Headbanger (3723) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - FEB 2, 2008
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
750 ml(courtesy of gunhaver)-Another problem getting this one uncorked had again to use a corkscrew and there was no carbonated pop. A cloudy orangish/reddish which started out with a head then dissipated quickly into nothing. Aroma of yeast, malt, plums, sweetness, and apples. Taste of this medium bodied brew comes across with begian yeast, sweetness, and a bit of alcohol. Very flat. Would of liked to try one that was carbonated correctly.
FlacoAlto (4125) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - FEB 1, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Likely Batch 1; Sampled January 2008
Cork & cage where mis-sized for this bottle, but it pops out with a carbonated pop. Pours with an almost two-finger thick, light tan colored head. The beer is a hazy, reddish-orange tinted, amber color, which has a hazy, orangish copper hue to it when held up to the light. The aroma is a nice mix of tart / sweet fruit notes, crushed grain and yeast-derived spice character. Aromas of ripe, yet tart plums, starfruit and green apples are joined by spice notes of mature, dried ginger, cloves, touches of wild flowers and some grassy notes. The finish, if you dig for it has quite a substantial malt aroma of soda crackers, fresh cracked grain and an appetizing whole grain note. The aroma is quite fruit dominated, but it happens to be a nice mix of tart and sweet notes that makes it quite inviting.
The carbonation is perhaps on the low side for a Belgian ale, but it is still here and provides a soft prickle to the tongue. My first impression is that the beer is sweet and fruity tasting, especially in the finish. The carbonation provides a bit of a pepper-like carbonic bit, which melds nicely with the soft yeast spiciness; spice notes of clove, perhaps a touch of sweet, young ginger and hints of cardamom are what is most noticeable. The fruit flavors taste of ripe plums (tart & sweet, but more sweet than was in the aroma), raisins and fresh red grapes. This is quite light feeling; it has a low-medium heft to it that is perfectly dialed in for a Belgian-styled beer of this strength (at least to my palate). Such an easy drinking beer, but it still has a flavor presence that makes it a pleasure to drink. The second pour pics up a bit more sediment, which provides a nice yeasty / fermented bread-like character to the brew, while softening the fruit notes just a touch.
This is very different than any other Abbey ale I can remember having. It is much lighter, tastes more vibrantly of fresh fruit and just plain has a different flavor / malt profile. It is sort of somewhere between a Tripel and Dubbel in its malt profile (darker than a Tripel, but definitely lighter than a Dubbel); much more rounded malt character than a Tripel, but not nearly the dark, concentrated fruit character found in a Dubbel. It could certainly use a bit more carbonation (it is carbonated though), but it is a very interesting beer, that is also quite tasty. This beer does not bowl one over with it’s flavors, yet it is light, pretty darn easy drinking and has a ton of nuanced flavor components that just make this an enjoyable experience. This is definitely one of those beers that you have to sample a full serving of though; while good at first, it was not until I had worked my way through a third of the bottle that I really started to appreciate this beer. I can’t wait to sample more of these brews.
jake65 (3234) - Meridian, Idaho, USA - JAN 31, 2008
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle from Degarth - Thanks! Pours a muddy orange and brown with a large beige head. Aroma is fruity and spicey, bits of dark fruit and toffee. Flavor is consistent with aroma with a bit more caramel malt, some raison, and light yeast. Some light floral bitters too. Nice.
TopherDrinks (96) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - JAN 26, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: FEB 22, 2008 Bottle thanks to BigMilly8. Pours a dirty ruby orange with a late forming off white head. Nose is of fruity malts, breads, funk, tropical fruits, and yeast. Due to the nose I was anticipating a huge acidic flavor but this was not the case. Plums, yeast, bready malts, fresh oranges, doughy malts, candy sugars, with a touch of spiciness (I assume from the fine yeast particulates that now lay at the bottom of the bottle). Very light bodied and quite refreshing as the alcohol only becomes noticeable once this warms.
pantanap (3366) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 18, 2008
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
bottle thanks to santa.....pours a muddled orange brown with a fastly dissipating head.....some spice and tart-fruity in the nose. something else is a little off but i can’t put my finger on it.....a sweetness dominates the flavor with more of that spice, a little banana, etc....this really wasn’t for me.
IrishBoy (4062) - Bakersfield, California, USA - JAN 12, 2008
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
750ml bottle from Quake1028; Nose is of pink wines grapes, yeast, tartness, and spices; copper with a small off-white head; flavor is cloves, nutmeg, light fruitiness, light sweetness, and very light contrasting tartness. Interesting but not great!
unclemattie (4358) - Georgia, USA - JAN 7, 2008
2.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
750mL bottle. Light amber color. Aroma of honey. Flavor is of honey (mead-ish) Slight bitterness in the finish,
Silphium (3191) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - DEC 31, 2007
2.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
Bottle shared by artusory. Hazy copper/fiery orange body, medium off-white to buff head. Light tart, fruity nose, again with the plastic, band-aid notes I picked up in the Saison Athene. Sweet, sugary body with a light earthy finish, tainted by plasticy phenols. The sweetness is rather flabby. I had a hard time getting past the phenols, and couldn’t enjoy this much.
lampeno420 (320) - Zeeland, Michigan, USA - DEC 31, 2007
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Very drinkable belgian strong. A little yeasty taste, not sure how old it was. A little sour taste, and very well hidden alcohol.
rudolf (2353) - Buffalo, New York, USA - DEC 27, 2007
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Received in the homebrew mystery swap. Slightly cloudy gold, white head with nice lacing. Nose is lightly fruity cork, some wood, yeast, grapes. Flavor is corky malt, soft yeasty fruit, a bit oxidized in the finish. Very nice.