TheAlum (7164) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - APR 29, 2013
Bottle shared at Dark Lord Day (Munster, IN). Pours a rich murky brownish pour, some good glow on the edges. Darker brown middle with frothy tannish head atop dies to a small layer, laces ok. Aromas are carmelized, a bit sticky and oxidized. Wet oak, mellow tartness, gentle fruit and funk on the nose. A bit old but still has some life. Initial is medium bodied, a bit smoky and oxidized. Gentle toastiness, mellow sour fruit. A touch lactic and tart. Some funky brett, mellow oak. Sticky and oaky, caramel and barrel, vanilla and butterscotch. A bit oxidzed, mellow tartness and funk as we round the corner. Backend is dry, barrel, and carmelized. A bit sticky, mellow tartness and barrel. A bit older and past it’s prime, more like an Old Ale. Ok. Peacehammer (624) - California, USA - JAN 11, 2012
Taster in the Alesmith tap room, in Late Oct. 2011. Reviewed from memory.
Beer had been aged in a barrel. It took on a lot of sour notes through the aging process, but I never had the standard 06 decadence so I don’t have a ton to compare it to. hamilton23 (619) - Alpine, California, USA - DEC 24, 2011
On tap at Alesmith’s tasting room. Pours a reddish brown color with some beige head. Aroma is rye and some funk. Taste is slightly tart with some sweetness in there too. Some caramel, but overwhelmed by the funk. CaraCurtis (117) - Nevada, USA - DEC 15, 2011
This beer is fantastic. What I love most is the unexpected sour. This beer went unintentionally sour and I find it brilliant. There is an apparent sour to the aroma. It is not like a normal sour beer, but there is a definite hint. I think the hint is helpful because once you taste it, the sour is different and not so much unexpected, but still very surprising. Had it on draft today at Ale Smith. It is a mistake gone right. nickd717 (4682) - San Francisco, California, USA - DEC 14, 2011
-Bals, -bals, delicious -bals! What a great tick for #3200! On tap at AleSmith. Cloudy dark reddish-brown with a small light tan head. Great aroma, mildly tart with red berries, toffee, sherry, oak, and faded hops. Very nice flavor, if a tad past peak. Caramel and toffee with sherry, oak, vanilla, vinous notes, and tartness. Medium-full body with mild acidity and a smooth mouthfeel. Great, interesting, and unique beer.
iowaherkeye (2703) - Ocean Beach, San Diego, California, USA - NOV 11, 2011
A couple samples worth at the brewery. Clear ruby with a creamy beige, one finger with pretty good retention. Bourbon and brown sugar nose quickly changes to old oxidized pine hops and some acidic sourness, toffee at the backend. Are they still having problems with infections? Flavor follows, though the sourness is pretty tame. Has almost none of the residual bitterness that the base beer had, surprisingly. I agree with Andrew, in that this is quite oxidized. Semi-dry, dirty bitterness peaked at a 3-4, sourness at a 2-3, some alcohol noted. Full body, low creamy carbonation. The sourness had to be an accident, but didn’t quite ruin the beer. daleharshman (1064) - Escondido, California, USA - NOV 4, 2011
Went to the brewery to get a growler of Winter Yulesmith and was very happy to see this on tap and have a taster. Pours a very deep dark dusty red hue with a big creamy beige head. Aroma has lots of nice rich caramel along with tart cherry, raisin, hints of coffee and chocolate, and some bourbon. Flavor is very complex with some definite sourish and wet oaky notes along with tart cherry (but not puckeringly so). Other flavor notes include dark fruits, dark caramel, coffee, and chocolate. Creamy mouthfeel with the big ABV very well concealed. The hops have clearly mellowed out in five years. The malts are greatly enhanced and the sour-woodiness adds lots of complexity. Yet another great one from the masters at Alesmith. (15, 631) Lagunitasfan (1323) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 29, 2011
UPDATED: DEC 1, 2011 On tap at brewery. Murky red brown with dense tan head. Nose tart cherry and raisin. Taste is big tart with round sweet to dry smack in the back. Don’t taste the imperial red it used to be. I like a lot what it turned into. BMan1113VR (7931) - Los Angeles, California, USA - OCT 24, 2011
On tap at the brewery. Two samples to make sure. Sadly I’m a bit against the grain on this one. The beer had its high points, but a couple (perceived) flaws that I couldn’t get over. Pours with a hazed reddish hued body with a lasting tan head. Aromas of red currants, lots of oxidation, barrel (bourbon, vanilla, wet leaves), red wine, a bit of earthy caramel and oxidation. Flavors are a bit sharply sour, very earthy, oxidation (lots of oxidized hop notes [think old hoppy american barley wine] in an unpleasant way), currants, very vinous, oak. Medium to light bubbles, lasting acidity and rich malt balance. Interesting, but sadly not to pleasant. Mistake or not, I’m glad to have tried it. JohnnyJ (5562) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 21, 2011
Draft at the brewery. Clear red with slight cloudy wisps and off-white head. Rich deep malts, toffee, dark fruit, sourness (like tart red cherry), some lactic acid, and light bourbon oak notes. A very nice, interesting beer.