Ernest (6910) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JUL 5, 2006
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle, Batch 001-PH01.
Head is initially small, fizzy, white, fully diminishing.
Body is hazy light amber, bottle conditioned.
Aroma is lightly malty (toasted grain), moderately yeasty (barnyard, horseblanket), with notes of cask wood, sour cherry, sour apple, band-aid, leather.
Flavor is moderately sweet, moderately to heavily acidic.
Finish is lightly sweet, moderately acidic, lightly bitter.
Medium body, watery/velvety texture, lively carbonation.
Beauuuutiful stuff. Pretty much speechless on this one.
jimmack (1223) - Nutley, New Jersey, USA - JUL 5, 2006
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle at HW open house. Cloudy dark golden color with a small white head. Absolutely awesome, tart aroma of citrus, light Brett, and oak. Really nice and tart, fruity flavor. Lemons, apricots, along with some nice barnyard funk and a bit of oak. Beautiful Flemish Sour.
beerguy101 (5340) - Newark, California, USA - JUL 2, 2006
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Batch 001. This Flemish sour ale pours a hazy deep orange color from a 330ml cork finished bottle. Medium sized white foamy head. Aroma is tart, must, barnyard, bretts, citrus, oak and leather. Medium bodied Flemish sour. Malts are tart, fruity and woody. This is a VERY tart and sour ale. The bretts and oak are very prominent in this beer. Crisp and dry. Lively carbonation, almost sharp, like a champagne. There is an interesting interplay of citrus, lemon, horse blanket, old books and wood. Sharply acidic, tart and dry throughout. The dryness and tartness reminds one of a Berliner Weiss almost. Awesome beer. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is crisp and dry. Aftertaste is tart.
marcus (8010) - Sacramento, California, USA - JUL 2, 2006
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: DEC 4, 2006 Batch 001. This golden ale poured with a thin but well-formed white head, eliciting a sharp fruity aroma. It has a geueze-like flavor, but is more acidic, drier and much more complex. This was a very refreshing treat on a hot Sacramento afternoon. It was definitely worth the 2 hour drive to Santa Rosa to stock up on this one. 12/4/2006 - had a PH1. This was even better than the first one I rated. The flavor was not as sharp or tart.
TheBeerGod (5690) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - JUL 1, 2006
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JUL 8, 2006 Bottle - corked and caged - Batch 001. Murky rusted gold with a small white head. I was expecting more foam and was delighted to have a restrained head on this. Nose instantly smacks me with sour. Lots of Bretty aromas, tart fruits, light wet wood, lemon juice, damp basement, light cat urine, and barnyard. I think this aroma is one of the best I’ve ever smelled on a Flemish Sour! Tart fruits dominate the taste with light woody notes, lemon juice, horseblanket, damp earth, dank basement and leather. Some light sweat coming through as well. Body is tart and acidic. Very dry throughout. Very bubbly and effervescent as well. Almost a champagne like sharpness to it. Finishes with more sour fruits, soft leather, cat urine, wet wood, damp earthy notes, and obvious Bretty flavors. Another exquisite brew created by Vinnie. Extremely complex and well crafted. All I can really say is WOW!
Bottle - corked and caged - Batch 001 - PH1. Autumn gold body with a small white head. Nose is extremely sour. Lots of tart fruits, wet leather, sweat, cat urine, damp earth and moldy basement. Again, this is one of the best aromas on a Flemish Sour I’ve had the priviledge of smelling. Taste is sour fruits, lemon juice, leather, sweat, woody flavors, and horseblanket. Body is extremely effervescent. Acidic feel throughout the body and ends bone dry. Finishes with more sour fruit notes, leather, cat urine sweat, wet wood, barnyard, and damp earth. Both versions of this beer are incredible. Kudos, again, to Vinnie at Russian River!
