ClarkVV (6839) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - AUG 16, 2006
UPDATED: JUN 26, 2007 2004 bottle consumed on 8/11/06.TheEpeeist (3709) - Media, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 9, 2006
Fabulous appearance, as always, from Blaugies, with a rich, tangerine-skin-orange flecked medium-dark beige head that is, of course, perfectly well-retained, slow to recede even an inch and fully coats the glass with lacing.
With a deep inhale, I come away overwhelmed by a thoroughly complex nose. Yeasty, for sure, with plenty of musty notes, hard minerals, damp wood and on the very end, a slightly vegetal, or just extremely corky/musty note that dosent quite sit well with my nose. Whatever it is, it seems quite organic (as opposed to chemical/medicinal) and though I could guess for hours, perhaps it is even a large amount of Special B malt, I really have no idea what it is. Suffice to say it is old, damp, somewhat limpid and I don’t think the near-vegetal nature of it complements the saison style well. Adding to this, and helping to alleviate it somewhat, though not fully, is a plethora of phenol activity, redolent of cinnamon, black pepper, clove, etc...While this certainly helps dry out some of the aforementioned quality, it comes to dominate the finish, and leave a dry, phenolic and rather quick finish to the nose. Malt sweetness shows a mix of raisins, prunes, caramel and medium-dry toffee. Hints of vanilla-flavored cream add a balancing sweetness, but the soggy, old, musty qualities seem to set in too much so from the start, nor does the sweet malt "enliven" things.
The musty, old, cellar-like yeastiness is heavy in the flavor, with an old, mushy raisin quality, hints of cocoa, cinnamon and caramel and vanilla sugars. While the texture certainly provides an engaging carbonation, the body has a slight slickness to it, with more astringent-like phenols on the finish. The odd yeast meatiness, whatever the hell it is, hangs on and battles with the ample maltiness, but the result is just muddled. Some very slight warmth from the alcohol contributes to dryness, while a tartness begins to grow on the palate from the beginning and builds. But it’s almost a grapey-tartness and further muddles things, IMHO.
I don’t know, I’ve now had three bottles and while I certainly see great qualities, and believe there are perfect/near-perfect bottles out there, I can’t seem to find one. They’ve been either too sweet, too phenolic or too "old/musty/vinous". So I’ll keep searching, lord knows Blaugies is phenomenal stuff. 7/5/6/3/13
Original U.S. importation bottle, 750mL, drunk on 12/9/2006
I think these older bottles, with the much more basic labels (pictured at left), are 2002 or 2003 vintages. Anywho, wow, what a difference! The disappointing newer vintages, rather muddled and overly sweet and caramelly share very little in common with this bottle. Tart and quite acidic in the nose, with less gummy, tacky, sweet dark fruits and more dry malt and dry yeast character.
Except for some strong fusel apparency on the finish, this flavor is explosive, with powerful wild yeasts that are difficult to define (not any clear brett or lacto flavors) adding tartness and lots of acidity. Some dark fruits are present, but the malts really help keep things dry as well, and yet add lots of chewy, nearly bready qualities. None of the mushy caramel, as I just mentioned, and a very, very strong, tight carbonation. Vanilla and black pepper phenols combine with a strong earthiness on the finish. Without the fusels and probably with about 2 years less age on this, I can definitely see where Ernest picked up his 5.0 rating. As is, it’s still extremely enjoyable, but for the heavy fusel content. 8/5/7/4/15
25.4 oz bottle 2005. Enjoyed poolside at Disney’s Polynesian on a Monday morning. Dark apple juice with a creamy, light tan head. Nose of yeasty mulled cider and cloves. A bit of orange and a hint of green banana. Yeast and some spice remain. Moderate carb; almost light. Dries at the end. A refreshing winter. DocLock (10973) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 24, 2006
Pours turbid brown/tan with medium khaki head. Aromas of cobwebby malts, some spices, some hops, and some peaty, woody toffee/brown sugary notes. The flavor was a bit of a letdown, with the caramelly, spicy, cobwebby malt, plus some peaty yeast and toffee hints. Medium palate. JMFG (1587) - Florida, USA - JUL 8, 2006
Bottle has a blue label with winter scene on it and "special winter ale" printed on it, so it looks different than the picture provided here. Pours a cloudy copper color with white head. Aroma with a hint of spice to it, but not really much there. The palate is soft, but not thin. Taste is dry, effervescent, and sour/bitter at the end. A good saison, but might not but enough to keep me coming back. Glouglouburp (6103) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 1, 2006
UPDATED: OCT 25, 2009 In short: A nice toasted semi-wild, semi-dry Belgian ale with a superb mild but complex spicy character. Great brew.
ElPresidente1984 (173) - Maine, USA - MAY 17, 2006
How: Bottle 750ml. Consumed when about 6 months of age
The look: Cloudy golden body with a generous beige head with medium retention.
In long: Nose has a pleasant array of spicess. Taste is very toasted, lots of toasted bread with only a little caramel, yeasty dryness, a light wild yeast character, nice spicy character, some berries. The spicy character is very well done because it manages complex while not being too upfront. No specific spice comes through, it is just… spicy. Superb full body lively mouthfeel. Somewhat dry. Everything is well done in this beer but the main attraction remains the spcies and there’s enough of them to confuse Martha Stewart.
Bottle, my bro brought it up from Orlando. pours a brown/ dark amber color. smallish white head. aroma is of sweet malts, caramel, and hazelnuts. flavor is similar, with carmel, brown sugar, hazel nuts. has a nice clean finnish, flavor kinda reminds me of Rogue hazelnut brown, but i think this is better. light and refreshing, yet not lacking anything in the flavor department. i really liked this one. definatly underated. Cletus (6355) - Connecticut, USA - FEB 24, 2006
2005 bottle. Pours amber with a decent white head. Smells of funky barnyard initially with some nice citrus and perfume elements eventually peaking through. Taste is light and airy with nice delicate citrussy elements and a slight woodsy finish. I’m looking forward to comparing this to the 2001 bottle I have in my cellar. ante (3373) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - FEB 15, 2006
Bottle at Akkurat, Stockholm. Vintage 2001. Cloudy orange appearance. with small white sheet. Fruity and funky aroma od dried oranges, all-spice, wet grass, honey, cork, outdoor smell and wet wood. Flavour starts of orange-peels, dried apricot and minerals. Strong carbonation. Cheesy notes of wet wood and minerals in the afteraste. BeerandBlues2 (13719) - Escondido, California, USA - FEB 7, 2006
750 mL bottle. Pours hazy orange with a tall foamy head and lined lacing. Aroma is yeast (earthy, barn, horse blanket) and malt (lightly toasted grain, meal), sour fruit, hay, straw, oak, cellared notes. Tart grapefruit, medium sweetness, medium acidity and bitterness, with a lingering rind tartness and some tropical fruit notes. Medium bodied, fizzy and spicy palate, slightly dry. jpm30 (1587) - East Central, Georgia, USA - FEB 7, 2006
From a 750ml. green bottle with a notched best before, in french, on left hand side of front label, 10/07. Made a good appearance, poured into a tulip chalice a cloudy with sediment orange hued copper with a large frothy, rocky white head that reduced to a 2cm. foamy sticky lacing. Had a farmhouse aroma, a funky, earthy yeastiness, followed by a tart sweet fruitiness. Good carbonation and a dry, slick medium bodied mouth feel, good drinkability. Had a good earthy yeastiness and tart fruity taste, a mellow, relaxed bitterness, just enough sweet maltiness to balance the taste, a slight alcohol sting on the tongue and a dry, yeasty, tart finish.