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Reviews for 2015

October 2015 - Fruit, Lambic, Barrel-Aged & Specialty Beer Styles

October 2015 - Fruit, Lambic, Barrel-Aged & Specialty Beer Styles
This month's Beer feature is Fruit, Lambic, Barrel-Aged & Specialty Beer Styles

Fruit, Lambic, Barrel-Aged & Specialty Beer Styles Reviews

The Boston Beer Co. 2013 Utopias
97 points
Clear reddish mahogany color. Lively, inviting, complex aromas of sherry, toasted fig bread, sautéed almonds, and pepper with a bright, moderately sweet full body and a peppery, very long caramelized oranges, soy, and sweet and peppery spices finish. A superb, high alcohol after dinner beer that is very reminiscent of a Palo Cortado Sherry.
Lambickx 2014 Lambickx Private Domain Gueuze
95 points
Brilliant clear light gold color. Bold, sour, earthy aromas of white balsamic vinaigrette, sourdough nut bread, reduced lemon, and stinky cheese rind and horse hair brush with a silky, puckering, spritzy, sour light-to-medium body and a tingling, long Swiss chard, citrus pith, and sour green apple finish. A racy, palate awakening lambic that will excel at the table.
Brouwerij Lindemans Cuvée René Oude Kriek
94 points
Dark red oak color. Bright, earthy aromas of barnyard, sour cherry vinaigrette, barnyard, and chicken fat with a supple, sharp, effervescent, sweet light-to-medium body and a smooth, intricate, long pomegranate, reduced lemon, spicy marinated beets, and nutshell finish. A bold, super savory and refreshing lambic that will be amazing at the table.
Lambickx 2014 Lambickx Private Domain Kriek
94 points
Brilliant neon red oak color. Bright, fruity aromas of dried sour cherry, honeyed sourdough, mustard greens, and barnyard with a supple, tart, fizzy, moderately sweet medium body and a sleek, medium-long marinated beets and cranberries, red wine vinaigrette on artichoke hearts and mesclun, nuts, and cedar finish. A nicely nuanced, very dry and savory sour cherry lambic; will appeal to wine drinkers.
North Coast Brewing Co. Barrel Aged Old Rasputin Imperial Stout XVII
94 points
Opaque dark brown color. Lively, toasty, roasted nutty boozy aromas of baking chocolate, roasted nuts, fig pumpernickel toast, and soy with a velvety, bright, finely carbonated, very sweet medium-to-full body and a peppery, intricate, long rich dark coffee, creme brulee, pepper, and cedar finish. A surprisingly youthful and flavor packed imperial stout that shows great, subtle barrel character; try with cigars.
Roy-Pitz Brewing Co. "Mind Your Ps and Qs" Belgian Style IPA
94 points
Minutely hazy old gold color. Delicate, dank, toasty aromas of peach bread, roasted corn and nuts, and pine with a supple, crisp, petillant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, complex, medium-length caramelized pineapple, orange pepper, radish sprouts, and pepper finish. A big, warming Belgian IPA with a nice balance of fruity malt and peppery hops.
Branchline Brewing Company 2nd Anniversary Ale
93 points
Pale dusty dull deep amber color. Lively, dank, fruity aromas of peach marmalade, lemon yogurt, and fruitcake with a silky, crisp, frothy, fruity medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-long tropical fruit chutney, lemon pepper, and radish finish. A big, brawny Belgian IPA fusion that captures the spirit of both traditions.
Brasserie Dupont Posca Rustica
93 points
Hazy light gold color. Delicate, funky, creamy spicy aromas of tropical fruit custard, peach spice cake, and dried lavender and citrus with a silky, vibrant, finely carbonated, fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, captivating, long toast and honey finish. A delicious and complex saison with lots of fruity undertones.
Burleigh Brewing Co. Black Giraffe Coffee Lager
93 points
Opaque ebony color. Rich, creamy, malty smoky toasty aromas of coffee and dark chocolate mousse with a creamy, bright, finely carbonated, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, very long smoked nuts and espresso finish. A wonderfully vibrant and balanced coffee lager.
