Treebs (872) - , Illinois, USA - OCT 4, 2012
Served on tap at Maria’s Package Goods and Community Bar during Chicago Craft Beer Week.
A: Poured a light orange with little to no head. Just a slight film on the top.
S: A very fruity smell comes off with nice yeast back note to fill it out. Also some flowers come to mind with the hops represented.
T: Classic yeast wheat taste with a nice citrus note up front. Nice sweetness of some apples and on the back end with a wood chip like quality to the end.
M: Incredibly smooth. Very light for being barrel aged and coats the tongue with a nice sweet yeast that has some run-off from the brandy barrel.
O: An incredibly complex beer that is also so simple at the same time. Half Acre never disappoints and this another one of those types of works of art. If you like pale ales with a sweet back drop over a pronounced wheat forefront, please try this.
Serving type: on-tap
Reviewed on: 05-21-2011 Pawola22 (3262) - Woodridge, Illinois, USA - AUG 8, 2012
750ml bottle that the guys at HA gave out for free as a reward for waiting in line for their Galactic Double Daisy Cutter which was on 8/19/2011. Bottle #63/108 with a date of 4/11 marked on it. Pours a hazed, deep golden-copper colored body with a two finger-width, frothy, dirty white head that dissipates slowly and leaves a nice lacing throughout. Aroma is pretty cool. Soft flowers and fruits with some orange peel, apple, peach, and cherry with a clean hint of wheat and caramel offering a smooth, slightly doughy malt backing. Light barrel notes with touches of vanilla and brandy as well as hints of spice. Flavor is good, but not quite as enjoyable as the aroma. Still soft and flowery throughout, but the barrel feels like it contrasts with the delicate flavor aspects at times. It’s not boozy or excessive, but it just doesn’t fit perfectly with the base. The fruits come out more up front with some doughy malts in the middle giving off a touch of caramel and a light wheat. Smooth vanilla comes in towards the end with a bit more orange peel, which I really like, before the barrel takes this home and it finishes clean and smooth, but dry and slightly bitter from the wood with a distinct heat and a light brandy note coming through in a lengthy, woody aftertaste. Soft and smooth, medium body and a soft, moderate carbonation. Overall, I definitely didn’t think the barrel ruined the beer, but it wasn’t a perfect fit with the base (I was a big fan of the Ambrosia). Some nice flowery, soft fruits and at times I thought the light vanilla and brandy worked nicely with the base, but the wood was just a bit of a deterrent IMO. Nonetheless, I found this interesting and enjoyable. Thanks again to the HA crew and their dedication to keeping Chicago happy. wedgie9 (2703) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - JAN 6, 2012
Tasted on 8/21/11 from a 750mL bottle shared by ryan585, thanks Ryan, bottle number 96 of 108. Pours a murky burnt auburn orange color with a thick off-white head that slowly recedes to thin, uneven lacing. The nose is spicy with the hibiscus coming through, some caramel malt, with a bit of underlying vanilla brandy aroma. The flavor is once again, spicy with hibiscus, along with some caramel malt, and the underlying brandy vanilla flavor. The body is medium with full, but creamy smooth carbonation and a long spicy and vanilla brandy finish. chibuck (3521) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - SEP 8, 2011
Bottle... Murky light copper with a thin off white cap... A sweet candynote on the back, light brandy water with honey, ok...super light taste, watered down brandy, super easy to drink... Crushable spirit water that’s a hundred times better than I thought it would be Brigadier (3750) - Chagrin Falls, Ohio, USA - AUG 18, 2011
On tap at GTMW (2011)
SrSilliGose (3332) - pouring bus, New Brunswick, CANADA - MAY 27, 2011
On any other day this would have been good. Put up against the likes of BCS Rare, Flossmoor sours, and other barrel aged gems it was merely another highlight. Brandy, peaches, and a soft light feel do set it apart from heavier barrel offerings. At around five to six percent ABV it sets the standard for how aging can be used on not just sours or huge barleywines / imperial stouts / etc.
1.5 ounce backwashed sample shared by alum. rated from memory one week later. doughy, light toast, with a touch of crisp apple sweetness. not much of a kolsch. barrel isn’t too intrusive. low carbonation. neat to try. NobleSquirrel (3439) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 23, 2011
Draft at the Maria’s Party. Poured a slightly hazed orange with an offwhite head. Nose is surprisingly non-boozy. Keeps that fruity floral thing going with some candy and earthy hops. On taste, it kicks you in the back of the throat with sticky booze. Not particularly hot. Nice fruitiness remains and the brandy hasn’t washed it out too much. Pretty solid overall though it could have used some fruit added to the barrel to be really kickass. Frank (4235) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 22, 2011
On tap at Maria’s. I’d put this down more as interesting than extremely good but I can’t complain. It’s a pale beer w/ a mild brandy presence which lends hints of sweet cherries and vanilla. Earthy bitterness in the finish rounds things out. It works but it is kind of an uncomfortable compromise between a session ale and a big barrel aged beer. holdenn (2127) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 21, 2011
On tap at Marias. Clear gold with almost no head. Some dough citrus and earthiness. Light aromas. Sweet somewhat syruppy flavors. Bitter pine and grapefruit, cloying earthy. Lots of alcohol and oak. Drying my mouth. Dark fruits muddle the oak wheat, hops, and everything else in this beer. Really kind of a mess. 7/3/5/3/11
HonkeyBra (4044) - Lemont, Illinois, USA - MAY 20, 2011
On tap. Reddish orange pour with very little head. Aroma is extremely fruity. Fair amount of booziness and slight brandy notes that come out as it warms. Some bready, lots of fruit. Light dough and candied fruits. Flavor is also fruity. Some vanilla, orange, the barrel begins to peak out as it warms. Notes of wet oak, booze, brandy. The barrel certainly doesn’t improve the beer. In fact, I like the original Ambrosia is better. Still, pretty cool beer.