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Review by SAP on 09/13/08  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
78 3 9 15 4 8 2008
A vigorous pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a frothy, somewhat large bubbled, initially three-finger thick, lightly amber tinged, tan colored head. The beer is dark amber / plum color that shows an almost brilliantly clear, light cranberry color when held up to the light. The aroma is quite wine like as it smells of dark fruit and oak. Further inspection yields a noticeable, but light, lactic tartness that accentuates aromas of sour grapes, tart plums and fermented raisins. The oak is the most dominant part of the nose with spicy oak notes, a woody tannic sort of thing, a touch of butterscotch, and some light vanillin notes towards the finish. This actually gets fairly toasty towards the finish (a bit like lightly browned saltine crackers) that is definitely malt induced but could also be from some toasty oak influence. The fruit aromatics get a touch jam like as the beer warms up a bit too.

Fairly thick and chewy with a tart, fruitiness that sort of clings to the palate, but doesn't provide much, if any at all, sweetness. The oak character seems to have contributed lots of tannic structure that has influenced the body and mouthfeel of this beer. this has quite a bit of berry-accented red wine like flavors to it as well as just a touch of perceived fruity sweetness. The finish has a fair amount of oak influence, but it is only one part of this beer and does not play the leading role that it did in the aroma. The tartness is actually less than it was in the aroma too, even though it was fairly light there. This has a substantial, flavorful, though somewhat soft, sour cherry flavor to it, especially as the beer warms up; both the flavorful tannic skin contributes to the flavor as does a fleshy cherry fruitiness. As it warms it also picks up some concord grape flavors as well as definitely getting more sweet.

This is a really easy drinking sour beer; it is very soft for a wild fermented beer and quite clean. The wine barrels and cherries almost seem to be more influential than the wild bugs, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. This is actually on the simplistic side for something that could have been funky and challenging; on the plus side though it is quite refined. This is fantastically drinkable, especially considering its alcohol content & I definitely like the bright fruit character that is here as well as the balance provided by the oak character.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

Price: $9.95 Served In: Pint Glass