Vac (2445) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 22, 2008
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap at O’briens. Pours with a cloudy, very pale body topped by a thin head with large bubble and not lacing left on the glass. It’s bitter and wheaty with very slight sour notes, a very light touch of clove and a little grassiness. Light bodied, crisp and refreshing. A great beer for a hot summer day.
FlacoAlto (4045) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - OCT 24, 2008
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: FEB 20, 2010 Bottle Sampled September 2009
A careful pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces an almost four-finger thick, pale white colored head that leaves a hint of lacing on the sides of my glass as it slowly subsides. The beer is a pale gold color that shows a lightly hazed, straw, pale-gold color and a distinct white sheen when held up to the light. The aroma is yeasty, a bit grassy, with fresh crushed wheat aromatics, a big lactic note (not just sour either, but distinctly has a lactic sort of creamy note that I can smell, though how I can smell a texture I don’t really know), and a hint of urea. If you dig around in the finish there is a musty, light mushroom note, some touches of musk, a light phenolic-soaked cotton note and a touch of funky foot. The aroma is pretty spot on for the style, but I wish the Brettanomyces funk had come through a bit more.
The beer tastes nicely tart as it hits my tongue, it is cool as well and the combination makes this quite refreshing. The lactic charater does indeed have a creamy texture to it (just like I smelled) and there is an amply prickly carbonation that adds a texture that offsets the creaminess and makes this light bodied brew that much more quaffable. This is indeed the Champagne of the north, it has the ample carbonation, light palate and slight creaminess that fits the deScription quite well. There is also a yeasty flavor to this beer, it is not really rubber-like and actually adds a nice complexity to the beer, but it isn’t quite the same as the rich autolyzed flavor that is found in a traditional Champagne either. There is a nice, lightly grassy, tart accentuating, pale wheat character here that is combined with a dusty, freshly crushed wheat berry flavor. A 750ml bottle of this just disappears incredibly quickly.
This is quite to style (which calls for clean with a solid tartness); the promise of Brettanomyces on the label has me wishing for more funkiness as this is on the low side, but it does have a nice gripping sourness and it is quite clean and light. This is most definitely refreshing and a testament to the style. I could wish for more funk and complexity here, despite the fact that the style doesn’t call for it. In the end this is still a really, really nice beer. I wonder if the Brettanomyces will contribute more character over time; there is only one way to tell, and I have a couple bottles to lay down and try the process out.
Sampled GABF 2008
The beer is a pale, light gold color with a significant amount of haze. It is topped by a quickly disappearing, fizzy, which colored head. The aroma has an interesting cheesy note to it, this almost seems more derived from stale hops than from bacterial funk (though I would be surprised if the latter was not the true source). Other aromatic notes of clove, grassy grain and a nice wheat note as well as a lactic tartness that really reminds me of lime. This has a nice full aroma to it somehow (despite being light and refreshing); this just has a rounded nice nose that is enjoyable.
The beer has a light, lactic tartness to it that is a touch like sour lemons, though not as evocatively as the aroma was. This is quite quaffable and very light bodied, but not watery or thin; there is just enough body to add some texture, but not so much that this isn’t pure refreshment in a glass. Again there is a touch of clove here in the flavor as well (makes me think that they might have used a Southern German Hefeweizen yeast as the Saccharomyces strain). This has a very restrained funkiness to it (other than the tartness), with a touch of mustiness and a faint barnyard muskiness. I wonder if this might get a bit more funky / challenging with a bit more age, it is certainly good now though, but for my particular tastes I could wish for a bit more character from the bugs. This is perfectly within style though, as a Berliner Weiss should not be overly funky, and is the perfect beer to be quaffing quantities of on a hot day.
egajdzis (5695) - Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 9, 2009
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
[Draft @ Capones] Poured a hazy golden color with no head or lacing. Aroma of wheat, toffee malts, citrus fruits, lacto funk, and apples. Taste of earthy yeast, toast, citrus, light toffee, and a tart finish.
jeremytoni (3018) - Swedesboro, New Jersey, USA - APR 5, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
From the tap poured a gold color with a fair amount of head. Nice slightly tart flavor with a quick finish.
Lagunitasfan (1321) - San Diego, California, USA - APR 14, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap at Stone. Light pale in the glass. Nose is tart and yeasty. Flavor is tart and citrus sweet. Light, snappy long finish. Bit of a pucker. Aftertaste is kinda funky. Maybe good funky, maybe not. Not overpowering though.
j12601 (8000) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - MAY 12, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at Rattle & Hum. Pours a lightly hazed yellow with no head to speak of. Light funky notes, and a bit of sourness on the nose. Thin to medium bodied. A touch funky, sweet, tangy, and a little bit of a mustard note. Slightly perplexing. Finishes with a touch of grain.
SamGamgee (2452) - down the whirlpool, California, USA - MAY 18, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Draught at The Bruery’s anniversary. Lightly hazy pale straw with a white head. Funky, tart, wheaty aroma with some apple. The flavor is mostly crisp lemony tartness with some wheat grain, a light acetic touch and tart pear and apple. Not intensely acidic, but I do have a high threshold for sour. Light bodied with crisp, ample carbonation. Great light and refreshing beer.
bhensonb (12951) - Woodland, California, USA - JUN 25, 2009
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Tap at Sac Brew. Served in a tulip. Slightly hazy golden color with a few white bubbles. Light citrus/sour aroma. Medium body with moderate carbonation. Refreshing hit of sour/citrus which mellows to a trace of funk. Finishes off to just clean. Have to drink more to keep the thrill.
bu11zeye (12367) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - DEC 20, 2008
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
(Draught) Pours hazy pale yellow body with a small white head. Aroma of wheat, coriander, mustiness, cheese, light banana, and lemon. Flavor of lemon, wheat, and lacto funkiness.
bb (7754) - Alamo, California, USA - FEB 17, 2009
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draft. Slightly hazy straw color with a whitish head. Tart, slightly lactic aroma with some lemon and green apple. Tart, lemon flavor with some wheat/grain backing. Medium-light body. Very refreshing. Lemon, tartness, slight lactic lingers with a bit of wheat/grain.