ClarkVV (6712) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 17, 2007
Batch 16 750mL bottle consumed on 1/5/2007AleDrinker (1089) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - JAN 16, 2007
Goldenrod and marigold meet in this luminous, tightly carbonated liquid. Clarity is quite high, though there is, of course, a light bottle conditioned haziness. However, trying my hardest to leave the sediment behind, it is minimal. Stark white head is every bit as voloptuous as any bottle of Duvel I’ve encountered. Full, rocky, dense and showing strong retention, it also laces magnificently. Not much to fault on appearance here, but then, this is Russian River after all.
Deeply expressive fruity esters congregate on the nose. Strong and sniffable, you almost expect they’ve brewed this thing with peaches, nectarines, golden raisins and apricots. Instead of slowing up or lightening, the aroma actually sweetens and grows more rich. Wonderfully extracted malts are bursting with a honey-meets-light-caramel sweetness. A gentle caress of cinnamon and dry almonds adds complexity/intrigue on the finish, while there is a gentle, soft doughiness apparent as well. Clean and elegant, it’s perfectly at ease portraying the notes it intends without want of more. Unlike some Belgian goldens, it’s not sharp and alcoholic in the least. The most sharpness seen is a light, unripened nectarine rind-like note up front that carries suggestions of light alcohol warmth (and balancing dryness, importantly), but nothing more. Well lagered and quite refined.
Sweet on the palate, decidedly so, without as much of the more dry esters seen at the start of the nose. Robust peach flavors quickly meld with thick, fantastically extracted malt sugars to provide a pillowy blanket about the palate. A bit of hay-like hops, pleasant and lightly herbal as well run through the middle, as the malt character picks up some crusty baguette-like dryness. The finish is alive with fresh yeast notes of dough and light minerals. It ends less sweet than it starts, but still on the sweet side overall. Very light notes of fruitiness and alcohol warmth lend a peach liqueur-like effect to the finish. Mouthfeel is always tightly carbonated and extremely malt-supple.
I always hear how "boring/regular" tasting this beer is and it’s pretty ridiculous. Not only does Vinnie show here that he does not need to rely on brett/lacto/pedio and/or barrels to concoct outstanding beer, but this beer is intended to be relatively simple, so the only ones who should be complaining about this being overly "simple or boring" are the ones who can’t recognize wonderfully executed beer when they taste it.
On tap at hydro in Calistoga. Very smooth and easy drinking strong ale. The flavors were not too bold and in your face. Rather, they were finely balanced and complimented each other nicely in the mouth. Very easy drinking. smhncabot (310) - Cabot, Arkansas, USA - JAN 12, 2007
aroma yeasty, cloves, banana, and peppery hops. tastes has less banana and more peppery hops than the aroma. has some sweetness in there to but this type of beer isnt my first but i still enjoyed trying it. porterhouse (1580) - Boothbay, Maine, USA - JAN 8, 2007
(750 ml bottle (batch 009) via trade with <A HREF=http://www.ratebeer.com/ViewUser.asp?UserID=3 target=blank>IrishBoy, cellared for 7 mos. after trade, thanks Richard!) A refined and elegant brew...Pours hazy light golden amber with about two fingers of off-white head. There is a miniature cyclone of carbonation swirling around right in the center. Aroma is yeast and sweet maltiness. Mouthfeel quite smooth and pleasant, almost silky. Light prickly carbonation. Good lacing. Flavor is wheat malt, light yeast and a pleasant pepperiness. There is some citrus, almost orange-like, as well, esp. in finish. A pleasure to drink. xmarcnolanx (937) - Kirkwood, Missouri, USA - JAN 7, 2007
Totally not my type of beer. I wil not lie, this is a more biased rating, but for what it was the beer was very well made. Very nice aroma and fruity, bitter finish.
MrBendo (1064) - Swedesboro, New Jersey, USA - JAN 6, 2007
Tap in Philly area. Hazy amber. Aroma is belgian yeast and spiciness. Tasted pears, bananas, peppery spices, and the whole thing bordered on the sour. It was quite good to my unrefined mouth. jason (1834) - Easton, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 5, 2007
Bottle. Aroma is oak with a blend of spices. Pours a clear orange body with thin head retaining. Flavor is slightly oak with spices of corriander and subtle fruit tones. Smooth. HighGravity (926) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - JAN 1, 2007
(Batch 12) This is a nice ale that covers all the bases. Good level of CO2. Complex, but I wish it were a bit drier. The sweetness keeps this from being a show stopper in my book. sayravai (4710) - Helsinki, FINLAND - JAN 1, 2007
(Bottled, 0.75l, 7.75% ABV) Deep golden color with a largeish, foamy and lacy head. Strongly grassy-hoppy aroma with neutral maltiness and hints of honey. Yeast smooths out the hops, making the aroma a bit dull. Grassy-hoppy flavor with balancing, sweetish and fruity maltiness. Yeast brings in lots more honey and fruit, but again, kills the hops. Medium-bodied, neutral, smooth-carbonated and quite refreshing palate. Although quite straightforward - not much more than a stronger, maltier pils - it’s a pretty enjoyable one, too. Cletus (6355) - Connecticut, USA - DEC 27, 2006
Pours gold with a generous lasting white head. Smells of bananas, citrus, some herbal qualities in the background. Tastes of bananas, coriander, peppery hops and random spiciness. Finish is light and tingly. Maybe it’s because this is a follow up to a great beer, but this didn’t pack the punch most of their other offerings do.