overall
98
89
style
RATINGS: 30   MEAN: 3.86/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.75/5   EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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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3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
radarsock (1180) - Massachusetts, USA - JAN 11, 2017
If Oxbow werent 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.
Theyre 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 isnt to say in any regard or facet that they brew bad beer, simply that the majority of their special releases really havent 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 Im 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.
Its 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 theyd 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, its hardly even apparent, so Im legitimately wondering why Im 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 Ill quit the human race and move to Mars with my collection of books and vintage gaming consoles, but I dont think Im in love with this style. Ive 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 isnt enough.
Sensational alcohol burn that was gradual, mellow, and oddly euphoric.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
drfabulous (7399) - 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.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
mR_fr0g (10900) - 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.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
brokensail (16342) - 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.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
ClarkVV (6314) - 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. Theres a touch of aggressiveness from the acetic acid, but I think its 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 its 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.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Bacterial (2949) - 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.

3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
madmitch76 (23979) - , Essex, ENGLAND - OCT 24, 2016
1st October 2016
Bottle - big cheers to tdtm82 for the split. Hazy amber - brown beer, thin pale tan head. Palate is light and semi dry, good fine carbonation. Tangy fruits. Flemish red sourness, a little acidic. Dry finish. But of an acid burn hanging around. Could not drink much of this.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
LouisP (365) - Montral, Quebec, CANADA - OCT 14, 2016
Une bire brune, avec une fine ligne de mousse, et peu deffervescence. Au nez cest trs funky, vinaigr, avec des notes de fruits confis et dpices. En bouche, on dirait dfinitivement plus une Oud Bruin quune "wild ale". On retrouve des dates, fruits confis, de lacidit, de la brett, avec mme une petite touche damertume. Une touche citronn est galement prsente, en arrire-plan, me rappelant un peu du th glac style Nestea. Des notes boises agrables viennent galement agrment la fin de bouche. Pour une bire au profil clectique, la bire est ultra-douce. Bravo.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Theydon_Bois (18465) - Hazlemere, the lower Xhitlerns, Buckinghamshire, ENGLAND - OCT 2, 2016
Bottle split at Mother Arch on Zwanze Day, big thanks to Tommy Marshal, 01/10/16. Extremely dark mahogany brown with a moderate off white cap. Nose is wood must, dates, funk, tarte berry esters, farmyard. Taste comprises oaky tines, lactic tang, dry rot, dates, dried fruits, raisens, light spice, tarte fruit compote, red grape funk, pissy balsams. Medium bodied, fine carbonation, semi drying close with a sharp acidic whisper. Solid well balanced sour.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
EdKing (2510) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - OCT 1, 2016
Bottle provided by Thomas Marshall. Hazed brown to dark chestnut brown, with a nice soft medium white head. Nose is marzipan, cherry Bakewell with the pastry crust, tart and sour, fruity pickle. Taste is fruity, perfumed, bitter, tart and sour, little woody, really opens up on then palate.


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