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RATINGS: 615   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.11   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 180   ABV: 6%
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Although we enjoyed aging Batch #1 in used La Folie barrels from New Belgium Brewery, one of which was the renowned PH1 barrel, Batch #2 is something completely different. After a trip to Belgium in 2006, Vinnie successfully tried his hand at spontaneous fermentation using traditional, and not so traditional, Lambic methods. Out of respect for our Belgian brewing friends, we call this style “Sonambic”, a portmanteau between Sonoma and Lambic.

We stole this term from our friend Brian Hunt at Moonlight, our local farmhouse brewery. In 2007, we executed a second spontaneous fermentation, making yet another batch of Sonambic. This year, we blended those two batches to create our second bottling of Beatification which we are very excited about! Batch #2 has a big grapefruit aroma and grapefruit rind flavor with funky Brettanomyces and a tart finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
emacgee (4241) - Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA - MAY 25, 2008
Thanks to turdferguson for sharing at the Carolina gathering. Pours a hazy carbonated golden brew. The nose is very tart and sour, acidic for sure, vinous, muscadine grapes in the nose, yeasty. The flavor is very tart, moreso than the batch 1 we had earlier in the month. Very sour and tart, acidic, vinous. Very tart and carbonated mouthfeel.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JCB (3999) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - MAY 25, 2008
Bottle shared at the Carolina Crew Gathering at Turd’s – thanks to Turd for sharing. No wonder this one got a strong "reminds me of La Folie" reaction from the room! Okay, this is just a superb and uncompromising example of a Belgian sour. Cloudy gold and clear as day at the same time somehow. Thinnish champagne head/carbonation. The initial aroma suggests an earthy barnyard funk but soon it seems to grow more tart, as the fruity, sour apple qualities come along (I’m not getting the citrus so much, though there is some grapefruit extremity in the exquisitely long finish). Some slight muscadet in the aftertaste too. A triumph from RR.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
HoptimusPrime (17) - ASCENSION ISLAND - MAY 25, 2008
Wow, this is a sour beer. But it doesn’t have the weird aromas the Cantillon beers have. Nice and tarte with some lactic milky qualities.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Enniskillen (2044) - Salinas, California, USA - MAY 24, 2008
Deep gold with a very thin white head. Aroma is a light sourness, grapefruit, sour cherries, brett. Taste is fairly funky, grapefruit, faint toffee like note that is mostly covered by funk, heavy oak. Much differant then batch 001, but still good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
JMFG (1587) - Florida, USA - MAY 24, 2008
Bottle. After popping the cork, I took a whiff from the bottle and the sourness that hit me made my mouth water. Golden color with a very light haze present. Very little light white head. Aroma is moderately funky, light on the acetic notes, and has some nice perfumey barnyard characters that lay nicely in the background. The taste packs a jarring smack of sourness followed by a light peppery oak flavor and a lingering citric tingle. Aggressive and flavorful.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
sliffy (2040) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - MAY 24, 2008
Bottle shared by the muck: Pours a hazy gold with a white head. Aroma, funky, yeast, some oak, fruits. Flavor, tart lemons, sour, dry and very tart on the finish, some yeast, lime notes, and a dry citrus character. Damn this is good.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
riversideAK (5726) - Shoreline, Washington, USA - MAY 24, 2008
Amazing aroma of tart funk with notes of chardonay, grapefruit, lemon. Hazy golden color with a thin head. Acidic fruits, tart, mouth puckering, oak, white wine, and a touch of fruity sweetness then back to tart grapefruit. Some funkiness comes through, but the tart grapefruit/lemon juice/rind prevails. Intense!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
OldMrCrow (2049) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAY 23, 2008
UPDATED: DEC 22, 2014 2008 Fresh bottle Bottle enjoyed at Squaw Valley thanks to Karen T.

Pours a mellow gold with a very modest head. Stunningly good aroma: not much of the sourness comes through, but instead I get the cobwebbiest aroma I’ve ever enjoyed, brett funk, rich yeastiness, mild oak. The flavor initially hits surprisingly sour, given that there was so little of the balsamic sourness on the nose. But instead it’s a powerful bretty sourness, thick and almost chalky, gentle barrel character, lemon juice and other citrus.

This is a really great beer.

Revisit December 2014 Fresh vs. Aged. A fresh bottle--well, relatively fresh--bottled 9/13, up against an old batch 002 from 2008 or earlier. The new one porous perfectly clear bright yellow with short-lived white head, wine and oak on the nose, no cobwebs. The old one is a murky cloudy yellow-brown, no head and nary a puff when I open the bottle. This one has an aggressive old lambic nose, tons of rubber, some cheese, again those cobwebs. But it’s absolutely delicious that’s rich and intense the way that only older lambics can be. All sugars are gone, it’s just lemon acidity and rich complex funk. It is so good that by comparison the younger one seems single dimensional, which is impressive because the younger beer--though sweet-tart by comparison--is very good in its own right.

These both remain challenge beers, not easy drinking, what for their intense tartness. It’s hard to believe that the old one is an American beer at all so much does it taste like a Belgian gueuze. The young one, much more American. I don’t know how much is a change in batch and how much the aging, but the lack of cobwebs in the younger is probably batch where the drier flavors of the older is probably age. The old one would be a 4.2 or 4.3, the younger 3.9 or 4.0. I’ll let the current rating stand but this one could easily edge upward if one were willing to cellar.

tl;dr summary: At 6 years old, like a top Belgian gueuze.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
TaktikMTL (6221) - Montréal, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 22, 2008
Bouteille de 375 ml, avec bouchon de liège, dégustée chez Ebenezer Kezars (Lovell, ME). Arôme: Odeur de citron, chêne, melon miel et une pointe de vinaigre. Apparence: La couleur est blonde voilée avec une moyenne densité de bulle. Saveur: Goût de citron et de pamplemousse, le tout est sûrette. Durée moyenne de l’arrière goût. Palette: Le corps est moyen avec une texture vineuse. Forte effervescence en bouche. Arrière goût très citronné. (Rating #1708)

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
argo0 (11863) - Washington DC, USA - MAY 21, 2008
(375ml bottle) Small white head that nearly vanishes, atop cloudy lemon yellow body. Aroma is medium sweet, lemon, grapefruit, some Bret, champagne, white wine, wood. Taste is mild sweet, strong grapefruit/Fresca, some champagne, light wood, white wine. Fairly strong sourness. Light-medium body, moderate acidity.

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