Schultsc (572) - San Diego, California, USA - MAR 1, 2009
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAR 18, 2009 On tap at the brewpub in Santa Rosa. Clear, dark reddish brown-bronze with a superfine, almost non-existant off-white head. A dark garnet highlight might appear when the light hits it right. The aroma first comes across as dark sour fruit with a sweet grapeyness to it. Earthy and woody undertones emerge,combined with a softly tannic vionous character. The currants come through, not directly, but as a general fruity sweet-tartness that adds another layer to the already enormous complexity present here. The flavor begins with prominient yet restrained sourness in the attack that leads into a deep, multi-layered fruit profile that is surrounded by wonderful secondary fermentation flavors, barrel-aged oxidadtion notes, and subtle oak influences. The body is amazingly bright and refreshing and completely hides the alcohol. Its force is instead delivered through the amazing variety of sensations on the palate--good weight, bright sourness, pure sweet fruit, dark wood and earth. It is simultaneously juicy, rounded, edgy, firm, and voluptuous. The is one of the most amazing beers I’ve ever tasted.
TAR (2513) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - MAR 1, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Batch 001X2: Garnet. Voluminous dirty-white head condenses into a tight steadfast cream. Cohesive fusion of raspberry, red licorice, bright cabernet and plastery yeast aromatics. Fairly sherbety with a dab of iron, leather, medicine, airy phenols and tobacco. Nary a whisper of alcohol. Densely carbonated. Gentle sting of alcohol briefly quells the initial irony-laden tartness. Quite hollow and airy at the center, with the snappy brett-derived phenols and gritty-iron-clasp displacing the curiously ghostlike malt. Clean yet merely suggestive pale malts take on some strawlike bounce toward the finish, but fail to impart any substantial heft or depth along the way. Fairly simplistic due to the prevalent iron-tinged lacto twang and nonexistent malt sweetness. Juicy smack of currants dovetails with the raspy iron and coarse mineralic bite, though due to the rampant, unchecked tartness, the fruit character is largely reminiscent of dried strawberries, unripe plums and peaches rather than boasting a deep, fresh-picked succulence. Oak graces the palate with a dusty dryness, but is otherwise muted. Steadily wavering notes of Band-Aid and crunchy phenolics succumb to the pervasive lacto twang and faint medicine. Closes with a fluffy dollop of pale malt, though with a slightly clashing tart and gritty mixture of iron, medicine, leather, minerals and unripe fruit. Darn, was really hoping the bottle conditioning would impart additional nuance and send this into the realm of otherworldliness. I find this to be marginally superior – namely in mouthfeel and appearance – to the draft version I tasted six months ago. While this is certainly skillfully crafted and refined, as are all of Vinnie’s bottled creations, this is in dire need of some soft, full, sweetish malts to both complement the pale malts while cushioning the mineralic briskness, slight astringency and one-dimensional acidity.
markwise (4515) - North of Tampa, Florida, USA - FEB 28, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thanks fogdog for the share. Pours red-brown with an off-white head. Nose is vinegar, reminiscent of Duchess de Bourgone, dark cherries, and spice. Flavor is vinegar, funk, dark cherry, dark fruit, plum, and tart sour cherries. Very tart, excellent.
VikingHammer (506) - Lynnfield, Massachusetts, USA - FEB 27, 2009
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Thanks to John C in a trade.Pours a dark red with a small beige head. The head diminished quickly. The aroma was full of sour cassis with strong alcohol notes. There was also some wood present. I really enjoyed the aroma. It was medium bodied with a wonderful sourness. Quite nice on the palate. Overall a really nice beer.
gunhaver (1030) - Tampa, Florida, USA - FEB 26, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Rating #800. Bottle, courtesy fogdog. Dark brandy red pour, white film of lacing sheen on the glass, and no head. Nose starts sweet, with dark plums and cherries, big tart and brown sugar, with some spicy cider notes that blend quite well. Flavor has lots of dark fruit, plum, apricot, sweet full finish of tart apples and other crisp notes. The oak gives everything a nice frothy shower of flavor. Very balanced, full-bodied, delicious, and really just another fine example of a world class beer from Russian River. They can do no wrong.
StefanSD (2182) - Lakeside, California, USA - FEB 26, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750 ml bottle from Freddy. Pours a murky amber-brown with a small beige head that quickly dissipates. The aroma is strong with berries, wine, spicy oak, and funk. The flavor is complex with sour cherry pits, berries, lots of oak, red wine(merlot or cab), vanilla and caramel. The mouthfeel is silky smooth with lively carbonation. The finish is long and dry with lingering complex tart flavors. Overall: This is an impressive sour, but its really not worth the high price tag; a good beer, but a poor value.
t4h2c0 (95) - seattle, Washington, USA - FEB 25, 2009
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
tap at toronado, dark red with minimal head. strong winey sourness aroma. very strong sour flavors, with hints of red wine and oak. assault on the palate, dry at first then it leaves your mouth watering wanting more. boozy and thick once it warmed up a little. the currants are barely noticable with the prescence of such strong sourness.
Rciesla (5499) - Exit 15W, New Jersey, USA - FEB 24, 2009
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAR 30, 2009 Bottle shared by Bstil and Eyedrinkale, thanks guys. Pours a dark mahogany with a thin lacing. Currants, and raspberry. Light woodinesss with a tart dry woodiness and low acidity. A moderate etoh warming slips out in the finish.
I had another bottle with strasko last night and i would have rated it a 4.0, but hey why bother changing it.
carruthm (1401) - Seattle, Washington, USA - FEB 24, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
on bottle at toronado and stone. very smooth and mild sour aroma and taste, almost cherry like with the aged currants.
Beardface (1517) - Eugene, Oregon, USA - FEB 23, 2009
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
On tap at the brewpub, shocked that I got a 16 oz pour when I was expecting a 10, but it was a bargain at 6.75. Dark cherry red pour with a hazy tan head that lingers. Very sour aroma of cherries and plums with a light vinous smell to it as well. The flavor is like a sour fruit explosion in your face: cherries, grapes, blackberries, and a nice wine thickness. Very nice carbonation in the mouth and a nice malt profile as well. Hopefully my future experiences with sours will match up to this one.