JDBaker11058 (1915) - Maryland, USA - SEP 14, 2013
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Appearance: looks like an imperial stout when poured into a snifter--deep black with garnet edges present only when brightly backlit, VERY short and shy "head" of light brown bubbles that quickly vanish. Aroma: took awhile for the nose to open up as the beer came closer to room temperature; when it did come, it came big--balsamic vinegar, green apples, vinous cherry reduction, and under all of that a hint of silky dark chocolate. Taste: leans WAY into the realm of tart and sour, even more so as it warms, with strong flavors forecast by the aroma--balsamic demi glaze, green apple jolly ranchers, raspberry and cherry pits, a hint of leather and pipe tobacco, and again that rich, velvety chocolate undertone. Finish: puckeringly tart, with a good dose of dark fruit lasting quite awhile and, if you really strain for it, more of that roasty chocolate way in the back. Notes: Frankly I expected much more of a stout/sour red hybrid. That’s not to say I was disappointed. This was a great sour beer, with loads of character, and what stout-ish notes were present served as a very subtle but excellent complement. This is like a very aggressive version of Rodenbach Grand Cru mixed with a bit of Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, at an 85/15 ratio. Aside: My only real problem with this beer is the same as my problems with all the other "specialty" or unusual beers from these guys: the price. A 750ml bottle was $24, which is way high, but I’ve seen it at other places for as much as $30! This is frankly ridiculous; of course, I’m the sucker who spent $24 on a bottle of beer. Their other offerings are usually found for $13 to $16, which is still on the high side for a 750, but not atypical in Maryland. Still, even so, inflating the price does not equal awesome beer.
AR (1000) - Georgia, USA - SEP 13, 2013
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
This one was really strange. Obvious aroma typical of sour ales. The flavor was very tart. This is a slow sipping beer that makes you pucker every sip. It is really hard to get past the sourness to find anything else. If you dig, you can find a malty base that is smooth and solid - something like a dark bread.
jmcgavin12 (492) - Madison, USA - SEP 13, 2013
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours dark brown with minimal lacing head. Aroma contains malt, sour yeast, berry, and a bit of caramel. Flavor is medium sour with balancing sweetness throughout and a tart clean finish. Medium body and oily texture throughout. Great beer.
RobertDale (5333) - Lansing, Kansas, USA - SEP 12, 2013
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
750 ml. bottle. Pours a very dark reddish brown with a small biege head. Aroma of tart fruit, funk, and spice. Taste is tart cherries, tart berries, funk, malt, spice, wine, wood, and vinegar. Very interesting. Very good.
skoisirius (1908) - Earth, Washington, USA - SEP 10, 2013
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Wow. Stoked I finally got to try this, and on tap! It’s on right now at Chuck’s 85th in Seattle for a whopping $18 a pour!! I got a half pint. Anyways, pour is black with tiny red tones throughout. Smells of a sweet stout all funked out with goodness. Flavors are brilliant with elements of sweet roast, milk chocolate, and tiny blasts of oaked out cherries. Then sets in the tart factory. Excellent tart factory. Puckering Sour Patch Kids all over the top of the rest of the flavors, but it sits well. Damn good stuff!!
Brouwerij (959) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - SEP 7, 2013
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Pours a murky brown with light tan head, settles quickly with no lace. Aroma is lactic, tart, oaky, vinegar. Flavor is acidic, tart, fruity, sour finish, with a very mildly roasted, quite tart aftertaste. Not much stout character remaining, though it is still quite enjoyable. Soft to moderate carbonation, medium body, juicy texture. A good sour, not a great stout.
keanex (1762) - Atco, New Jersey, USA - SEP 5, 2013
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
No bottling information, but about a year old.
Appearance: The body appears black in the glass, though it pours a deep chestnut. The head is short and dense, but quickly settles into a dense tan ring with very little coating.
Aroma: The aroma is slightly sour with sour cherry and light vinegar balanced by a roasted presence along with sweet caramel and powdery cocoa, nice aroma. Good balance and strength.
Taste: Whoa this is fucking tart, strong vinegar is all I get initially with hints of cocoa. On the second sip this is still tart as hell, but I get some caramel with cocoa, notably most on the finish. On the third sip the vinegar is still strong but caramel and cocoa surround it with roasted coffee on the finish and lingering a tad. Wow.
Palate: Light bodied, highly carbonated.
Overall: Oh boy, this is no training wheel sour. This is intense, but complex and interesting. I enjoy this but boy this is a wake-up. This is pretty excellent, I pretty much love this...
tectactoe (3125) - Michigan, USA - SEP 3, 2013
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JUL 22, 2014 Bottle: Thanks, Kevin! Very black with a hint of deep ruby near the top. Thin khaki film that settles to a thick collar right away. Aroma is lots of wet oak, bloody plums and cherry skins, and apple cider vinegar. Fruity and tart with a damp oak underlayer, there isn’t much stout to the nose. Taste is more like an Oud Bruin than anything... Sour cherries, sweettarts, apple vinegar, ripe plum skins, and lots of wet, faintly musty oak. Again, not much stout... Some deep dark fruits on the very, very back end with more drying, tart oak. I’m okay with the lack of stout, though, because this makes for a very good Oud Bruin.
argo0 (13077) - Washington DC, USA - SEP 3, 2013
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Draft. Sour tan head atop dark brown body. Aroma is moderately sweet, sour cherry, some wood, funk, prune, light lacto, whisky. Taste is moderately sweet, lemon/cherry, some funk, lacto. Medium body, some acidity, stickiness.
DiarmaidBHK (4155) - Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 2, 2013
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Draft at Capital ale house Midlothian. Pours black with a thin khaki head. It looks like a stout but smells like a sour ale with a hint of vinegar. Very tart and sour on the tongue with a hint of malt coming through. Not to everybody’s taste but I dug it.