Lost Rhino Brewing Company Golden Hog
93 points
Minutely hazy gold color. Lively, sweet, spicy aromas of tropical fruit compote, delicate spices, and panettone with a silky, bright, effervescent, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, involved, medium-long spice cake and yams, arugula, delicate peppery spice, and salted nuts finish. A delicious, mouthwatering, fruity saison like beer.
North Coast Brewing Co. Barrel Aged Old Rasputin Imperial Stout XV
93 points
Opaque dark brown color. Lively, creamy, malty nutty oaky aromas of chocolate drizzled nuts, dark caramel, and grilled portabellos with a supple, crisp, effervescent, moderately sweet medium-to-full body and a warming, nuanced, long chocolate espresso beans, creme brulee, and pepper finish. A rich and stimulating barrel aged stout.
North Coast Brewing Co. 2009 Old Stock Ale Barrel Aged Cellar Reserve
93 points
Dark walnut color. Bright, attractive aromas of chocolate toffee, buttery raspberry pastry, creme brulee, and pencil with an oily, bright, spritzy, moderately sweet medium-to-full body and a peppery, complex, medium-length caramel apple and pear, spiced nuts and coconut, mocha, and bibb lettuce finish. An attractive well made barrel aged ale.
North Coast Brewing Co. 2011 Old Stock Ale Barrel Aged Cellar Reserve
93 points
Dark hazy walnut color. Lively, mature aromas of chocolate fondue, tamari, figs, and pound cake with an oily, tangy, effervescent, moderately sweet medium-to-full body and a peppery, distinctive, medium-long chocolate berries and raisins, caramel nut fudge, and microgreens finish. A mellow, well aged barrel accented ale.
Branchline Brewing Company 5AM to Midnight Ale
92 points
Clear walnut color. Delicate, peppery aromas of chili pepper and paprika, cola, chocolate mint cookie, and grilled sweet potato with a supple, bright, effervescent, fruity medium body and a tingling, complex, medium-long herbal mint and tomato relish finish. A lively and cooling minty spice beer for the fall.
Brasseurs du Monde Pale Ale Tropical
92 points
Brilliant golden yellow color. Lively, interesting, complex aromas of herbed citrus, mango-mint chutney, and crispy chicken skin with a supple, vibrant, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, medium-long lemon thyme, ginger and Asian spices, lime leaves, and roasted root vegetables finish. A wild roller coaster of flavors, best enjoyed with Asian cuisine.
Lost Rhino Brewing Company Genius Loci Series "Native Son" Wild Ale
92 points
Hazy deep amber color. Mild, smoky aromas of dried stone fruits, frosted scone, and straw with a supple, soft, fizzy, fruity medium body and a tingling, appealing, medium-length cake batter, melon, delicate peppery spices, and wood smoke finish. A very interesting rather wild ale that will be great with cheese.
Rogue Ales Rogue Farms Marionberry Braggot
92 points
Bright reddish mahogany color. Lively, attractive, fruity aromas of chocolate drizzled fruits and berries, honeycomb, and raisin bread with a supple, lively, finely carbonated, off-dry medium-to-full body and a warming, subtle, medium-long spiced nuts, pepper, cocoa, and arugula finish. An intriguing, delicious expertly balanced fruit beer that is sure to please.
North by Northwest Barton Kriek
91 points
Dark sunburst color. Bright, sour aromas of powdered cherry candy and lemon vinaigrette with an even, effervescent, sweet and sour light-to-medium body and a prickly, mouthwatering, puckering raisin toast, cherry butter, lemon pepper, and sun-dried tomato vinaigrette finish. A toasty, racy kriek lambic that will be great at the table.
North Coast Brewing Co. Barrel Aged Old Rasputin Imperial stout XVI
91 points
Opaque dark brown color. Rich, fruity aromas of toffee, caramelized fruits and nuts, delicate spices, and soy with a supple, crisp, effervescent, very sweet medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, medium-long mocha latte, chocolate citrus peels, and pepper finish. A rich and palate stimulating barrel aged imperial stout.
