muzzlehatch (4959) - Beloit, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 13, 2006
12 oz bottle from Blue Max in Burnsville, MN (Dec 2005), shared with ClarkVV at cellar temperature. Wow if I’d known this was a rarity I’d have bought more....then again....it pours an opaque cloudy-dirty pinkish brown, darkening to dried blood, with a bit of faintly pinkish head.....it smells of dried and perhaps rotting fruits, cherries and sour apples and currents with a sourdough yeastiness and a touch of mineral, limestone I think....taste is of dried fruits, but also very woody/twiggy, more like sucking on dry plum pits or dessicated currant/raisin skins than fresh fruits....quite sour, with a mouthfeel by turns liqueur-ish syrupys, pulpy and in the end, waxy....this is a maddening, curious beast that I didn’t much like at all until near the end of the glass when it won some grudging respect. Worth a try for the adventurous or fans of the brewery. Ratman197 (14834) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - FEB 21, 2006
Bottle [thanks to robertburns] poured a murky burgandy with a lasting pink head. Aromas of berries, some sourness and a hint of honey. Palate was medium bodied and smooth. Flavors of currants, some sourness and an earthiness with a smooth, tart lingering finish. JK (6160) - St. Louis Park, Minnesota, USA - FEB 17, 2006
This is a pleasant and unusual beer. I think it looks kind of cool. It is a fruit beer, and you can tell by looking at it that it is a fruit beer; I don’t think that makes it look bad. It looks like raspberry daiquiri, small pieces of dark sedimetn and a thin and long last layer of pink foam. The aroma is sour berries. The flavor is sour as well, not like a lambic but a fruit sourness with a light acidic bite. The alcohol is completely hidden, and I am surprised to see this is 8%. Fairly thick. Extra points for creativity; this is not your typical fruit or desert beer. Styles (2014) - Lincoln Park, Michigan, USA - FEB 14, 2006
Bottle courtesy of wohlfs. Right off the bat, this beer definately lacks in appearance. Murky, chalky, reddish-brown color, reminds me of something, I’d rather not say. Aroma is sugary sweet and sour berries. Reminds me of currant candles. Flavor is over the top currant/berry, again sugary sweet with a slight acidic finish. Just can’t get past the appearance, really killed this beer for me. badgerben (5178) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - FEB 8, 2006
I honestly thought I had just poured myself a raspberry smoothy from the look of this. Medium head. Aroma of bubble gum. Taste certainly had currant with a slightly sour and tart finish. Maybe I’m just not a fan of currants, but the fruit did not blend well with the beer base. Alcohol not doing the taste any favors either.
goldtwins (4320) - Nesconset, New York, USA - JAN 25, 2006
Poured a murky brown with a pink tinit and slightly pink small head. Aroma of tart currants and leather. Light notes of alcohol. Flavor of sweet currants and caramel. Finish is acidic and drys somewhat but leaves remanents of the berry and a touch of pepper. CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - JAN 23, 2006
Bottle thanks to wohlfs: Really cloudy murky muddy ruby pour with a pillowy pink head, even after settling in the fridge for a week. Earthy, fruity black currant aroma has some subtle complexity. Body starts with a touch of malty sweetness nicely balanced with a lot of semi-tart black currant flavor. Lightly warming fruity complexity in the finish. A nice, interesting fruit beer. BBB63 (6557) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - DEC 31, 2005
Bottle provided by Wohlfsenstein: Spent over a week in the frig trying to settle the yeast but never cleared. JCW (1278) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - DEC 29, 2005
Served in my NB flute and poured a murky brown, red, and violet with a pinkish fizzy head that left good lace. The nose detects currants (duh) and orange as well, bready and sweet malts, earthy and Belgian yeast esters, and a touch of ashy woodiness. The flavor matched the aroma profile mostly with the sweet malts at the forefront followed by a dash of tart fruit. Even a bit of alcohol is detected in this overall quite earthy brew. Finished with a strange sourness that lingered on forever. The feel is loose and flighty, carbonated and yet soft with a moderate alcohol warming and puckery finish. Not bad but seemed to just miss in the execution phase. Worth a try if you can dig a fruit beer.
UPDATED: MAR 12, 2007 Bottle. This has to be the funkiest looking beer I’ve ever had. Looks very muddy except that there is a lot of purple mixed in with the mud. Normal head. Odd aroma, mostly sour, the rest like grapes my family would grow to make jelly out of every year. Palate is like eating a sweet tart. Finish is musty, tart, and slighty fruity. Not a beer I would seek out. Nuffield (4171) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - DEC 20, 2005
Fruit beers are, I think, the most delicate balance if you’re going to garner praise from the aggregated masses of beer enthusiasts. On the one hand you have to avoid the excessives of fruit beers that titilate tastebuds with sweetness and over-the-top fruit, engendering gendered commentary about beers meant for "the ladies". On the other hand you have to give the beer a raison d’etre, since the fruit is expected to do something. Cassis is an interesting choice for a beer, because it is a flavor not known to many people, or at least not immediately holding you by the ear like a schoolteacher. The first signal that this beer intends to do something is the appearance, a murky, lake-bottom cloud of red and brown, substantial and thick, like the puree of fruit in a smoothie. O, so much promise! I first had cassis in 2000, in the form of a liquor de cassis and white wine apertif. Incidentally that happened in Beckley, Oxfordshire, in a cottage named Rose Cottage. Here the aroma captures much of the same spirit, with the soft, subtle tripel base of the Rose and the gentle and uncommon fruitiness of oranges, raspberries, and lingonberries (ever had IKEA’s lingonberry fruit drink?). It’s not defining in any direction. The flavor resolves it for me, however: the fruit is there, coming across more sour than before, with a yeastiness, too, but it can’t hold up to the alcohol of the tripel. The palate is interesting and good for the entire journey: substantial, meaty, heavy with fruit and goodness, zingy of carbonation, alcohol, and tang. In concept this was a really good idea: two subtle, delicate flavors blended to try to complement one another. But they didn’t complement, even as they didn’t necessarily detract from one another. It was a great concept with no carry-through. It had the potential for everything but the reality of nothing. It was the best of times and it was the most uneventful of times. And, I wish to mention also, my 2000th rating.