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Beer Information
 
Average Review High Score Low Score Reviews Tried Consumed
86 86 86 1 13 13

 
Review by SAP on 07/03/09  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
86 3 10 17 4 9 2009
This beer is quite the gusher; I actually lost a couple of ounces before I could react to the foam over. A careful pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces an almost four-finger thick, amber tinged, tan colored head. As the head slowly subsides with a rocky, crag-riddled surface it leaves some nice fat lacing on the sides of my glass. The beer is a dark plum color that shows a hazy, rich red hue when it is held up to the light. The aroma is quite vinous and smells of dark fruit; notes of prunes, raisins, lots of black currant, as well as some bright cherry and berry notes (this last reminds me of blackberries, blueberries and mulberries). There is a backdrop of toasty oak in the nose as wellas a touch of toasted grain effect; some tannin, a spicy oak character and a hint of vanillin are noticeable. The nose on this beer is pretty nice, it is well integrated and rich smelling, though I could wish for a touch more complexity.

The beer tastes lightly tart up front. It has a palate fullness and heft to it, which a lively, effervescent carbonation tries to offset; it is actually a bit excessively carbonated, but the body of the beer still stands up to this excess quite well. A nice sourness can almost be bracing, it couples with a tannic bite towards the finish that makes this that much more puckering. Spicy oak and wood flavors play a more prominent role than they did in the nose, but the fruitiness is much more subdued in the flavor; this last is likely because this beer is quite dry tasting, with little residual sugars. Still the fruit notes are noticeable here and remind me of a dry, fruit forward red wine; notes of berry, dark-concentrated plum, tart currant flavors, some washed out cherry skin and even some port-like fruit notes are noticeable here. As the beer warms up the fruit does become more evident though. There is a tart bite from the acidity that is most lactic, but there also seemed to be a rounded acid influence from the fruit character. Especially after the beer settles down (from the initial carbonation level), the texture is lush and structed from the tannic influence, yet it is still quite drinkable; velvet-like and silky seem like apt adjectives for this brew. There is some spice character here as well and a bit of a biting note that is contributed by the rich fruit / malt character (sort of reminiscent of a spicy fruit skin flavor).

I like that this has a nice oak backbone to it; that and the tartness really helps to bring a suave balance to the jam-like, rich fruit character. I paired this beer with some fish tacos for the last 25cl and this brings out a peppery spiciness from the oak as well as more of the wood-like flavors, but what it really does is accentuate the rich fruit character that is in this beer. This is a really nice, rich, complex, layered beer that retains its ample drinkability. A fantastic beer, that I am quite happy to have polished a bottle off of.

Price: $15.95 Served In: Pint Glass

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