Brasseurs du Monde Occulte Sour Ale
90 points
Clear walnut color. Rich, phenolic, savory roasted malty aromas of chocolate berries, orange marmalade on sourdough toast, and birch beer with an even, tangy, finely carbonated, sweet-and-sour medium-to-full body and a graceful, complex, medium-long craisin and dried sour cherries, toasted pumpernickel and rye cracker, and cocoa finish. Not really a weizen bock, more of a sour dark Belgian ale, and a very good one.
Rogue Ales Morimoto Soba Ale
90 points
Minutely hazy old gold color. Lively, toasty aromas of corn and pretzel breads, caramelized nuts, and vanilla pancake with a soft, bright, fizzy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long figs and dates, cocoa, arugula, and pepper finish. A nice arc of flavor from beginning to end.
Blue Blood Brewing Company Red Wine Barrel Aged Farmhouse
89 points
Minutely hazy dusty pale old color. Lively, sulfurous, tropical unusual musty aromas of overripe lemon and green apple, vanilla toffee, prairie grass, and licorice with a supple, puckering, fizzy, sweet-and-sour medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long reduced lemon and peach pit finish. A complex barrel-aged sour ale that evolves with aeration.
Rogue Ales Voodoo Doughnut Pretzel Raspberry & Chocolate Ale
89 points
Nearly opaque brown color. Lively aromas of baking chocolate and date bread with raspberry jam with a soft, spritzy, fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, stimulating, medium-long mocha, raspberry scone, and dark roasted nuts finish. Nice, dry dark chocolate beer.
Rogue Ales Wasted Sea Star Purple Pale Ale
89 points
Minutely hazy deep amber color. Mild, citrusy, hoppy aromas of peach-mango bread, orange marmalade, praline, and pine with a silky, bright, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an effortless, breezy dried lemon, pepper, and pineapple custard finish. A nicely rounded pale ale.
Roy-Pitz Brewing Co. "Lovitz" Watermelon Lager
89 points
Bright brilliant clear yellow straw color. Lively, interesting aromas of carrot, melon soufflé, melba toast, and squash with a soft, vibrant, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, refreshing, medium-length honeyed jicama, starfruit, and sprouts finish. An interesting slightly fruity, slightly rooty beer.
Dust Bowl Brewing Co. "Fruit Tramp" Raspberry Wheat Ale
88 points
Minutely hazy copper color. Fruity aromas of raspberry jam on toast with an even, lively, effervescent, off-dry light-to-medium body and a tingling, appealing, medium-length kiwi, sprouts, and wafer finish. A rock solid, raspberry flavored wheat beer.
Lost Rhino Brewing Company Genius Loci Series "Alphabrett"
88 points
Hazy golden amber color. Sour, tropical phenolic funky aromas of baked lemons and peaches, soda bread, leather, and pork rinds with a satiny, sharp, effervescent, sourish body and a tingling, complex, long orange vinegar, pomelo peel, overripe nectarine skin, and oak finish. A boldly sour fruity beer.
O’Connor Brewing Company Steel Battalion Series Smoked IPA
88 points
Clear light gold color. Smoky aromas of smoked jerky, nuts, grilled citrus, and cigar ash with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, amusing, medium-long grilled mango, smoked peppers and nopales, pine sap, and bamboo spouts finish. A dense and powerful smoked, bitter ale; try with cigars.
O’Connor Brewing Company Steel Battalion Series "Heavy Footer" Double IPA
88 points
Minutely hazy amber color. Bright, hoppy, alliaceous aromas of caramelized grapefruit, pine, and garlic shoots with a silky, crisp, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a sleek, intricate, medium-long grassy, pepper, and pineapple chutney finish. A nice double IPA.
