FlacoAlto (3677) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - DEC 13, 2007
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: DEC 21, 2007 Batch 2, Sampled December 2007
It was definitely a slight mistake to serve this at near cellar temperatures (60ºF / 15.5ºC), as the beer foamed up and started gushing as soon as I popped the cork. I only lost a couple ounces though. The beer forms a frothy, scant fat-one-finger thick, pale, off white colored head that is actually quite persistent. The beer is a hazy, slightly chunky, orange tinted, dark straw color. The oak character seems much subdued from the first batch (which is a good thing as this was my main complaint with that beer). This is nice and funky, notes of urea, aromatic goat, farmhouse-stinky-cheese, a definite cattiness, mushroom spore and a host of sharp phenolics that at times approaches fresh curing plastic. Underneath the funk is a nice fruit character reminiscent of tart, un-ripened white grapes (sauvignon blanc & gewürztraminer come to mind), as well as touch of green apple and tart pear aromas. The aroma on this is really quite nice, it is definitely ringing my funky bone right now.
Tart, but not aggressively so (at least for this Gueuze addict), it is somehow soft and creamy feeling, despite the still present carbonation. This creaminess has definitely been picked up in the barrel as oak notes add some tongue coating softness to this brew and even some heft to the body; suggestive from the butter-like oak flavors this makes the beer actually feel buttery in texture. Soft oak contributions of vanillin, a definite sharp spiciness and perhaps a hint of buttery-oak notes are all found here, though the spicy notes are definitely the largest oak character here. The wine analogy continues as the process used is definitely a contributor; definitely reminiscent of an oaky chardonnay as this beer has flavors of green fruit, star-fruit, flint, a certain light metallic quality and that definite oak presence. The funky wee-beasts and the oak contribute spice notes of white pepper, piquant ginger, The flavor is not quite as funky as the aroma might have suggested, but I think this is ultimately a good thing as it allows the complexity of the fruit, oak and spiciness to come through. The sourness, while present and definitive, is so well integrated that it is not overly noticed on its own.
The oak character is much more in check with this the second batch. This is a far superior beer in my opinion (and it hasn’t taken anywhere near 5 years as I last predicted) as the oak, while present, now plays a supporting role. If successive batches keep getting better, then I am going to need to re-baseline my scoring. Just a fantastic brew. The texture is phenomenal & the flavor is just so well integrated and nuanced. The aroma, while absolutely engaging and complex, may actually be a bit too funky. Let me explain that though, because I absolutely love funk and the funk found in the aroma, while dominant, is so well integrated together, but it is a bit too dominant to let the nuanced oak, grape and malt notes through (despite being so inviting and characterful). I may even need to crack a batch 1 just to see what is happening to that .I still maintain that these 375ml bottles just aren’t quite enough, as I always want more of this brew after draining my glass. Though if it was a 750’s worth, my proliferous text might be pushing the extremes of my already superfluous ramblings.
Batch 1, Sampled July 2005
7/4/7/4/16 total 3.8
Pours a lightly hazy orange-copper color, it is pretty well carbonated and has a frothy pale, almost white head. The aroma is quite oaky with lots of buttery notes, an astringent woodiness, notes of grapes (perhaps sauvignon or chardonnay), notes of pears, and some subtle spice notes. Quite an interesting nose on this one.
The beer is quite light on the palate, and very dry. The dryness actually suppresses the oakiness a bit, but it is definitely still here. The finish is quite long with a subtle tannic woodiness to it. There is a light acidity (for a Lambic at least) here as well, more similar to the lactic character of a Lambic than the acetic character of a Flemish sour beer. I am really quite relieved that I don’t get any diacetyl in this beer (I am quite sensitive to it), there is a bit of buttery character (mostly in the aroma), but this is definitely oak derived. There is a certain spritzy character to this beer that is a combination of the carbonation and the acidity.
This beer is really quite interesting, Vinnie still has a ways to go, but this has more to do with the barrels than Vinnie at this point. I think that Vinnie has the touch, in perhaps 5 years (if the wee bugs are compliant and amenable) the new releases of this should be stellar.
