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RATINGS: 223   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.6   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 171   ABV: 5.7%
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This intensely sour "wild ale" recalls the earliest rustic beers crafted centuries ago before brewers had an understanding of controlled fermentation. Brewed with the addition of lemon verbena, as well as lactobacillus and brettanomyces. Telegraph Reserve Wheat is an all-together different beast from modern beer. Not for the faint of heart, this special brew is available in extremely limited quantities.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
FlacoAlto (3810) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAY 11, 2009
Bottled January 2009; Sampled April 2009
A fairly soft pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a three finger thick, pale, just off-white colored head. The beer is a pale gold color that shows a lightly hazed, straw-gold color with a white sheen to it when held up to the light. The aroma smells of grassy grain up front, this is followed by a light tartness and the finish has a sweet, lemon verbena not that is soft but distinct. Crushed whole grain cracker notes form a solid wheat signature in the aroma, though I was expecting this to smell more sour and / or funky. The herbal character is nice with its lemon focused finish.

The beer is tart, though not aggressively so, but it is enough sourness to be quite refreshing. Pretty much bone dry, but there is a perception of lemon zest towards the finish that seems to add a suggestion of sweetness. The carbonation adds quite a bit of fizzy effervescence to this brew as it dances across the tongue and it also adds a pepper-like spiciness to the finish. The beer is also quite light bodied; it is really quite refreshing, even if a little gassy at times. The grain does not play as big a role in the flavor as it does in the aroma, but there are still some flavors of hay, some saltine cracker notes in the finish and a bit of an earthy grain note.

A bit more simplistic than I was expecting, the Brettanomyces character is really quite muted at this time; this would have been a welcome boost to the complexity of this brew and perhaps this will develop a bit more with time. If the yeast character was a bit more interesting I would almost call this a great example of a Saison (though it does lean a bit more towards a clean Berliner Weiss); it is light and refreshing and the lactic character adds a nice touch but is not overwhelming.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
JCB (3999) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - MAY 1, 2009
750ml from the mighty Odeed - thanks, Jake! Hazy straw-colored pour, with some fairly lively carbonation and pretty good retention. The nose is very fragrant, with soft floral notes blending with the sharp citrus and yeast funk. Far more yeasty than other Berliners Ive had, which tend towards the more mouth-puckering. Nice full mouthfeel, allowing some of the earthy depth to come through, and a pleasant finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
travita (4168) - Frisco, Texas, USA - APR 29, 2009
Bottle thanks to BMan1113VR. The look is clear, yellow straw color, and has a decent off white head. The smell is lemon, wheat, slight tartness. The taste is tart, wheat, citrus, and some dryness.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
hopdog (9189) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 26, 2009
750ml bottle acquired in trade with WeeHeavySD (thanks!). Bottle labled bottled on 1/12/09. Poured a medium and hazy yellow color with a smaller sized white head. Aromas of wheat, cereal, and lighter citrus. Tastes of citrus, wheatiness, cereal, and lighter spices. Lighter tart finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
cmillward (497) - San Francisco, California, USA - APR 26, 2009
750mL, courtesy of juiceisloose. Faint head topping a fairly common pale wheat, hazed body. The biggesst drawback in the nose was quite a bit of sulphur. Otherwise tart and acidic, a lot of crisp wheat, some pepper. Smooth tart wheat flavor, melded very well, some spiciness later in the palate, with pepper evident as well. Nice smooth carbonation, acidic and drying without being prickly.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
juiceisloose (1055) - Windermere, Florida, USA - APR 25, 2009
750 ml bottle courtesy WeeHeavySD. Pours a hazy golden yellow color with a small, foamy white head that settles to a thin film around the rim. The aroma shows notes of fresh tart citrus, crisp wheat and grains, and some lactic sourness also. The flavor follows suit with the tart citrus and crisp wheat. Some yeast, lactic sourness, and spices come through as well. Not overly sour, but just refreshing and tart. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with solid carbonation and a crisp, dry finish that leaves you wanting more. This would be a great beer on a hot day. Really refreshing stuff, and a solid berliner weiss.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - APR 24, 2009
750ml bottle, courtesy juiceisloose. Pretty fresh. Pours a lightly hazy golden straw color. A small head of off white foam leaves scant, skinny lines of lacing behind. The nose shows fairly classic Berliner Weiss character, light lactic sourness and tart citrus essences showing atop a fresh, crisp, wheat and cereal grain bill. It just flat out smells refreshing. Flavors follow suit, light and grainy, very clean tasting, with moderate citric tartness and yeasty, lactic sourness. Easy going and refreshing as hell, the moderate palate dries out on the finish, causing the mouth to beg for sip after sip. I suspect this will only get better and more tart over time. Awesome summertime option.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
tyler_mn (1475) - SLP, Minnesota, USA - APR 24, 2009
750ml C+C bottled on Jan. 12, 2009. A very pleasant and drinkable, if not overly sour Berliner. Sweeter wheat aroma, just the smallest hint of lacto and no brett on the nose. Some old milk, lemongrass, peaches and cream. Balanced sweet and tart aroma. Pours a brilliant pale gold with an very bright, and quickly receding white head. The flavor is incredibly refreshing, albeit not that complex. Wheat, lemon, lacto, milk, moist cereal. Not too tart, a bit of citrus zest. Maybe some banana with a touch of spice. Creamy body with zesty carbonation. The lacto really comes through on the finish. Not too complex at all, but lacking any flaws. Delicious and insanely drinkable. If this were around my area, Id drink the hell out of this in the summer. Thanks Jonathan!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
TomDecapolis (4546) - Milton, Delaware, USA - APR 23, 2009
Thanks to hopdog for sharing this 750. Pours a hazy golden with a medium bubbly white head. Aroma of wheat, cereal grains, light tartness and floral notes. Flavor of a nice crisp tartness, wheat, lemon, citrus and cereal grains. Nice crisp tartness and very floral.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Snojerk321 (2960) - San Diego, California, USA - APR 21, 2009
750ml bottle from South Bay Drugs. Pours a very clear medium golden color with a small fizzy white head. Nose of grass, wheat, citrus and kind flavor was kind of salty-sweet. Im still getting used to this style, quite nice and refreshing overall.

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