Peter B’s Brewpub "Sum of Hours" Imperial Red
88 points
Brilliant deep amber color. Lively, attractive aromas of frosted banana cake and flan with a soft, bright, effervescent, fruity sweet medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, medium-long pepper bread, honey cream, dried fruits, and radicchio finish. A very tasty and attractive barrel aged lager that is sure to please.
Rogue Ales Voodoo Doughnut Chocolate Peanut Butter & Banana Ale
88 points
Clear dark brown color. Rich, attractive aromas of chocolate frosting on banana cake and buttery caramel with a soft, bright, effervescent, off-dry medium body and a tingling, amusing, medium-long toast, pepper, and radish finish. A dry, well balanced cream chocolate banana ale that is sure to please.
Rogue Ales Rogue Farms Pumpkin Patch Ale
88 points
Medium bright dusty reddish mahogany color. Rich, spicy, toasty aromas of pumpkin cheesecake pie and latte with a silky, crisp, effervescent, fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length carrot cake, gingerbread, yams, and nutskin finish. A nice and balanced pumpkin beer.
Urban Chestnut Brewing Company "Bernard" Grodziskie
88 points
Minutely hazy straw green color. Delicate, inviting, meaty aromas of grilled ham and cheese sandwich and hot dogs with a supple, vibrant, effervescent, dry light-to-medium body and a polished, interesting, medium-long mesclun and grilled apple finish. A fun, smoky lambic-like beer.
Brasserie Dupont Foret Libre Saison
87 points
Cloudy yellow color. Bright, herbal, earthy aromas of pepper bread focaccia, herbs, and buttered nuts with a supple, racy, bubbly, dryish light-to-medium body and a tingling, complex, medium-long lemon pepper, grass, and banana bread crust finish. A very vibrant, lively and peppery gluten free ale.
North Coast Brewing Co. Barrel Aged Old Rasputin Imperial Stout XIV
87 points
Opaque dark brown color. Bright, attractive aromas of dark chocolate, caramelized nuts, and sautéed mushroom with a lean, soft, effervescent, fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long chocolate orange peel and dark coffee finish. A mellow, well balanced and well aged imperial stout.
Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling Small Batch Series No. 9 Blackberry Sour
87 points
Minutely hazy amber color. Delicate, attractive aromas of honey butter on raisin toast and peach vinaigrette on lettuce with a supple, tangy, effervescent, sweet light-to-medium body and a smooth, amusing, medium-length lemon, radish, and spiced nuts finish. A nicely balanced and approachable fruity lambic.
Ulele Spring Brewery "Wedding Beer" Fruit Lager
87 points
Hazy dull gold color. Mild, jammy, tropical funky fruity aromas of baked peach and lemon, nut toast, and honeycomb with a soft, crisp, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, easy peppercorn muffin and nuts finish. A nice lightly fruited lager with crisp bittering hops to balance.
O’Connor Brewing Company Iron Clad Series Bourbon Barrel Aged Robust Porter
86 points
Nearly opaque brown black color. Creamy, nutty aromas of dark chocolate mousse, pecan pie, and vanilla latte with a lean, vibrant, effervescent, dryish medium body and a tingling, appealing, medium-long mocha, pepper, and baking spices finish. A big, chocolatey barrel aged beer with nice peppery warmth.
Roy-Pitz Brewing Co. "Ludwigs Revenge" Rauchbier
86 points
Nearly opaque dark brown color. Delicate, smoky, meaty aromas of blackened chicken teriyaki and smoked nuts with a supple, flat, petillant, dryish light body and a tingling, snappy cashew butter on burnt toast, dark chocolate and coffee, and smoked peppercorns finish. A nicely smoked lager with a table friendly quality.
Branchline Brewing Company Woodcutter Rye IPA
85 points
Minutely hazy golden amber color. Lively, citrusy, piney aromas of tangelo peel, pine sap, peppercorn muffin, and chamomile with a supple, bright, effervescent, fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, long rapini, peppercorns, roasted corn, and rye cracker finish. A nicely bitter and astringent IPA.
