Alengrin (5334) - BELGIUM - MAR 12, 2016
Grape beer with wild yeast aged on bourgogne barrels. Vintage bottle of 75 cl dating back to 2009, the year before Alvinne introduced its Morpheus yeast (a mix of wild Saccharomyces and lactic bacteria), so in this case, I assume some or other Brettanomyces has been used on top of standard top fermentation. Lot number is 281; since most sour beers age beautifully, I am very curious to find out what seven years of cellaring did to this one. Loose, pale greyish beige head consisting of tiny champagne-like bubbles, dissolving in seconds to almost nothing; pure mahogany colour (reddish brown rather than brownish red) with bronze hue, initially with vivid fizz, but calming down very quickly. Adding the deposit in the very end results in an almost coffee-like, very brown, murky robe. Musty, fruity, quite rich and attractive aroma: very old red wine, hazelnut, passion fruit, medlar, blue grape peel, dried orange peel, moist wood, dry forest floor and quite strong but pleasing mushroom, blackberry jam, almond, old dry ginger powder, stewed pear, wet leather (Brett!), balsamico, hint beef stock or horse steak. Estery, softly sour-fruity onset with nicely balancing subtle fruit sweetness, impressions of redcurrant, gooseberry, blackberry, passion fruit and still a very finely, very gently tingling carbonation despite the lack of head or visible fizz (I see older ratings here talking about overcarbonation, but aging has apparently solved this issue in the meantime). A soft, ’fluffy’, caramelly malt sweetness ensues evolving into a pleasant ’nuttiness’ with a very subtle bittering side effect matching well with the fruit sweetness and tartness, the latter of which dries the palate, but in a soft, non-astringent way, as in a classic ’oud bruin’ (Flemish red). Lovely woodiness creeps up in the end, old oak flavors yielding enjoyable retronasal tannins along with some faint varnish-like phenols and indeed, a retronasal aroma and taste of red wine thinly but unmistakably remains on the back of the tongue after swallowing, drying a bit further; hops are close to absent, as they should be in a sour ale. I love an oak aged sour beer and this is a good example for sure: it has this fruity tartness with a drying effect, but in a very elegant, soft way. The wild yeast effects lend it some mild funkiness but also in a gentle way, not overpowering the basic character of the beer or the red wine factor, which is played out very well. Sweet and sour work together in a perfectly balanced way - think Flemish red style ale. I think this seven year old bottle has aged with dignity and elegance and I am glad I tasted it. Goes well with the ’carbonades à la flamande’ (beef slowly stewed in beer) I’m preparing, too... thebeertourist (5189) - Oslo, NORWAY - JUL 13, 2009
Bottle. Over-eager to get out of the bottle, the head died down somewhat after a dramatic start. Hazy, red copper colour with some sediment. Intense vinous aroma, quite a bit of woody notes, sour fruit. A lot of berry flavours, strawberries, hints of vanilla, sour fruit, an dry wood, especially towards the finish. Great stuff. Palme (4807) - Bergen, NORWAY - JUL 17, 2014
0.75l bottle. A cloudy dark red one with a small sidesticking beige top. Smells quite nice, fruity sweet red berries, a slight red wine vinegar hint with lots of wood and some lemon zest. It gives a zing in the mouth alright. Red berries and wood. More of that vinegar, but more a apply version. Oily mouthfeel with a below average carbonation level. Refreshing, lots of red berries. Lots of white currants. Acidity fresh! 20.01.2013 _angst_ (4802) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - FEB 13, 2012
750 ml bottle bought @ Etre Gourmet. Shared at epic tasting on February 11. Pours dark copper brown with a small creamy off-white head that clings to the glass while dissipating. Smell is sour with raisins, prunes, dates, burnt sugar, lemon juice, ripe grapes, gooseberries, wood and hay. Taste is slightly sweet, slightly sour and tart with orange juice, red wine, grass, dried fruits, red berries and hints of metal, minerals and wood. Mouthfeel is rather creamy and tart. Finish is subtle and slightly sour with lemon peal. sfhodense (4789) - Odense NØ, DENMARK - NOV 2, 2010
Pours copper with a beige head. Aroma is malt, redwine notes and light phenolic. Flavour is malt, sour, redwine notes and light phenolic.
Cavie (4717) - Arlington, Texas, USA - OCT 31, 2010
Bottle courtesy bu11zeye. Clear brownish orange color. White ring of head. Aroma is fresh, fruity, oak and vanilla. Flavor is oaky, dry with a light touch of fruit. Not much of a finish; dry. sayravai (4710) - Helsinki, FINLAND - AUG 27, 2010
UPDATED: NOV 2, 2013 (Bottled, 0.75l) Hazy darkish amber with a small, firm head. Tart and wineous nose with peachy wild yeast, and a touch of acidity from the grapes. Mildly tart, bretty and fruity flavor with plenty of yeast, a touch of acidity, cloves and some cherries. Almost medium body with low, yet slightly fizzy carbonation. Quite mild and mellow overall, but quite enjoyable. Will cellar the other bottle for some years to let the brettanomyces really kick in. 4264 (Revisit 2013-11-02: Still only mild tartness present. Quite berry-fruity, not very interesting, almost watery. Good, but expected more.) Bullit (4631) - Burgos, SPAIN - APR 12, 2009
Bottle @ Skortila. Light brown colour, off-white head. Aroma is sour. Hints of paint and vanilla. Flavour is sour, fruity, with grapes. Nice one. Vaiz (4460) - Den Haag, NETHERLANDS - SEP 27, 2010
Bottle at 2nd BBF @ De Molen. Nice rounded aroma with clearly some fresh grapes and red wine. Still very well balanced and only slightly sour and somewhat sweet. Very nice brew. tkrjukoff (4335) - SWEDEN - FEB 12, 2012
Courtesy of _angst_. Pours cloudy mahogany with a small bubbly beige head leaving some lacing. Aroma is sour, malty, fruity, vinous. Flavor is vinous, sour, fruity, cellar, bittery, dry. Very pleasant to drink. Finishes fruity sour with some bitter tones.