TAR (2802) - Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina, USA - JAN 21, 2004
Gold foil issue: Clear, dim mahogany. Fizzling, loose tan head. Aroma packed with tannins, sour cherries, musty oak, perfumey alcohol, and zingy vinous notes. Brettanomyces take the backseat to the balasamic vinegar, leather, leafy undertones. Some peachy esters mixed-in with cunning hop notes and plummy malts. Soft, slick body. Loose, tiny-bubbled, carbonation. Starts with an ungodly blend of leathery malts and tart, musty cherries matched with a burst of chewy hops. The acidity is rich and becomes addictive as it eases the hops and adds to the mild astringency. Glorious brett and tannic notes come and go. Colossal hops return in the substantially dry finish under a blanket of woody, medicinal notes and mild astringency. Tannins enrich the tartness while absorbing the chewy, earthy hops. Still very young, but with some age, the sky’s the limit with this beauty. Thanks, jcalabre! scraff (2125) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - JAN 19, 2004
This was an awesome beer drinking experience. Dark crimson and ruby with a non lasting tan head. Sour oak barrel cherries, dark fruits, vinous, and quite earthy. Very dry palate with a nice medium body. A rich ending at room temp, hints of vanilla and caramel right as you get the very last few precious sips. Fantastic beer. Thanks Hopscotch for sharing! hopscotch (11492) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - JAN 18, 2004
UPDATED: OCT 10, 2007 Co-rated with scraff... This beer rocks!... Crystal clear, deep, dark, ruby ale with a small, beige, creamy head. Sour cherries, oak, port, lambic, maple and a little vanilla in the nose.
The flavor is very tart with lots of warming alcohol, earth and wood. Well-bittered and sour enough to balance everything out. Medium-bodied with a dry mouthfeel. Lemony, bitter/sour finish. Sucks all moisture from the mouth. Rich butter and caramel at the wee end of the finish. Excellent beer! Thanks to cquiroga for the bottle! raindog (560) - Evansville, Indiana, USA - JAN 3, 2004
Gold foil:Holy shit,this is incredible! Dark red/brown. Nice ring of khaki head. Excellent aroma of musty malts,cherry,oak,vinegar,and bretts. Full mouthfeel,very creamy,and smooth. Full front flavors of cherries,oak,brown malt,and vinegar/vinous sensations. Finish is loaded with very clean cherry,oak,brett flavors. Not my style,but no doubt,this is one of a kind! Send me some,please!Thanks Hops! JCW (1279) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JAN 3, 2004
UPDATED: JAN 22, 2004 Gold Foil. Wow, what a beer, thanks Bob!. Aroma is fruity, vinegary, and yes barrel aged. Flavor is somewhat sour, fruity and winey. Body is typical for the style pretty much like a Merlot wine. Finish is sour and sweet. Excellent!
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - DEC 16, 2003
UPDATED: FEB 23, 2005 2002 (Red Foil Bottle #56) Rated 1/26/2005 10/5/10/5/19/4.9 Eyedrinkale (3235) - Astoria, New York, USA - DEC 15, 2003
Pours a stunning dark blood red, almost opaque. Small ring of dense tan head that lasts throughout. Light glass lacing. Killer aroma, medium tart cherry, oak, light vanilla and vinous red grapes. A definite brett character that is evident in the vinegar and light leather notes. The flavor, like the aroma, is a wonder. An initial explosion of vinegar is quickly cut by a vinous big red cabernet grape tartness, which in turn morphs into some very vinous sweetness. The flavors are truly outstanding. Alcohol comes into play late but provides a very pleasant warming and serves to nicely complement the dry wine like palate. This one is way better than the last one that I tried, and I gave that one a 4.4! This is one of the best beers I have ever had. Wow!
2002 (Gold Foil) Rated Dec 16, 2003 9/4/9/4/18/4.4 Very dark brown with hints of red hues. Very small head. Excellent aroma. Sour, cherry, oak, and alcohol. The flavor backs the aromas up, you are first hit with a sour cherry flavor, , then some tart apple, followed by a sweet nutty malt flavor, finally some spice flavors develop. Hugely complex and very satisfying. The body is full and smooth very red-wine-like. Not much carbonation, but that would just detract from the flavors. Kudos to Tomme and Jeff on this excellent and unique brew. I am looking forward to trying the other vintages as they age.
UPDATED: APR 6, 2005 I have tasted this stuff a lot over the past year and the version at 2004 GABF is by far the best. Not as sour or young as the version I had at the 03 fest, this one is not only drinkable but great. BBB63 (6567) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - DEC 4, 2003
UPDATED: JUN 21, 2007 Rerate: 2007 Lost Abbey bottle from John and shared with Tom: Deep crimson highlights, sm ring foam, some tears on glass. The nose is fruity as expected (plum, cherry, raisins) with a clean oak and funky musty vapour. This has a powerful taste of heavy malts at first with a background of twangy fruits and a lovely Belgian funk thing. The finish is peppery and woody. The mouth feel is lush and warming but the alcohol is mostly hidden, powerful yet elegant! A masterpiece once again from Tomme, get some more! PeterA (342) - EL SALVADOR - DEC 4, 2003
Rerate: 2002 bottle, overall score still the same but I increased the flavor score by one and overall decreased by one. I enjoy this beer a lot let still seem to be a bit underwhelmed by it all. I really need to have a whole bottle for truly see if it all that...
2001: Dark brown with a reddish hue. The aroma hinted of cherry, various spices (ginger, cardamom, clove) oaky with sharp winy tannin. A lot like a gluhwine in aroma. The taste was sweet cheery and malty followed close behind by a tart apple and lovely spice character. Nice smooth mouthfeel. A great brew with a dessert quality. Whole better than the parts. THANKS AARON!!! You rock!
2001: Looks like a red wine to me. Picking up tannins in the aroma as well as ginger and other spices. I'm actually picking some apple after the cherry in this. Overall, a very enjoyable beer. argo0 (14127) - Washington DC, USA - DEC 4, 2003
2001: Dark brown body with no carbonation. Aroma is oak, sour cherry, cardemom, light vinous, ginger. Taste is oak, sour cherry, ginger, cloves, vinous. Very wine-ish body. A wonderful treat. Many thanks to diegogator for getting this for me.