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Review by SAP on 09/07/09  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
94 3 11 19 4 10 2005
Sampled February 2006
This beer is pretty well carbonated, it pours with a frothy three-finger thick tan head, that starts to leave a lacing pattern as it slowly, and falls back in a cratered rocky fashion. The beer is a hazy reddish-tinged amber color. The aroma is intoxicating, it is immediate as soon as I start pouring this beer; it is a mix of tart notes and fruit up front. As I go in for a deeper draught of the aroma I get a signature of Brett that is a bit horseblanket, and quite funky (especially if you linger over the aroma. The tartness is still here underneath the Brett character; notes of tamarind and tart plum are quite evident. The aroma is quite complex, and quite nice I could smell these beers for quite some time. Comparable to a Lambic in many ways but there is that balancing sweet note, which contributes to the fruitiness, and is not typically found in a bone dry Lambic. After a bit of time I start to pick up a fruity concentrated note that reminds me of sweet strawberries and kiwis; Interesting.

The beer has some body to it, and an astringent woody/ tannic note that definitely make one think of the barrels that this was fermented in (or perhaps some of it is from the chestnuts). It only has a light sweetness to it, but it is enough to play up fruity notes of apples and plums. The beer is spicy with a nice carbonation note in combination with some spicy oak notes and sharp acidity. It is notable that the acidity is almost subtle here, I am not saying that it is not here, because it is definitely tart, but it is so well integrated with the rest of the flavors. The spices that were used are also quite subtle, in fact I can't even pick any of them out, which in my mind is about perfect, I like the integrated character that spices add, but don't like them to be individually noticeable. The Brettanomyces is here in the flavor, but not nearly as noticeable as it was in the aroma. This really works for this beer, because the Brett does not dominate the flavor profile; it contributes an underlying funkiness that sort of wraps around and accentuates the other characteristics found in this beer. As time goes on this beer picks up a wonderful creaminess to it, which really brings the mouthfeel to another level.

My final word on this beer is that it is so well integrated, and so well balanced. The wood character, the tartness, the funky notes, the fruit character and everything else just combines to form a really nice drinking, complex brew. Once again Ron has created a masterful brew, so far he is firing on all cylinders and I still have 5 more of these to go.

Served In: Tulip