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Review by bakes on 06/12/10  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
90 3 10 18 5 9 2010
Vertical tasting of 2007, 2008, and 2009 vintages on 6/12/10 with my sour beer loving friend Bob. Thanks to WST for the 07 and 08, and JRod for the 09:

2007: Pours a cloudy brown with a faint light tan head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is vast - thick with horseblanket notes over dark fermenting raisins, maybe sherry?, cherries, slight oaky winy notes, a slight vegetal aroma kicks in momentarily but doesn't detract.

Flawor is so freaking deep and changes as it goes down. Initially it's all raisins, darkly sweet on the tongue, and sour cherries on top. The sourness grows, with notes of oak, leather, Brettanomyces, then all of a sudden some chocolate decides to arrive. The hell'd that come from? No idea. Underlying it all is a velvety sweetness. Brett bitterness way in the background at the end. Dear sweet Lord this is complex as hell. Bob's getting a hint of port in there as well, and he's right. Mouthfeel is silky.

2008: Color and pour is the same. Nose is far more tart, with the raisins somewhere off having fun and a cedary, oaky, spicy aroma appearing atop the sour cherries. Hint of vanilla as well.

Not as much deep, raisiny port flavors, but a far brighter palate emerges - full of tart cherries that envelop every tastebud, raw spicy oak, hits of Brett that are there but well controlled, and supporting notes of cocoa, vanilla, cedar... stunning. Puckering but sooo balanced.

2009: As with 2008, but with additional hints of vanilla and raisin. Flavor is right in between the 2007 and 2008 - maybe leaning a bit towards the more bright flavors of the 2008, but definitely with a hit of the port-like flavors of the 2007 to round things out.

Overall - This is an amazingly complex brew, highly enjoyable, truly worthy of an afternoon of sipping and contemplation.

Served In: Snifter