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RATINGS: 609   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.1   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 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
riversideAK (5626) - 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 (1951) - 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 (6031) - 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 (11642) - 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.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
MartinT (8135) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 20, 2008
UPDATED: MAR 2, 2009 My Bottom Line:
Whtie wine fruitiness and citrusy dignity levitate from a puckering sour flavor and finish, before dryness steals the beer and hides it in your gums. This wonderfully idiosyncratic Sour Ale feels like its at the intersection of Lambic, Champagne, and Beer.

Further Personal Perceptions:
-A wispy head of foam slowly dissolves into the hazy pale straw blond.
-The prickly champagne-like carbonation increases drinkability.
-The sourness is rather intense, and thus recalls some of the best lambic out there. I don’t think there is anything closer to Cantillon Gueuze in America than this.
-The wilderness within is almost as gripping as the fruity tartness. I get the impression this is going to become even more amazing a year or so down the road.

Bottles. Thx Chris at Ebenezer’s for the many samples!!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
WeeHeavySD (3359) - San Diego (Hillcrest), Oregon, USA - MAY 19, 2008
375ml. Shared with my GF Cyn first official beer of my birthday. 27 years young and a whole lotta more beer to drink. Pours cloudy orange with a bright white ring. The first time I had PH1 I nearly died. Nose is killer its super big very funky farmhouse it got my friend Steve to go, what the hell is that? and I was like hell yeah its BRETT. Taste is sour refined, very very good, not as good as Batch 1 imo but I’m not sure. Really tasty though, and its pretty balanced, with lots of yummy brett and tons of funk. Good one Vinnie.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Jvittorio4187 (255) - Boardman, Ohio, USA - MAY 18, 2008
Pours a cloudly, murky, yellow. Thin white head. Lots of fuit esters on the nose. Lemon, grass, and yeast. Taste is very tart, taste of lemon peel, sour oranges, yeast, and lemon grass. Finish is dry and taste lingers, slightly sweet. Thanks for sharing Josh!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
pantanap (3366) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 17, 2008
375ml bottle (batch 2 obviously)..... looks enticing right off the bat. a cloudy lighter yellow-brown pour accompanied by a thinnish soapy white head.... immediate horseblanket and funky cheese sensation permeated from the glass. a little musty stank soon followed. very tart and citrusy. extremely lambic-y...... flavors followed suit and didn’t stray too far away from the overall equation. funk, cheese, dank, citrus, tart, and refreshing. lively carbonation was also a nice added touch. if this is supposed to be inferior to batch 1, i cannot wait to try that because this is damn good.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
railcat1 (689) - Kissimmee, Florida, USA - MAY 16, 2008
This was a nice sour and not to overwhelming it poured a nice light gold color and had no head but it did have a bitter grapefruit kick to it and strong aroma but very enjoyable and tart.CHEERS!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
DeweyDell (159) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - MAY 15, 2008
Light golden color. Aroma is sour... not that complex, but nice. Taste is sour, funky, a little bit of vinegar but not too much to be overwhelming. This is my least favorite of the 4 Russian River beers that I’ve had (not nearly as distinguished as the Supplication or Temptation - it would have a very familiar taste to anyone who has had a couple sour beers) but I am definitely enjoying every drop.

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