Chardonnay Barrel Belgian Ale (Fall Migration) - Evolution Craft Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Chardonnay Barrel Belgian Ale (Fall Migration)Chardonnay Barrel Belgian Ale (Fall Migration)

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BA SCORE
89
very good

136 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 136
Reviews: 36
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 9.48%
Wants: 27
Gots: 23 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Evolution Craft Brewing Company visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: lackenhauser on 11-10-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 136 | Reviews: 36
Photo of MasterSki
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ChrisPro for the share. Served in a Cigar City snifter.

A - A thin white foam settles to some wisps, thick collar, and a few spots of lace. Murky peach flesh body.

S - Heavy Chardonnay influence, and more of the wine and less of the buttery oak I tend to get from those barrels. Tropical fruits, and a nice does of earthy and barnyard funk. I think Belgian Strong Pale Ale is a bit misleading here.

T - Taste isn't quite as strong. There's some nice stone fruit malts and bretty tropical fruit flavors mingling with a light dash of vinous sourness. More malt-forward and less funky - I can see the BSPA base a bit more here. There's a slightly distracting playdough-esque flavor in the finish that brings this down a notch.

M - Medium body, medium-low carbonation, and a very dry and lightly tannic texture. Perhaps a hint of warming alcohol after a few ounces as well.

D - I'd consider this more of an American Wild Ale, as it has the characteristic wine barrel and brett combo that American breweries seem to love. Thankfully the strain that Evolution is using produces some nice flavors. I'd drink this again as it's a solidly crafted beer.

Photo of DefenCorps
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from the Village Pump for $13.99.

Pouring a coppery-orange, fairly clear, with a dense, off-white head with excellent retention and very nice lacing, this is a very nice looking beer. The nose is pretty excellent too. Plenty of Chardonnay, along with a moderate level of Brett funk (pineapple, some tropical fruit) which works very well with the vinous notes. The chardonnay is fairly buttery too, and the vanilla from the oak does add to the complexity. Some spice character is present, with a little bit of clove and white pepper. A mild malt character with toasted grains is present. Very enjoyable stuff.

The palate expresses more of the Brett funk than does the nose, with hay, some tropical fruit, a touch of melon and a little green apple. Still, though, this is quite vinous, with buttery smooth chardonnay, a mild alcoholic note even. The alcohol is particularly noticeable on the finish, where it bumps into the vanilla and the oak in a not so pleasant way. Not much sourness, though there is a little tartness. Moderately spicy with the typical tripel blend of pepper and a little clove. While drying on the finish, there's a fullness to the body that enhances the chardonnay flavors here. With a fairly high level of carbonation, this does benefit from defizzing a while, especially as the carbonic acid does scrub out the already mild flavors (and enjoyable so) of the beer, leaving a finish that's a tad watery. In fact, the combination does make this seem just a touch like watery yogurt, I wonder if there was any lactobacillus that made it into one of the barrels. Despite all my nitpicking here, this is really enjoyable stuff and I'd buy another bottle.

A little too vinous to merit a comparison to Temptation (and not enough funk or sourness either), I'd compare it to Midnight Sun's Pluto (for it's Bretty vinousness) and Russian River's Depuration (for sheer buttery chardonnay goodness). While not as good as either of those beers, this is still very very worthy.

Photo of larryi86
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011- 750 mL bottle poured into a tulip glass

A- A hazy golden color with a four finger white head.

S- Chardonnay, oak, tart apples, grapes, light fruits.

T- Chardonnay, tart light fruits, oak, hint of funk, nice complexity, well balanced.

M- Smooth, dry, medium body, good carbonation.

O- An awesome beer and easy drinking. Best beer I have had from Evolution. The barrel really comes out but does not overpower the beer. Very happy I was able to get a second bottle in a trade.

2012- Just as good as 2011, finding some bottles more sour than others and getting some peppercorns in the finish that work nicely. Still feel this is one of my favorite beers from Evolution

Photo of DrBier
3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 into Chimay goblet. #927 of 1350

Hazy golden with tight thin head, thin head lasts til bottom of goblet. Delicate med. lacing. Moderate ring of yeast in bottle for fairly young beer.

Moderate Brett funky aroma, obviously stronger as it warms, nice oak, white wine aromas initially less apparent as it warms.

Beautiful integration of the Belgian blond / strong ale? (a little too malty for a pale), with the Chardonnay barrels in the front end. It's carbonated and winey, funky Brett character kicks in midpalate and lasts through end. Finishes slightly sour from the barrel and moderately dry.

Very easy drinking. Hides the alcohol very very well. With age I think the Brett will kick in alot and this beer will change interestingly but it's really good right now.

Photo of Hojaminbag
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Evolution Fall Migration was a beer I really wanted to try, so I was pumped when my buddy from DC brought a bottle to my place to share.

An orange body has a slight haze to it, with a dull white head that is quite fluffy looking. The retention is solid, and the lacing sticks around in a few splotches and spots.

