fsdawg (10) - USA - MAR 14, 2009
4.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Wow. An explosion of the taste buds. Just enough balance to equal out the sour and the finish is unreal!
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - MAR 13, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Courtesy hopscotch. I’ve anticipated this beer’s release for about a year now. The pour yields a cloudy, glowing, rusty sienna colored body with a lasting, pillowy, cream colored head. Minimal, spotty lacing shows on the glass. Aromas include a dark, fruity malt base rich with currants and some sour cherry. Dry cocoa adds a hint of sweetness, while soft, oaky vanilla lends a perfumy, lightly woody overtone. Traces of bretty funk add an earthy character. Flavors show more dark fruits, primarily tart dark cherry, fig, and currant, mild sourness being tempered by the soft, oaky carress. The body is substantial and semi-dry, perfectly carbonated, but lacking that funky tart finish that sets other Russian River beers apart. It’s insane to call a beer that I rated 4.0 a letdown, but it almost is as my expectations were really through the roof. It definitely feels like it will benefit exponentially from some bottle aging, sourness and dryness improving with time. Good now, but probably great in a year. Give it a while.
fidel (1302) - Livermore, California, USA - MAR 13, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: OCT 20, 2010 Poured golden orange, CO2, tart fruits, funky, earthy hops, dark fruits, little malts, little bready.
TomDecapolis (4485) - Milton, Delaware, USA - MAR 12, 2009
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAR 22, 2009 Bottle shared at Capones. Pours a deep brownish amber with a small bubbly off white head. Aroma of various fruits, tart cherry, currants, sour and funky with some floral notes. Flavor of currants, sour and horsey notes, some cherry and bready.
I just had this on tap at Local 44 and have to increase my rating numbers. I was getting most of the same as I got out of the bottle, just seemed more intense and flavorful off the tap lines!
BrewDad (5003) - Olympia, Washington, USA - MAR 12, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
8oz Snifter – Eastside Club Tavern – Olympia, WA
Aroma: Great sour aroma that adds to the excitement to try this nectar.
Appearance: Dark Amber in color, clear with a thin head.
Flavor: Tart flavor from the start to the finish with a great explosion of fruit flavors through out. This was a very well brewed beer.
Palate: Deep Dry finish, fruit flavor even in the finish and Mouthfeel.
Overall: Huge sour beer this was treat to try glad I got a glass and will savor this for along time.
after4ever (6140) - Brier, Washington, USA - MAR 12, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
750, corked and baled. Pours a crystal clear but staggeringly dark ruby red--almost black, way beyond burgundy. Dense, tightly foamy off-white head that lasts and lasts past several sips. Gorgeous right around.
Big sour nose. Got that lacto balsamic thwack as soon as you pull the cork, and definitely lights up your sinuses when you get your nose in the glass. I’m guessing there’s a currant thing happening, not that I can remember smelling a currant. But somewhere between a berry-skin tannic note and a bit of dark pitted tree fruit, there’s a sweet, fruity note complementing the lacto. Nicely combined.
The body’s clean and tight, lower than medium, maybe, and very little carb. Refreshing like fruit juice, especially when cool. If this weren’t the incredible beer that it is, something that tasted exactly like it would probably be widely popular as a mixer for cocktails. So, yeah, it’s not crazy sharply tart--mixed well, lots of people would drink a cocktail that contained one or two parts of something like this. Not sure where this metaphor’s going, so let’s just cut it off here.
The mid-palate is rather less complex than some of the RR sours, which of course gives it plenty of room to operate. Lacto/balsamic, dark berry skins, dark pitted tree fruit, some dense oak notes. This is a very pleasant and drinkable sour all the way through for sure.
mreusch (851) - Olathe, Kansas, USA - MAR 10, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
750ml bottle, batch 001x2. Pours a clear brownish amber with a one finger tan head. Aroma is light funk, grape and dark fruit skins, fresh wet oak, and some Pinot qualities; very nice on the nose and continues to strengthen and develop nicely as it warms. As expected, the flavor is sour, tart, and slightly acidic, but well balanced and just enough to be interesting and enjoyable without going over the edge. Another excellent barrel aged sour from RR, and always amazed to see how Vinnie can pull off something so unique and special that the beer geeks love it, but not so intense as to be inaccessible to those new to the style.
ajm (1066) - Los Angeles, California, USA - MAR 10, 2009
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUL 30, 2009 Bottle from Hollingshead. The color is great - a bland, faded maroon that suggests depth. Aroma is oaky, funky, berrylike and vinous. Flavor is very like red wine and while the currants enhance, they are indistinct. I think the alcohol content is impressively well-handled, but was hoping for something more complex.
JB175 (1665) - Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 9, 2009
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottles thanks to toncatcher & Monk’s Cafe. This one is from batch 001x2 at Monk’s & has a wonderful looking reddish color with a medium size head. Aroma is a fantastic woody/oaky mix of Cab Sauv, Currants, cherries, loads of sour funk - it just goes right through you. Flavor is an amazing mix of sour black currants, rich sour cherries, well oaked Cab Sauv, wet wood, and a raw dark fruit flavor that is pretty damn nice. Mouthfeel is amazing with sour & tart tannic goodness that crawls up the tongue. A little more heat than I would like (probably my only criticism) but this has a good deal more alcohol than most RR sours (it works by the way). This is the best of the sour world mixed with tasty black currants and given the proper treatment in Cabernet Sauvingon Barrels (my favorite wine vareital when done properly). Russian River is already beyond awesome, but Vinny outdid himself here - another 1-2 years in the bottle and this is probably a full "5" for me. Wow.
kkearn (1165) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 9, 2009
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
750mL, batch 001x2. Pours a deep ruby color with a bit of a brownish hue, capped with a medium-sized khaki head. Very enticing aroma, with notes of oak, currants, leather, sour cherry, earth, and mild citrus. Flavor of dark fruit, oak, red wine, cherry pits, and mild lactic acid, with vinous character. Dry, woody finish with minimal tartness.
Deserves the hype.