This has been sitting in the cellar for awhile now thanks to the ever generous Dyan, way to hook it up buddy! A two finger, creamy beige head sits atop the sunset orange body. The head took barely any persuasion to stand tall and slowly fell to a thick cap with a collar that leaves behind plenty of peaked and valleyed lacing. When backlit the body shows off more polished copper hues but when sitting on the table shows the shifting orange of a sunset.
It seems to me the brett Ommegang dosed these bottles with is starting to take make its presence known. Deep whiffs bring along gobs of mustiness and a mild horsey funk. Wildflowers and sweet peach in small quantities also come to mind rather quickly. A mild but bright caramel malty base lays down the foundation while a spicy; white pepper character comes along through the mustiness. This one sports dried fruits and soft spices I can't put my finger on but thoroughly enjoy.
The flavor follows the nose stride for stride. A good deal of soft spices leads the way over the tongue with white pepper being most noticeable and dried apricots follow. A soft caramel base gives way to the musty brett notes and a handful of dusty wildflowers. This is a superbly balanced brew between the maltiness, spiciness, and mustiness. It's all around subtle and enjoyable.
The body leans toward the lighter side of moderate with a noticeable but soft carbonation that pushes things through at a steady pace. A refreshing prickliness gets left behind after each swallow. The spices linger on the finish along with a mild sweetness.
The abv and lighter body make this an easy beer to put away. The spicing makes it a sipper but one I could sip away at for a majority of the day.
I had my eye on this beer since I first heard about it. I've always had a soft spot for Rare Vos and the brett version seemed right up my alley. It turned out to be an excellent beer. Thanks for the bottle, Dyan!
Served In: Tulip
Originally reviewed on 04-09-2009
Well, due to cramped fridge space this was stored diagonally so I opened the corked and caged 750 with a solid pop and let it chill out for about 10 minutes before I poured it into a Hess truck glass. Batch #2, 10/2008 per the label.
Poured an only slightly-cloudy true honey color with only small wisps of head up top. Carbonation is steady and prevalent...just about right. Color seems a little darker than I would expect for some reason...but there's nothing wrong with that.
There's an understated tight sourness that displays the Brett character but there's a husky, raw, clean pine needle scent here too that breaks up any horse blanket feel. The label tells us it's dry-hopped...I can believe it. Although the hops show a rather noble character they give off a pleasant, moderately strong piney aroma.
Man, this is clean and tasty. OK, that may not be too eloquent but really, it is. There's a tightness to the hop bill here (Styrian Goldings?) that brightens this up nicely when up against the ample carbonation, extremely dry light malts and perhaps some wheat, and the character of the yeast strain and very mild Brett. The crisp nature of everything else allow the spices to permeate the cool palate very gently...a little peppercorn, some very light ginger and clove...almost as dry as cedar in some spots. In fact this reminds me of an extra-dry, spicy Saison in a lot of ways.
Did I mention that this was clean? It is, but the grains and carbonation and its mild abundance of everything else makes this hit the palate almost perfectly. Lately I have been appreciating the dryness of the Saison style more and more and I get a kick out of the big yeast character of this that cleans everything up and leaves such a dry electricity. The slight spice only adds to this concoction and balances extremely well with the mild dry hop character and a hint of Brett. I almost think it's just about perfect. Maybe a little more heft and Brett perception would really round this out, but that's about it. With a little warmth the Brett is actually starting to come out even further, so we're in the kill zone now. Finish is slightly sour and nicely high and dry.
Again, I don't get to a lot of these, but it's a great style that plays within its means and can slow the game down nicely. There's a $#!+load of Beautiful Chemistry going on here but it remains light, crisp and mighty drinkable. The tightness makes it more of a sipper than a less complex style would be but I absolutely enjoyed the hell out of this one.
Served In: Other
Batch #1, April 2008; Sampled October 2008
A solid pour produces four fingers of a lightly tanned, frothy head in my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip glass. The beer is a murky, reddish amber hue, but shows a somewhat hazy, lighter, orange-tinged, amber hue when held up to the light. The aroma as I am pouring this beer smells of apples and pear with a touch of a grain background note. A more focused look at the aroma confirms the fruit focus and adds some notes of ripe, sweet plum. A touch of drying Brettanomyces funk starts to become noticeable after a short time, but remains in a supporting role; the Brett adds some light phenolic notes that lean towards rubber, moldy wood. This mixes with the grain notes in the finish to produce a touch more wood-like character as well as some cracker-like grain notes and some lightly toasted malt. The fruit notes are definitely the most prevalent in the nose. This does smell nice, but I was definitely hoping for a bit more signature Brettanomyces character.
Light and a bit fizzy up front, the beer finishes a bit watery, slightly tart, some light plasticized phenolics and with lots of fruit character. This beer is not very sweet, in fact pretty dry, but there is enough fruitiness here to accentuate the touch of malt sweetness that is here to a level of perceived sweetness beyond the actuality. With the light body of this beer it is down-right quaffable, it does have a palate presence of flavor that just lingers for quite some time and keeps this being from being boring. Spicy, herbal notes remind me of a kiss of hop character and sort of interweaves itself with both the light funk and ample fruit notes. There is an ample level of carbonation that adds a nice peppery note to the beer and also accentuates the light tartness and a touch of fruity ginger notes.
While note nearly as Brettanomyces influenced as I might have preferred (give it time though and it might get there), this is fantastically drinkable and quite well balanced and flavorful right now. A very enjoyable beer even if I do find myself wishing for a touch more complexity. One of those beers that I could have paid much more attention to picking out the nuances, but was distracted by how down-right quaffable it is so I drank the damn thing instead.
Served In: Pint Glass
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