RATINGS: 34   MEAN: 3.83/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.74/5   EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%
Synthesis is a blend of mature barrel-aged beers that have been maturing for 12-30 months and fresh ale. This Sour Red Ale is produced in our rural brewery utilizing traditional methods, thus we have dubbed this unique offering our "Farmhouse Flanders Ale".

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GenDV138 (7764) - Falls Church, Virginia, USA - NOV 23, 2017
500 ml bottle poured into a tulip. Bottled May 2017. Dark reddish amber with beige head. Aromas of vinegar, dark fruit, some funk, berry. Tastes of vinegar, dark fruit, tart notes, light berry, some oak. Light body with a dry finish. Expected a bit more for Oxbow but it's solid.

bytemesis (9344) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - JUL 16, 2017
Bottle from 2014 thanks to JBPortland! Pours clear neon orange, medium off-white head, dissipates fairly quickly, decent lacing. Aroma has an initial bit of acetone, buffered by a lot of oak tannin, almost buttery wood, some dark sugars, raisin, super oaky, Brett and other interesting bugs. Flavor has only a light tartness with medium bugginess and lots of oak. Muted dark fruits; more of an exploration of wood tannin. Medium body, soft and light carbonation. This is actually pretty tasty.

AirForceHops (7908) - Epping, New Hampshire, USA - JUL 16, 2017
500 ml bottle that is a year old, properly stored in my basement. Aroma is sour oak, yeast, cherry skins, and mild vinegar. Maybe the year help me enjoy this slightly more because in general, I don’t like Flanders style ales. The flavor profile is much like the aroma. Cherry seems to be forward. Oak is here in a strong character. It also displays mellow vinaigrette flavor that can be found in many American sour or wild ales. (and honestly I hate that about American sours) The reason I let it sit so long is because I wasn’t in a rush to open a Flanders style-anything.

j12601 (13189) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - MAY 21, 2017
Bottle. Pours a hazed brown with a thin white head. Big wood and acid on the nose, dark fruit. Medium bodied, warm acid and toast. Long fruit and big acid into the finish.

radarsock (1223) - Massachusetts, USA - JAN 11, 2017
If Oxbow weren’t such an egregiously priced commodity within the beer world, I may have held more of a desirous, keen interest in hunting their bottles down for personal consumption.
They’re tradeable, certainly, though it has seemed to not entirely be worth the trouble as of late. There are only but a few of their yearly releases that are probably able to get any buzz and attention from frequent ISO:FT posters.
And this isn’t to say in any regard or facet that they brew bad beer, simply that the majority of their special releases really haven’t strongly impressed me.
The description alone was reason enough to grab at least one of these 500 ml babes from their retail shop on the East End of Portland and giddily pop its red cap whence I returned to the seacoast and enjoy the essence of an expertly barrel-blended Flanders ale hours before work starts.
From the lip to the glass, it bawdily produces a murkily dirty browned, oaken tawny liquid with an always-present off-white ring of fluff.
I had to stick my nostrils deep into the glass, practically snorting the beer up my nose. Difficult to rationalize what I’m smelling. Faint aromas of olive twigs/branches, aged hops, cherry wood chips, candied sugars, and mildewed spent grains (never used that descriptor before!).

Leaving it out to warm causes more of a damp Bible paper, basement dust, stale cinnamon roll, fruit pectin, and red wine yeast profile to inhabit the aroma.

The flavor of this beer is pretty messy and unmistakably blended.
It’s very nearly everything experienced from sniffing away at the stuff just three minutes previously, but it tastes way more mismanaged; notes seemingly are rearranged from where I thought they’d be upon taking my first sip.
The olive twig/branch character was substituted for kalamata olive juice, encountered most prominently at my mid-palate.

Sesame oil was but just a cliff note, though still survivably noticeable, during near-swallow.
Red wine yeast was thankfully substituted for a Flanders red ale yeast, WLP665 Flemish Ale Blend being a good suggestion, experienced throughout.
The cherry wood chips left the game altogether. Though, in its place sour cherry jam did restore this original cherried identification. However, it’s hardly even apparent, so I’m legitimately wondering why I’m bothering at all. Brett has the ability to create flavors of brief sour cherries, right? It must be the Brett, by golly!

Wel, huh. This could just be me, in which case I’ll quit the human race and move to Mars with my collection of books and vintage gaming consoles, but I don’t think I’m in love with this style. I’ve had other examples and have never been dazzled. I get a lot of barrel/wood-activated funk by its smooth but equally hot finish, but this isn’t enough.
Sensational alcohol burn that was gradual, mellow, and oddly euphoric.

drfabulous (8677) - Lexington, Kentucky, USA - DEC 23, 2016
500 ml bottle. Dark in color with big notes of wood, cherry, sour, red wine. A bit acidic. Nice.

mR_fr0g (13673) - Hertfordshire, ENGLAND - DEC 4, 2016
Bottle shared at kernel. Thanks to Tommy M. A hazed nut brown coloured pour with a small beige head. Aroma is perfume, brown sugars, sour red wine. Flavour is composed of red wine, vinous fruit blackberry, brown sugars, brett, Palate is semi sweet and sour, highish carbonation, woody sour. Good stuff.

brokensail (16678) - Dublin, California, USA - NOV 25, 2016
Bottle @ Oxbow. Deep amber colored beer with some haze and an off-white head. This is more on the sour side than I was expecting. Sort of reminiscent of a Flemish Red. Has plenty of cherry pie, red wine vinegar, raisin, and currant. A little bit of a tart pear note, too. Mild caramel and berry sweetness to the flavor, too. Finishes with a bunch of oak and some drying tannic notes. Not my favorite of the things I tried on my visits, but definitely worth a try.

ClarkVV (6893) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 4, 2016
2016 bottle, drunk 10/23/16.
Dark auburn-chestnut body shows good clarity and a full, beige head with moderate retention.
Red fruits join with lightly grainy specialty malts which add brown bread and earth notes. Wood is notable, as well as light acetic acid. Some honey-caramel sits behind it, gently balancing. Lots of plastery yeast character with a big minerality and strong fruit esters that add pears, apples, cherries and strawberries on the finish. There’s a touch of aggressiveness from the acetic acid, but I think it’s still pretty even overall. No alcohol or flaw.
Fruity again in the mouth from acidity, malt and yeast esters, with light cola-like notes and moderate lactic acid. Acetic acid is again, gentle, only nipping at the palate slightly. Lots of wood tannin softens/dulls things and there is bright lactic and brett acidity on the end with gentle funk and no alcohol or flaw. Quite carbonated, but it’s rather engaging and lightens the beer, somewhat. The overall effect is of a very light Flander Red. A little bit more specialty malt character here, with lots of earthiness and fruitiness lingering.

Bacterial (3060) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - OCT 28, 2016
Dark ruby pour into a glass from a 500 mL bottle. Slight off-white head. Mild malty nose. Tart, dark red fruit, cherry, oak and a bit of funk in the finish. Really nice.

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