notalush (4962) - Denver, Colorado, USA - JUL 2, 2009
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thanks to AmEricanbrew for this - batch 1, opened in celebration of my new job - dark reddish-purple pour - fizzy, quickly dissipating head - beautiful aroma of potent oak and red wine tannins, cherry, currant, raspberry, cinnamon, nutmeg, notes of chocolate, mild acidity - the flavor isnít as balanced (really heavy on the oak), but itís still really good - starts with strong tannins and acidity, damp oak - some sweet cherry and chocolate very briefly through the middle - dries out quickly, bringing acetic/vinegar qualities, moderate acidity, very earthy, tart currant flavor - very vinous throughout - acidity gets prickly in the finish - a light warmth in the finish is the only thing even hinting at how strong the beer is - there is a bitter cherry pit flavor that develops as it warms that is this beers only real flaw - I think it needs a little more time to smooth out, but this is still a great beer.
ChazMania (656) - Pasadena, California, USA - JUL 2, 2009
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottled. I sat on this for a month or so which is longer than I can normally wait. Upon pour I had radical extreme aroma and flavor. Sour and sweet, cherry and wood. Maybe I need more of this but as it is fantastic I could not drink much more than a pint or so of this .........,max.........
robforbes (2074) - Bremerton, Washington, USA - JUL 1, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
pours a dark brown with a ruby tint when held to the light, a small khaki head that dissipates quickly, and some lacing.
smell is sour, dark fruits, and wood.
taste is tart, sour malt, and dark fruit, end is nicely tart.
ross (2100) - weddington, North Carolina, USA - JUN 30, 2009
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. Pours out a dark brown color with a tan head on it. Bottle blew out onto the bar when I opened it, I was hoping it wasnt ruined, and thank god, it wasnt. Smell is full of a cherry sour funk with oak and vanilla notes. Taste is just incredible, sweet yet very sour, cherries, oak, there is just so much going on. This is a beer to drink over a long period of time to pick out all of the flavors in it. The 10% alcohol is not existent. This could be 3%, and it wouldnít change the flavor. This beer proves why Vinnie is probably the best brewer in the country. Awesome beer.
Caskalefan (150) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - JUN 27, 2009
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: JUL 18, 2010 This one even tops Stille Nacht Reserve í96 as my all-time favorite beer...there is little I can say, other than to delineate its complexity thusly...Chocolate, coconut, currant, caramel, candied orange, coriander, celeriac, radish, the requisite horse blanket, and barnyard funk, rhubarb, lemon zest, lots of tobacco, black pepper, walnut, tangerine, acanthus leaf/bay leaf, cherry skin, strawberry, kiwi, balsamic vinegar, sweet cream butter, cigarette ash, kale, ginger, cardamom, Branston pickle, pineapple, and pink grapefruit are somehow all orchestrated meticulously, and even seamlessly, into the absolutely hands-down best beer Iíve ever had the delight to savor...the body is creamier than Iíve ever experienced in a sour ale, and the 10% alcohol really allowed all those aforementioned flavors to blossom to their absolute fullest If any of you real beer aficionados get the chance to try this one, donít let the $22 price tag scare you off. After all, itís a 25.4 0z. dose, and, believe me, itís cheap, for what it is.
Pailhead (5039) - Brownstown, Michigan, USA - JUN 25, 2009
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUN 28, 2009 Courtesy of Styles
Bottle: The aroma is vinous with some sour cherries, oak, and a hint of chocolate. It pours a hazy orangish-brown with a moderate beige head with decent retention. The flavor starts lightly vinous with some hints of chocolate. The finish turns to moderately sour cherry with some light oak. Medium bodied with light-moderate soft carbonation.
kramer (5063) - Sunbury, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 25, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
25 oz bottle, via Liquid Solutions. Pours a clear ruby brown body with a fizzy beige head. Lots of active carbonation. The nose is tart and hints of vinegar with oak, fruity malt, and a good bit of cabernet vinousness. Very jammy smelling. The sourness hits hard right off the bat. Big juicy jammy currents mix with the cabernet influence pretty nicely. The sourness doesnít get overbearing thankfully, partially due to the oak influence I think. Mouthfeel is tart and dry with a slightly acidic puckering dryness. Somehow there is no noticeable alcohol here at all which just amazes me for being 10%. Pretty good, but the more and more of this I had I got a bit tired of the jammy sweetness.
AtlAggie (241) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JUN 23, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap at RR. Cloudy brown color, aroma of sour cherries/berries. Flavor the same, along with darker fruits, very slightest of funk, mild oakiness. Weird, vaguely bitter aftertaste drops it down a bit in the rating. Would have enjoyed a stronger sour presence.
RollinHard (1024) - Fort Worth, Texas, USA - JUN 22, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours ruby-brown. Aroma of cherries, vinegar, red wine, wood and a light amount of caramel malt. Tastes of sour cherries, wood, wine, vineger and a light amount of caramel. Finishes tangy, fruity, and only slightly dry. Nearly thick, slick mouthfeel. Quite nice, more flavor than just funk and sourness, but just a pinch.
CaptainCougar (7132) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - JUN 21, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Batch #2 on tap at Verdugo in LA: Pours a transparent dark amber with a thin, wispy-lacing light tan head. Complex aroma of sweet dark cherries and tart vinous oak with. Starts with nice biting carbonation and tart complex oak and cherries with some black currant notes and good acidity toward a slightly warming finish. Another winner from Russian River.