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Review by SAP on 09/07/09  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
94 3 11 19 5 9 2008
Batch 65; Sampled April 2008
A vigorous pour produces only a half finger thick head that quickly disappears. The beer is a ruddy, dark cherry color that shows a hazy, cranberry stained, amber color. The aroma is interesting and funky & oh so characterful. Tart, vinous, with a touch of sour-cherry, spicy oak, light balsamic, a touch of hot alcohol, lightly funky ripe cheese and barrel character that is quite reserved but plays a significant role. The barrel character provides notes of spicy wood, buttery oak, and touches of very light bourbon aromatics (that hot alcohol mentioned earlier). It is so easy to just keep smelling this beer for quite some time, but I feel I need to drink this before it loses all of its light carbonation.

Quite sour tasting, but tastes surprisingly distinctly of sour-cherries. The carbonation is quite light, but adds a nice soft prickle to the tongue, just enough to perk up the texture. The bourbon adds a bit of character to the finish, a touch of warming and some spiciness without being overwhelming. Speaking of which, I am quite pleased by how soft of an impact the bourbon has here; I was worried that the bourbon would overwhelm this beer, but it is held well in check (I hope this is a trend that continues, over bourbon’d beers have been a bit overbearing lately for me). Oak character provides mouth coating tannins and oak-heft that just make the texture feel so soft and inviting. While quite tart, the sourness melds so well with the other flavors that it is not nearly as noticeable as it might be. The tartness really accentuates a deep, tart, fruit character that is a mix of tannic cherries, rich plums and a touch tamarind. As the beer warms up it picks up a phantom sweetness that accentuates the fruit character even that much more.

This is very nice, I was really expecting the Bourbon to be too much here, but instead it adds a bit more complexity without being over-bearing. Too soon this beer is gone, a 12oz bottle was just not enough of this one.

Served In: Tulip