FlyingTaco (112) - Massachusetts, USA - JUL 9, 2009
Original review date 4/17/2009 (batch 001X2) - into a Portsmouth snifter it goes after an excellent pop of the cork from this 750 corked & caged heavyweight.
Well, it pours with a ginger/maple head - about 1/3 finger - that looks like sponge candy for a brief instant then fades quickly into little yeast wisps. The body has a dark bourbon and dark cherries (OK, currants) color that has quite a calming effect. Moderate slow-moving carbonation.
The scent is present the second the cork goes. The brett is huge but it’s backed by a fruity sweetness of the currants with a light, husky oak barrel and wine tannic feel. Quite complex with a touch of hop pine and slight booziness. I expected it to be sweet but this is really well-integrated. Can’t see too much of anything wrong with this.
The carbonation really shows up and brightens things a bit on taste. It gets together with the very soft and sour funk (not as heavy as a horse blanket - maybe a horse do-rag) and the oaky Cab character isn’t a figment of one’s imagination...nor is the poignant taste of currants. Way back when in the early 1980s Haagen-Dazs had a cassis (currant) sorbet available at their shop on the Upper West Side. It was one of those things that wasn’t for everyone but we enjoyed the hell out of it. This brings back those tastes. Slightly austere but still pronounced currants along with the Cab tannin just makes this outstanding and the carbonation brings the delivery even greater strength. In fact I’d almost want this to still a little bit to see how it would go. Quite luxurious to say the least. A little warmth brings out the expected horse blanket feel even further, which fits with everything else like a glove. Seriously Beautiful Chemistry going on here (look up Crackstatic and Ron Hawkins). This begs to be aged - like a young Cab there is a sense of tightness that begs for aging.
It took a while for my palate to embrace the concept of the Wild Ale but lots of good things take time. Surprisingly with time and warmth the dry oakiness of this gets to be more prominent and the straight sour texture of the currants is enhanced - the carbonation isn’t going away and it helps hammer the point home. This one waxes and wanes - every moment the spotlight shines on a different element.
It doesn’t take long to realize that this is indeed a 10% sledgehammer. But there is nothing that can diminish how good this thing is. My cellar awaits for another bottle. What will this taste like in a few years? I am drinking this very slowly but I am enjoying every sip. Not that I’m a sour maven by any means but this is the best one I’ve experienced to date. In-fucking-credible.
CapnJazz (52) - Binghamton, New York, USA - JUL 7, 2009
UPDATED: AUG 28, 2011 Ratings from both batch 1 and batch 2. In summation -- batch 1 has more of a funky currant twang, is a little thin in the body, and is just damn awesome. A lot of black cherries and funk come out. Batch 2 is more subtle but is awesomely well put together. Amazing brett explosion, and a lot of qualities of good aged wild beers, if that makes sense. Better than batch 1, I think, a wonderful beer! JaBier (7972) - Capital City, Ohio, USA - JUL 7, 2009
Bottle sample at Muckfest 2009 Day 1. Pours cloudy amber with a thin tan head. Sour aroma with apple and cherry notes. Fruity and tart flavor with a bit of alcohol presence and an acidic vinegar finish. BeerVirgin72 (880) - Pickerington, Ohio, USA - JUL 5, 2009
Bottle shared at Muckfest 2009 in Lancaster Ohio. Poured a light amber gold color, some murkiness. Sweet aroma of cherry sweet tarts. Flavor was tart and lively cherries and soda like. A bit of sour lemon. I am not a fan of sours, but this one was very good and could well prove my starting point to likeing them! argo0 (14127) - Washington DC, USA - JUL 5, 2009
(DC Local Gathering, 750ml bottle, Batch 2, thanks CaptainCougar) Small beige head atop clear copper body. Aroma is moderately sweet, wood, some cherry, sourness. taste is medium sweet, sour, lemon, some cherry, light wood. Light-medium body, some acidity, alcohol very well hidden.
sunevdj (4087) - Copenhagen OE, DENMARK - JUL 4, 2009
On tap at Falling rock. Pours a clear brown with a small off-white head. Mellow sweetnes with some sourness. Aromas of berries and hints of vinegar.Also aromas of red wine and wood. Reminds me of Duchesse du Bourgogne. Full flavoured and bodied. Medim to high carbonation. Sour and fruity finish. Good. User37895 (3042) - - JUL 2, 2009
Beer number four in a killer July 09 Super Secret Sour State Line Tasting (SSSSLT) featuring (first to last by my counts): Supplication, Consecration, La Folie, Dissident, Cuvee de Castleton, Red Poppy, Lambic de Hill, Festina Lente, Panil. This one poured a dark hazy murky brownish color, some red hues too. The aroma was caramel and dark berries, light wood and funk. The flavor was rich caramel and dark berries (figs works too), vinous notes, light spicey woody elements in the finish. Ample amounts of leather, although the tobacco could have been what I was getting (tannins). Tart berries increased with temperature. Lively mouthfeel. Double digits ABV, are you kidding me? No way, smooth as all get out. Thanks to Steve or Gabe for bringing this Batch 001-4x along!!!! notalush (5874) - Denver, Colorado, USA - JUL 2, 2009
Thanks to AmEricanbrew for this - batch 1, opened in celebration of my new job - dark reddish-purple pour - fizzy, quickly dissipating head - beautiful aroma of potent oak and red wine tannins, cherry, currant, raspberry, cinnamon, nutmeg, notes of chocolate, mild acidity - the flavor isn’t as balanced (really heavy on the oak), but it’s still really good - starts with strong tannins and acidity, damp oak - some sweet cherry and chocolate very briefly through the middle - dries out quickly, bringing acetic/vinegar qualities, moderate acidity, very earthy, tart currant flavor - very vinous throughout - acidity gets prickly in the finish - a light warmth in the finish is the only thing even hinting at how strong the beer is - there is a bitter cherry pit flavor that develops as it warms that is this beers only real flaw - I think it needs a little more time to smooth out, but this is still a great beer. ChazMania (669) - Oceanside, California, USA - JUL 2, 2009
Bottled. I sat on this for a month or so which is longer than I can normally wait. Upon pour I had radical extreme aroma and flavor. Sour and sweet, cherry and wood. Maybe I need more of this but as it is fantastic I could not drink much more than a pint or so of this .........,max......... robforbes (2241) - Bremerton, Washington, USA - JUL 1, 2009
pours a dark brown with a ruby tint when held to the light, a small khaki head that dissipates quickly, and some lacing.
smell is sour, dark fruits, and wood.
taste is tart, sour malt, and dark fruit, end is nicely tart.