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Review by SAP on 08/27/08  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
80 3 9 15 4 9 2008
The cork is way to far in and requires a cork screw, but this beer is incredibly well carbonated as it forcefully ejects the cork and cork screw mid pull. Luckily I had my 25cl tulip nearby and I didn't lose any beer despite some foaming up. The head is quite voluminous and has to be scraped off twice to prevent over-flowing. I end up with a five-finger thick, pale, almost perfectly white colored head. The beer is an orangish, pale amber color that shows a hazy, but brighter color when held up to the light. The aroma is a nice mix of malt, hops and fermentation character. Spicy with notes of pepper, ginger, almost a touch of cinnamon, an earthy-almost coriander note and a wood note that are balanced by fruity notes similar to apple, pear and a light orange-blossom aromatic. The aroma is also grassy, with a nice, clean, pale malt toastiness . The hops, while slight, accentuate the grassy note and provide a touch of herbal character and something that is a bit like fresh cut, aromatic weeds. This has quite an interesting nose, it is quite easy to spend some time just smelling this without even needing to take a sip.

On the other hand, I really need a beer so sip I must. The flavor is sweet and spicy up front with a substantial citrus / orange-blossom note that is followed by spicy higher alcohols and phenolics. The finish has a mix of clove, warming higher alcohols, a piquant pepper-like note and just a touch of an herbal hop bitterness. There is quite a bit going on in this beer, in addition to the previously mentioned notes I get flavors of clove (lots of this), sweet-ripe aromatic pear, pickled ginger, a light note of sweet-tart perfectly ripe plums, a touch of damp earthiness in the finish.

An over-confident second pour leaves with more foam than I can suck down and a puddle of foam on my desk. The beer gets a bit more fruit focused as it warms up and subsequent pours have a really pepper, quite zippy carbonation as well as quite the carbonic bite. The texture of this beer is just about spot on; the prickly carbonation ensures a tongue scrubbing airiness with every sip and the body has just a touch of viscousness without keeping this from being quite quaffable. While this never actually gets hot, it doesn't really hide its alcohol all that well; mostly the higher alcohols give this away, but they do add some interesting notes so it is certainly not all bad.

This beer is quite complex all around, it is perhaps a touch sweeter than I usually prefer, but I think in this case, this beer needs the sweetness to balance the piquant fermentation character; ample higher alcohols and phenols which could easily be too much, but here are tempered by the malt sweetness. The head of this beer is just about perfect, everyone of my four pours is fluffy, textured and long lasting, and the hazy orange-amber color is quite nice as well. A beer that is very enjoyable, perhaps even more so than I would expect.

Price: $11.99 Served In: Tulip