77 / 100
750ml faux-ceramic bottle purchased as part of a bulk order with some folks from work. It feels like such a very long time ago that I reviewed Delirium Tremens, and nearly as long as I had it.
Pours a deep dark brown colour, with a foamy, Belgian-style head of off-white that foams up early, but settles down to a fine ring. Body is stylistically appropriate—smooth but light, with fine swirling carbonation. Looks good.
Nose is really very pleasant. It has those deep, organic classic Belgian notes of stewed tomato and spice. I get star anise, cloves, cinnamon and bergamot. I get dark hints of high quality milk chocolate and a hint of ink. But it's those rounded, organic characters that do it for me. It smells like ripping apart a fresh cauliflower, like walking through trellised grape vines, like the cellar floor of a thousand spilled barrel droplets. It's a very nostalgic, and very pleasant aroma for me.
Taste is also good, but not as fully realised as the aroma. It's thinner, for a start, which probably makes the beer overall brighter and more approachable. But it also removes some of the canvas for the complexities to show themselves. It starts out nicely though, with smooth rounded spice esters and a mild hint of chocolate and carob. Finish is quite weak though, and it peters out without letting everything express itself. That's a bit of a shame.
It's still a genuinely nice beer, and I love the craft that's gone into it. There's something truly wonderful about this style of Belgian brewing, and I'm very pleased we still get to enjoy it like this.
57 / 100
Pours a pale hazy gold with mega fucking floaties in it. Like, that wasn't a bad pour, it just has large yeast flecks all through it. Bead is strong, as is head, off-white in colour and sizzles softly but retains, without sinking. Lacing is pretty decent. Looks unique, if nothing else.
Nose is very Belgian and particularly sour. Has a good belt of vinegar and green grape skin, a slightly meaty or tomatoey edge as well. Not much spice but a fair amount of funk, quite champagney and reasonably nice.
Taste is very similar - very sour, tangy and kind of funky. Fair amount of wild barnyard character with a furry aspect at the back of my throat. Flavours of vinegar, underripe cherry, tomato and unripe berries. Noticeable alcohol towards the back, isn't really hidden because the beer finished quite short. Most of the flavour is on the front and while there is a nice citrusy kick to the back, it fades away and the boozey strength hits you at the same time. A bit phenolic on the mid as well, but is really dominated by a sour flavour throughout. Lacks that Belgian spice, although the yeast is obviously well utilised to create all that funk.
Mouthfeel is quite tangy, with a strong carbonated feel, maybe too much. Feels nicely thick though, just burns a bit.
While I don't really enjoy this, it's obviously a respectable beer, and in spite of its heavy flavour and character I detect a lot of fine, subtle touches throughout the palate. It's very meticulous, even though the end result doesn't agree with me much.
Golden honey colour, very thin, with no head apart from a very thin ring around the edge. It looks flat. No carbonation, no lacing. Very uninspiring indeed, possibly one of the most unappealing looking beers I've ever laid eyes upon.
Yeast cider on the nose, hints of floury apple, a little zing of metal, but not much. Nothing really prominent, rather flat over all.
Such a weird character on the palate; slightly yeasty and floury, like bread dough. Also some odd sugar flavour, reminiscent of those candy teeth you used to get. It's weird. Doesn't taste like beer.
Mouthfeel surprisingly carbonated, especially given the flat look to it.
This is incredibly dry and just a little disturbing. It's not that hard to drink, but it's just so unusual, and not really beer-like at all, in any sort of style.
Pours a pale golden appearance, with a bit of head, but not much. Thin but very nice, clingy lacing. Clear body with a little bead. Not bad, but fairly weak apart from that lacing.
Fair hint of apple cider on the nose with an unpleasant sour, almost meaty character hidden at the back. Fairly sweet with not much hoppiness, also fairly weak.
Really quite dreadful flavour, has a sugar-dissolved-in-water front palate with a slight hint of green apple on the back. A bit acidic, and kind of grainy like PERUVIAN THING. Weak, for the most part. Bit sour on the back, but mostly watery. Mouthfeel is quite thin. Can't say I expected much from this, and I was right. Mind you, having tried the O'Briens Gluten Free beers I can safely say that this is definitely the best and most drinkable of this variety.
76 / 100
Nice foil-topped faux-ceramic 33cl bottle. Opens with barely a sound of carbonation - I was a little worried, as this one had a fair bit of age on it, but my worries were premature.
Pours a thick, cloudy light orange-beige colour, with a yellowing white head of compact bubbles. Carbonation bubbles make slow progress upwards from the base of the glass. Heavy body leaves excellent lacing. A great looking beer.
Light, fruity note on the nose: cider, pineapple with hints of darker, yeasty elements. As it warms, more organic tones of leather and earth creep in, providing a decidedly unusual character for such a light-coloured beer.
Crisp entry on the palate, with pine resin characters, rye bread and spices. Rather reminiscent of the loaves peppered with caraway I had in Austria. Very noticeable, robustly bitter back palate stays long and sharp. There's a strong note of alcohol heat to numb the palate slightly as well. Despite this, the body is quite creamy and full - more so than many invert-sugar reliant Belgian ales.
This is a very drinkable brew, and one that is smooth with age. I imagine there's some fresher characters in the younger version that I may have missed, but the mellow, creamy, languous version I have here is just fine with me...
90 / 100
Comes in a nice-looking faux-ceramic glass bottle capped with blue foil. Makes you want to look at it in the bottle for a while. But not for too long.
Somewhat cloudy, champagne gold colour. White frothy thich head which falls down to film quickly.
A nice looking beer.
Very nice. Savoury citrus, some hints of saltwater, with a sweet malt underpinning. Very pleasant smell really.
Very nice flavours. Mostly fruity sweetness, with a refreshing dryness. It starts with a sweet, fragrant fruitiness, but mellows to a dry bready flavour, undepinned by that warm base of alcohol.
Mouthfeel smooth, rich and filling. Wonderful.
This is what a high-alcohol beer should be like: no overpowering of the flavours by the alcohol, but rather the kick lending its complexities to the complexities inherent in the beer itself. Too often these high-end beers end up tasting like someone's taken a mediocre beer and turned up the "alcohol volume".
Very fine indeed.
The drinkability of this monster beer is limited, because the moderation required in enjoying it. But this is a fine beer nonetheless.