Purchased: Russian River Brewing
cbfobes (1944) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 20, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle thanks to dbuckingham, thanks man! Pours a hazy dark yellow with a thin white bubbly head and some spotty lacing, aroma is tart at first, but the brett and dryness really comes through as well, the front end of the flavor was much more fruity than I was expecting, with a good amount of funk and some barnyard notes in the finish, pretty tart in the finish but not mouth puckering sour, mouthfeel is light and tingly, the abv is completely hidden, would have thought this was 5%, pretty damn good.
jonnyguns (691) - AUSTRALIA - DEC 17, 2013
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: DEC 18, 2013 On tap at city beer SF. Pours a straw yellow with a frothy white head. Superb lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of grapes, funk, lemon zest, Chardonnay and biscuit malts. Taste is quite tart up front then settles. Chardonnay like bitterness clings to the palate with a lemon zest making for a refreshing crisp finish. Palate coated in oak from the Chardonnay. Aging has worked a treat - booze is disguised beautifully. World class beer. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
Cuso (3394) - Bratislava, SLOVAK REPUBLIC - DEC 14, 2013
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle from trade with StefanSD, huge thank you sir .Hazy yellow colored beer with medium white head. Vinous aroma, with apples, funk, barnyard, wood. Very complex taste with sour apples, grapes, grapefruit, lemon, oak,. Tart finish. Tasty, sipper for a long evening.
Dohny (67) - Bratislava, SLOVAK REPUBLIC - DEC 13, 2013
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Poured from bottle. Hazy yellow color. Winy aroma. Sour taste, no bitterness. Some soapy tones.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
MisoW (536) - Bratislava, SLOVAK REPUBLIC - DEC 13, 2013
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle, courtesy of Cuso, many thanks. Pours hazy yellow color, white head. Aroma is sourish, grapes, red fruits. Taste is sour, white wine, lemon. Nice sourish finish.
Karol (358) - SLOVAK REPUBLIC - DEC 13, 2013
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle by Cuso, many thanks! Sour, sour, sour. Excellent! Wine, herbals, vinegar. Not easy to drink due to its sourness. Overall fantastic!
jjgmd (1089) - Coral Springs, Florida, USA - DEC 12, 2013
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
On tap at the brewery, Santa Rosa, pours an orange rusty color without any significant head. Nose is tart and pungent. Taste is a pleasantly tart and pungent an just bathes and puckers the palate. Finishes as it starts with real tartness and pungency. Great sour. Quaff score 8 / 10
zgaier (1055) - Coral Springs, Florida, USA - DEC 12, 2013
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap at Russian River brewpub in Santa Rosa. Pours a golden yellow with a white head and tart, fruity aroma. Taste is tart and sweet, lots of fruits, cherry, and berries with a sour finish. Excellent sour ale
VastActiv (1697) - Oulu, FINLAND - DEC 7, 2013
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Tap at Russian River Brewing, Santa Rosa. Colour is clear golden with small white head. Aromas and flavours: Fruits, berries and sourness. Nice and soft.
harrymel (930) - Spokane, Washington, USA - DEC 5, 2013
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a light yellow diaphanous with a solid fine white quilt. Smells of lemon, funk, zesty tartness and some nice pithy character. Flavor is sour with a good farmy, tart, hints of bicarb, some bits of pepper and a nicely refreshing finish. Thin with hi carb and watery finish. This might be one of my preferred RR beers. Really a beautiful brew.
Original review 25JAN11
A: c&c bottle pops and pours a light golden ale with excellent clarity. Atop is a blanket of white head which is constantly refilled with a continuous persistence of bubbling.
S: Oranges, limes, classic tart scent. Great smell.
T: Tart, farmy, with largely bitter head. Somegrassy tones.Very good.
M: Light body with excellent carbonation. Great feel and finish on the tongue.
D: This beer is wonderful. I can say I prefer supplication to this one. But when available, I still buy it.
Serving type: bottle