Lambrucha Belgian Ale With Real Kombucha Tea
85 points
Pale minutely hazy golden yellow color. Delicate, herbal aromas of lemon verbena, herbal tea, roasted yams, and chamomile with a supple, tart, petillant, moderately sweet light-to-medium body and a sleek, interesting, breezy lemon and lime juice concentrate, eucalyptus, and dusty earth finish. A pleasant lemon herb beer.
North by Northwest "Sub Rosa" Sour Ale
85 points
Hazy copper color. Bold, curious, citrusy aromas of lime powder candy, berry scented talc, and rose hip vitamin with a lean, puckering, effervescent, sweet medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length berry vinaigrette on lettuce, reduced lemon, nuts, and custard pastry finish.
Rogue Ales Morimoto Black Obi Soba
85 points
Hazy mahogany color. Delicate, roasted aromas of carob, roasted nuts, and coffee with a satiny, bright, spritzy, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length peppered chocolate, grainy pumpernickel, and grass finish. A nice roasty food beer.
Ulele Spring Brewery Magbees Bourbon Barrel Honey Lager
85 points
Brilliant clear sunburst color. Rich, woody aromas of honeyed dried fruits, banana muffin, and nut brittle with a satiny, flat, petillant, dryish full body and a tingling, compelling, breezy buttered toast, grass, and caramelized root vegetables finish. A nice food beer.
Vancouver Island Brewery "Black Betty" Blackberry Saison
85 points
Clear old gold color. Bright, attractive aromas of honeyed pears and dark berries and buttered toast with a supple, bright, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, easy wafer, jicama, sprouts, and berry phosphate finish. A light and easy fruit beer.
Branchline Brewing Company Menger 32 Pumpkin Ale
84 points
Brilliant sunburst color. Rich, spicy aromas of ginger snap cookie, lightly caramelized fruits and nuts, and brown spices with a velvety, bright, effervescent, fruity medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-length spiced pumpkin, chili pepper, and radicchio finish. A rich, hot and spicy pumpkin beer.
Lost Rhino Brewing Company Bommekyn Dutch-Style Kuyt
84 points
Hazy light gold color. Muted, unpleasant, vegetal aromas of beans and wax paper with a supple, soft, effervescent, dryish light-to-medium body and a polished, charming, medium-length corn pudding, salted buttered toast, and root vegetables finish. A savory earthy beer for the table.
North by Northwest "Cactus Jack" Prickly Pear Saison
84 points
Brilliant copper color. Bold, vegetal aromas of succotash, roasted Brussels sprouts, and wax with a supple, bright, effervescent, dry medium body and a tingling, captivating, medium-length mesclun, pepper, grass, and nutshell finish. A funky, savory saison for the table.
Brasseurs du Monde 2014 Gueuze
83 points
Hazy golden amber color. Citrusy, vinous woody sour aromas of caramelized nectarines and lemons, honeyed panettone, and white white vinegar with a satiny, tart, spritzy, moderately sweet light body and a tingling, medium-long dressed heart of palm salad finish.
Narragansett Brewing Company Lovecraft Honey Ale
83 points
Clear copper color. Delicate, sweet, smoky aromas of caramelized fruit, burnt sugar, and honeyed raisin toast with a satiny, crisp, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-long radicchio, honeyed fruit, and pine bark finish. A very astringent ale.
Rogue Ales Voodoo Doughnut Lemon Chiffon Crueller Ale
81 points
Clear old gold color. Citrusy, fruity aromas of lemon sorbet, lavender talc, and cream puff with an oily, bright, effervescent, off-dry light-to-medium body and a tingling, engaging, medium-length lemon cream tart, lemon grass, and pine sol finish. A brash floral lemon beer.
Roy-Pitz Brewing Co. "Sour Hound"
81 points
Yellow color. Aromas of baked root vegetables, cider vinegar, pepper cracker, and pork rinds with a supple, puckering, effervescent, sour body and a tingling, peculiar, medium-length buttered toast, lemon pith, grass, and hot pickle finish. An unusual amalgamation of sour, meaty and buttery tones.
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