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Review by SAP on 09/16/08  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
72 3 9 14 3 7 2005
15% 2005 Version
Very lightly carbonated, a vigorous pour towards the end of the pour scares up a quickly disappearing, frothy, at most half-finger thick, tan colored head. The beer is a dark, red-plum color that shows a red stained, amber color when held up to the light. The aroma has a light tartness to it as well as a Sauvignon Blanc like grape fruitiness along with a nice barrel influence that takes the form of soft vanillin notes, and some spicy oak character. Berry flavors reminiscent of a merlot are noticeable at times in the nose as well. There is a light funkiness here that provides a touch of mustiness, some cured moldy leather notes and a faint yet fruity cheese note. There is definitely a bit of alcohol noticeable here in the aroma too and it provides a touch of heat.

Lightly carbonated, with just a hint of a carbonic prickle. The beer is fairly light, certainly for a beer of this strength, and only has a medium heft to it. There is a light, grape-like sweetness to this beer that is not quite offset by a light tartness in the finish. A bit of alcohol, spicy & tannic oak, and spicy esters provide a touch of bitterness and piquancy to the finish that lingers into a very soft, throat coating burn. This picks up a lightly concentrated, jam-like fruit note that reminds me of a combination of sweet black cherries, blackberries and a rich currant note. This picks up a sweet nuttiness as it warms up, though it does not actually gain any sweetness (in fact it probably gets less so), it is just that it picks up a nut meat sweetness.

While not overly heavy, this is somehow a sipping beer. It really reminds me a lot of a fruity, berry focused, oak aged red wine of some sort (with a touch of tartness thrown in). An interesting beer that is for sure, the slight carbonation makes it seem that much more wine-like. This is definitely a good sipping beer, I certainly wouldn't want to have to finish a bottle by myself.

Served In: Tulip