JorisPPattyn (8800) - Ursel, BELGIUM - JUN 30, 2006
4.4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Batch 001 - PH1 (thanks, Vinnie!). Colour of old gold, tilting towards orange, cloudy; small, vanishing off-white head, fed by lively carbonation. Very lemony nose, lactic acid, some Brett, but restrained, other bugs as well. Extremely complex nose, displaying signs of the best way of careful, monitored aging, ideal for this type of beer. Very sourish oud bruin taste, but nudged towards the lemon/lactic, even citric, rather than towards acetic acids. Some exotic fruit like (not quite ripe) yellow kiwifruit ("Zespri") or unripe peach, as well as roses. Faraway hints at leather. As TAR remarked, there’s iron(oxyde) there too. Sharpish acidburn, wonderfully refreshing, vying with Berliner Weisse. In fact, IMO this has at least as much from Berliner Weisse as from Oud Bruin. But it is way more complex than any BW, goes much deeper. If it weren’t for the Supplication, this would be my favourite RR.
JohnC (3004) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - JUN 29, 2006
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle, batch 001.
cloudy honey golden color with a white head that quickly disappears. The aroma is like cider vinegar. this is a sour puppy.
ChillCoat (1029) - Concord, California, USA - JUN 29, 2006
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: NOV 3, 2006 Bottle. Batch 001.
The pour is murky and bright orange with a white effervescent head. Brett and a sort of musty cherry aroma jump right out of the glass. Fantastic aroma with a lot going on...apricots, leather, oak, bubblegum and an earthy note. Sharp tartness that hits your tongue immediately just like La Folie but not as shockingly dry. Horse blanket, cobwebs and fruit flavors. Finishes dry but not exceedingly so.
FoolishMortal (990) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 29, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
375mL bottle, batch 001. Murky dark orange-yellow with a large rocky white head. Horsey Brett, musty cobwebs and soured citrus in the aroma. Acetic tartness up front, followed by some plasticy phenol over subdued pear and peach flavors. Horseblanket character in the finish with a lingering mustiness and residual tartness on the palate. Mouthfeel is light, very dry.
TAR (2526) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - JUN 25, 2006
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Batch 001- PH1: Hazy peach. Noisy loosely-packed foam fizzles into a sustained ring. Saliva inducing nose of sulfur, musty oak, brett, dried peaches, and dusty phenols. Interwoven suggestions of sherbet and soft malt. Weightless effervescence sparkles on the palate. Very airy. Irony acidity immediately awakens the palate just as an explosively flavorsome surge of juiciness ensues. Not just tart, but astonishingly adept in its jugglery of succulence and dryness, as well. Deeply quenching and quaffable, as a result. Elegant straw-like malts loosen the tightening brett grip and also provide a touch of body-lending sweetness. Tannins remain secondary to the graceful dusting of powdery-textured oak which complements the succulence as it lightly brushes the palate. As the complexity continues to develop, the acidity slowly wanes to create a remarkably soft and rounded finish of musty yeasty, peach fuzz, and vividly defined crackery malts which eternally linger. The addition of yeast imparts a chalky astringency and seemingly accentuates the bandage phenols. This is surely only a tease of what’s yet to come in regards to the magic Vinnie is sure to achieve with future batches/once he acquires more barrels and begins molding them into perfection through the art of blending. Wow!
Batch 001 : Hazy peach. Undying puffy white foam. Relatively soft and composed aroma of damp wool, maraschino cherry, lavender and musty wood. Light note of butter. Fluffy and feisty carbonation. Hard body. Initially much sharper, dryer, and more mineral-laden than it is succulent. Prominent malts are quick to establish their soft sweetness which meshes with the softer buttered oak flavors. Very musty and chockfull of brett, but the balancing succulence lies deeply buried within. As in the PH1, the oak delivers similarly soft and powdery textures, along with a restrained mustiness. Finishes adeptly balanced with delicate malt and peach flavors, which absorb much of the acidity, and coarser brett. There’s not much to complain about with this batch, but if forced to choose a favorite, I’d have to go with the PH1 due to the nose, alone. All around, the PH1 is significantly more polished (while the aromatic brightness is highly apparent in the PH1, it takes a heavy swirl for this to reveal its luster), and the PH1 is noticeably deeper/more complex, bears a juicier tartness, and possesses none of the butteriness of this particular barrel. Still something any brewer would be proud to claim as their own. (8,4,8,4,16 = 4.0)