Sparky (2244) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - MAY 21, 2009
Bottle. This one was a gusher. What was left poured cloudy orange with a 2 finger dense beige head that leaves great lacing. The nose is funky cheese, wood and light vinegar. The taste is faint horse blanket, rochfort cheese and wood with some light balsamic vinegar in the finish. Medium prickly mouthfeel. Good stuff – wasn’t expecting a sourish ale. This one was worth the $5 pricetag. sigma23 (380) - , Maine, USA - MAY 18, 2009
this one is very odd to me. pours almost a crystal brown with small head. fairly fizzy though. aroma is oak/wood, fruits, and a sour i cant place. drinks fairly woody with some dark fruits and apple peel, with an odd mild sour finish, not bad, just not expected. this one is different, but in a good way. try to get one anders37 (26137) - Malmö, SWEDEN - MAY 10, 2009
Bottle. Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a small white head. Has a fruity malty slightly oaky aroma. Fruity malty woody oaky flavor with some sourish hints. Fruity malty warming finish with some oaky hints in the aftertaste. ElJefe (553) - Rochester, New York, USA - MAY 6, 2009
Pours orange-brown with a pillowy two-finger light tan head that is very well retained. Aroma of oak, cedar, apple, a slight graininess, and a definite wild, bretty character that had me thinking this was gonna be tart - not what I expected at all. Flavor is fruity (peaches, pears), mild tartness, and a strong woodiness. A dry, tannic bitterness in the finish that kind of ruins it for me. Medium body, fairly well carbonated. (12 oz. bottle) minch25 (577) - Medford, Massachusetts, USA - MAY 3, 2009
Gusher; made a mess.
Bretty aroma, JP-esque, but with some exotic lychee or some such. Hazy apricot orange, medium frothy tan head. Yeasty, more brett, oak or cedar. Fluffy - the powdery texture of a dry pear. I can see the sake influence, thought I wouldn’t have picked it out without it being told to me. This really would fit right in with the rest of Jolly Pumpkin’s lineup. There’s a lot going on here, though comparisons to Orval would seem to be exaggerated.
ante (3373) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - MAY 3, 2009
Bottled at Monks Café, Sveavägen, Stockholm. Pours out in a hazy reddish amber colour with rich sticky tan coloured foam. Peculiar and really well-rounded strong yeasty and fruity aroma of raspberries, cherries, pears, peaches, flowers, perfume and spicy cedar. Medium to full-bodied with notes of perfumy ricey and cedary spicy yeast with sweetish notes of raisins, orange-blossoms, rose-petals and fudge. Long balanced aftertaste of flowers, toasted malts, almonds, cedar and starfruits. This was a special little thing with all of the distinctly different flavours which melted so well with each other. Unique. Seek it out, I will do it again for sure. FlacoAlto (4176) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAY 3, 2009
Sampled March 2009robertjm (891) - Albany, California, USA - MAY 3, 2009
This foams up slowly as soon as I pop the cap. A careful pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a dense, two-finger thick, amber tinged, light tan colored head. As the head slowly subsides it leaves some nice lacing patterns on the sides of the glass. The beer is a murky, plum color that shows an almost opaque, golden cherry-red color when held up to the light. The aroma is quite interesting, not at all what I expected, even given that I didn’t know what to expect. The nose has a light tartness to it, a ripe fruitiness that reminds me a bit of a desert wine and some definite plum; there is an earthy maltiness that is something like raisins, perhaps a touch of musty damp cellar like notes and, as I dig deeper, a bright cinnamon note that mixes with the rich fruity aromatics. There seems a back note to the spiciness that reminds me a bit of cedar somehow, though this is quite subtle and difficult to grasp at times.
The taste has a certain sweetness to it, but really is more rich and complex than simply sweet. The body is fairly full, and is viscous enough to weigh down what would otherwise be a very effervescent level of carbonation. The finish has a touch of astringency to it as well as a distinct, though soft, note that definitely reminds me of the after-taste of sake. This has flavors from the sake that remind me of a flint-like, white wine, and when combined with some of the other sweet fruity notes from the beer can remind me of raisins at times. The finish has a note of brown sugar, as well as a touch of rum that lingers. Cedar like flavors add a spiciness to this beer that is a mix of pepper, ginger, allspice and cinnamon, though not really any of these things exactly.
When I come back to the nose I get a much stronger presence of cedar, though it is still fairly soft; I really wonder where this is coming from, is a traditional Sake cask made of cedar? A quick google search shows that this is indeed the wood that is traditionally used for Sake and could explain its flavor presence in this beer. Some further research though suggests that this was aged in oak barrels. Either way there is an interesting wood-influenced character to this beer that is a bit different from anything I have experienced before in beer.
This is a very interesting beer, the sake cask aging definitely adds a distinct, interesting signature to this beer. The base beer easily stands up to this though, and the two combine to form a pretty well integrated, interesting whole that is likely greater than the just the sum of the two spirits.
(XH.9.8??) Attack of the foam!! Unfortunately, a gusher coming out of the bottle so spilt a whole bunch on my carpet. Head in glass of huge bubbles. Murky medium brown body. Aroma is very phenolic. Flavor of wet bandaids. I haven’t had sake in a long time. Is that I’m tasting? After letting it warm up a little the plasticy taste does fade a bit. Sorry, but I’m just not feeling this one. apshah99 (147) - Portland, Oregon, USA - MAY 2, 2009
Hazy dark amber pour with very thick off-white head. Aroma of spices and malt. Initial taste is slightly sour, progresses through light sweet malt, fruit, spices (mostly clove), yeast, and sake. Ends with some more sweet malt and light refreshing bitter hops. Very nice. beernbourbon (1590) - Iowa City, Iowa, USA - MAY 1, 2009
Gusher, took several minutes to pour it. Worth the wait though. Pour is cloudy orange with huge rocky tan head. Aroma is wood, funk, grapes, olives, and leather. Flavor is mildly sour, green olives, fruit, with a woody finish. Interesting and really good.