes flat glass of cola. Vinegary sour aromas piqué the interest while the flavor I’d mouth puckeringly tart but in a good way?
gam (3210) - brisbane, AUSTRALIA - SEP 16, 2012
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Dark cola like pour no head mild carbonation aromas vinegar some vanilla a tart note grapes the flavours smokey tart vinegar sultana woody note vanilla taste acidity that clean taste on the mouth the finish has some good tastes acididity wine dryness vanilla touch sourness vinegar aftertaste smokeyness not too bad
davidm (1928) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - SEP 13, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle from Swords. Great sour ale, keep doing experiments please! Aromas of apple and flowers. Taste is sour, with some sweetness, and long length. Palate is velvety, and medium bodied. Black, cloudy, with no head.