scraff (2121) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - JUL 19, 2009
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: JUL 20, 2009 (DC Local Gathering, 750ml bottle, Major Thank You to CaptainCougar) - Dark ruby brown, fluffy white head. Huge vinous dark currant aromas ride swells of funked black cherry and peppered oak. Ultra complex sour berry, old wood, and currant flavors balance extremely well on a funky crisp red grape and cheese- like foundation. Medium bodied, medium carbonation, sour fruity finish. This was an absolute showstopperÖ
inkubus27 (269) - highland, Indiana, USA - JUL 19, 2009
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 19/20
By far the best sour ale Iíve ever had, and I donít even like sours... So this pours a deep mahogany, with a small head that lasted the entire glass. Aroma is funky, a little bit of malt and raisins, almost smells like a red wine. It has a mildly effervescent feel to it, then it turns a bit sweet and immediately turns sour. Really cool flavors. I think this may be the beer that turns me onto sours.
masonjer (609) - Holt, Michigan, USA - JUL 15, 2009
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
On tap at Toronado in San Francisco. Poured a deep garnet red with a tan head. Aroma is currants, rich red berries, and funk. Taste is the closest thing to a red wine I have had. Lots of dark berries, oaky cabernet flavors, currants, sour cherries, with a nice tannic finish that is very smooth and makes you want to take another sip. I think this beer just happened to hit all of my preferences for a sour. It is not over the top or super intense, but for me it was the height of enjoyment. After the first few sips, I was sad at the thought of probably never trying this beer again.
Hoptagon (239) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - JUL 14, 2009
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750ml. Cork in cage batch (001X1). Huge pop and lots of wispy vapors with the aroma oozing out from the get go. Has a ruddy red color with a huge fizzy head that quickly fades. The nose is musty with lots of aged oak, some barnyard funk and a bit of black currants. Tartness hits quickly and is followed by notes of sour cherries, currants and wood. Shows dry tannin flavors that remind me of an aged cabernet. Carbonation level is high and it could bed described as effervescent. Mouthfeel is a bit thin and maybe a little soft, but it works perfectly with this style. Goes out with a dry, acidic and tangy note. Another mighty sour from Vinny.
TheRealBastard (145) - The-No, California, USA - JUL 12, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap @ Toronado: Pour is a dark brownish redish color. Quarter in of white head. Aroma is cherry warheads and alcohol. Taste is smooth and extremely tart. The first sip made my eyebrows quiver, but became easier after a few drinks. Iím not a sour guy, but this one is doable. Solid.
jb43 (1650) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - JUL 12, 2009
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
(on tap at Falling Rock Tap House in Denver). Dark brown color. Small tan head. Sour aroma with light pear. Sour, tart flavor. Avg duration. Thin/slick texture. Acidic finish. Soft carbonation. Spare lacing.
Nuffield (3912) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - JUL 12, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
This was a fine sour though Iím somewhat surprised at just how highly this is rated. It was the first beer I ordered for the evening and I enjoyed the luscious and complex fruitiness. it has a silky texture and an excellent sour edge, but while this is nothing short of excellent, I didnít think this stood out in the Kingdom of Beer. Just a matter of taste and the moment, I guess. (on tap at the Toronado)
andersand (529) - MalmŲ, SWEDEN - JUL 12, 2009
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: OCT 16, 2009 Nice darkish red looking, thick and rich. Mild but rich oak aroma with pleasant sour notes. Very sophisticated. Mouthfeel is thick and rich with huge fruity and rather original flavours, pleasantly sour, complex and suprisingly fat. Hides the alcohol perfectly while leaving you just wanting more.
DiabolikDUB (147) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JUL 10, 2009
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
On-Tap @ Belmont Station poured into Tulip glass.
Pours a rich plum color with some glowing red hues and a light, fluffy tan colored head that quickly burns out into a nice thin wispy ring around the glass. The aroma is filled with tart berries, touches of oak and just a plain overall sour aroma. The flavor is very much the same with tart berries being the first thing you taste and eventually allows for some oak and touches of earthy hops to shine through and finishes very dry. Its a very effervescent beer and is light bodied. This is quite a tasty beer. It has very nice sourness which doesnít blast you away but definitely makes you pucker. The alcohol is very well hidden and will sneak up on you if you arenít careful as this is an easy drinker. Lovely, delicious stuff.
FlyingTaco (112) - Massachusetts, USA - JUL 9, 2009
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Original review date 4/17/2009 (batch 001X2) - into a Portsmouth snifter it goes after an excellent pop of the cork from this 750 corked & caged heavyweight.
Well, it pours with a ginger/maple head - about 1/3 finger - that looks like sponge candy for a brief instant then fades quickly into little yeast wisps. The body has a dark bourbon and dark cherries (OK, currants) color that has quite a calming effect. Moderate slow-moving carbonation.
The scent is present the second the cork goes. The brett is huge but itís backed by a fruity sweetness of the currants with a light, husky oak barrel and wine tannic feel. Quite complex with a touch of hop pine and slight booziness. I expected it to be sweet but this is really well-integrated. Canít see too much of anything wrong with this.
The carbonation really shows up and brightens things a bit on taste. It gets together with the very soft and sour funk (not as heavy as a horse blanket - maybe a horse do-rag) and the oaky Cab character isnít a figment of oneís imagination...nor is the poignant taste of currants. Way back when in the early 1980s Haagen-Dazs had a cassis (currant) sorbet available at their shop on the Upper West Side. It was one of those things that wasnít for everyone but we enjoyed the hell out of it. This brings back those tastes. Slightly austere but still pronounced currants along with the Cab tannin just makes this outstanding and the carbonation brings the delivery even greater strength. In fact Iíd almost want this to still a little bit to see how it would go. Quite luxurious to say the least. A little warmth brings out the expected horse blanket feel even further, which fits with everything else like a glove. Seriously Beautiful Chemistry going on here (look up Crackstatic and Ron Hawkins). This begs to be aged - like a young Cab there is a sense of tightness that begs for aging.
It took a while for my palate to embrace the concept of the Wild Ale but lots of good things take time. Surprisingly with time and warmth the dry oakiness of this gets to be more prominent and the straight sour texture of the currants is enhanced - the carbonation isnít going away and it helps hammer the point home. This one waxes and wanes - every moment the spotlight shines on a different element.
It doesnít take long to realize that this is indeed a 10% sledgehammer. But there is nothing that can diminish how good this thing is. My cellar awaits for another bottle. What will this taste like in a few years? I am drinking this very slowly but I am enjoying every sip. Not that Iím a sour maven by any means but this is the best one Iíve experienced to date. In-fucking-credible.