The aroma has a lot of brett in it, with some tartness and a lot of funky notes. Wood is noticeable, with some chardonnay tagging along as well. A little bit citrusy and fruity also.

There are a lot of barrel characteristics in this one. Spicy wood is followed by a hint of vanilla and a burst of chardonnay and white grape flavors. The brett is lightly tart with a burst of funk, but not especially powerful overall; it presents itself in the aroma much more strongly. Also, this is far from sour, with the tartness being just noticeable. There are some light, fruity flavors including citrus and white grapes, and a touch of bitterness. The pale malt in the background is fairly sweet without being the least bit cloying or overwhelming.

The body is moderate, and the carbonation is a touch high, making this one feel almost crisp.

Fall Migration did not disappoint. Fairly complex flavors and overall a pleasant beer to drink. I will definitely have to get my hands on their wine barrel-creations in the future.

Photo of mdfb79
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 12/18/11 notes. Picked this up at Whole Foods in Clarendon, VA for $11.99. Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Bell's tulip. Bottle 355 of 1350.

a - Pour a hazy medium orange color with one finger of fluffy off white head and moderate carbonation evident. Some spotty lacing left on the glass and the head lasts for several minutes.

s - Smells of brett, oak, chardonay, Belgian yeast, spice, light funk and earthy notes, and floral hops. Brett is strong and a little funky, and not overly sour, but very nice. Really like the nose.

t - Tastes of brett, oak, white wine, Belgian yeast, spices, light funk, floral hops, and light citrus hops. A little less funky than the nose, but still, very nice.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Crisp and easy to drink.

o - Overall I really liked this one. While it is not too sour there is a lot of brett in the nose which I loved, and the light sourness and funk comes through, especially in the nose. Haven't had the 2011 Winter Migration but liking this fresh a lot more than the 2010 Winter Migration, and excited to see what else they do with barrels in the future. Would buy it again.

Photo of ShanePB
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle shared with my girlfriend and family. Poured into a snifter.

A: Hazy golden yellow colored body that became more hazy as we got to the end of the bottle. Yeast sediment at the bottom, pour carefully. Nice fluffy white head that did dissipate somewhat rapidly. Very little lace and a thin retention ring.

S: Dry oak wood, white wine, white grape flesh, funk, hay and a minor citrus note towards the back end. It does have a bit of floral hop notes giving it a decent balance of aromas. Nicely done, certainly hope the taste is going where the nose does.

T: Lots of dry oak up front, followed by a crisp and clean Chardonnay quality. The use of the wine barrels is quite evident. The base beer comes through mid-palate, bringing a nice amount of yeast and spice, bitter lemon and a nice bit of funk. The brett gives it a good bit of funk, not sourness. Very earthy and hay-like, really nice actually.

M: Bubbly, well carbonated and certainly lively. The barrel didn't make this beer lose a lot of its body which is nice. Finishes with a clean cut, but it is dry on the palate.

Only my second "limited" beer from Evolution and this is really well done. I shared this with wine lovers, one who loves Chardonnay, and they really enjoyed this. It's one beer that showcases how versatile beer can be, especially with the use of wine barrels. Once again, nicely done Evo.

Photo of pwoody11
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes at the release:

Poured a nice golden color. Decent head. Bubbly.

Aroma was sexy and attractive. Fruity. Tart. Sour Apples and red grapes.

Taste follows the nose for the most part. Grapes, apple, vanilla. A little tart. Not very sour. Chardonay comes through nicely. To be honest, a slightly more soured version of this would be my dream beer.

Mouthfeel was as expected from the appearance. Champagne like

Overall, this is my favorite in the migration series so far. Love what Evo is doing down state. As I already stated, hope the sourness kicks it up a notch with a little time on it. This coming from a huge fan of sours I might add.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes.

A: Pours a hazy light golden color with a good sized white foamy head on top. Lots of carbonation bubbles released from the bottom of the glass.

S: Nice aroma with some light fruits - peach, apple, a little bit of grape. There is a light tartness, not overly sour, and a bit of oak.

T: Upfront there is some of the light fruit again, peach, apricot, and apple, but this transitions to a really nice chardonnay flavor as well as some of the oak. There is a little bit of sour/funk, but it blends nicely in with the rest of the beer.

M: Light to medium bodied, active carbonation. Slightly dry finish. Just enough sourness to let you know it is in there.

O: Really nice beer from Evo, hoping that over time the Brett kicks it up a bit and the chardonnay flavor drops off. Look forward to trying this one again in the future.

Photo of BeerThursdays
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Orange in color with a ton of head. Almost over poured not remembering how carbonated this one can be.

S - Nice sweet smell with some oak and funk. Some of the sweeter fruites in there. Grapes, apples and others that you would expect from a Chardonay(ed?) beer.

T - Really dig this part. The wine comes through almost immediately, and then you get a bit of the graininess from the brew. Finishes with a good amount of funk, but nothing over the top.

M - Lots of carbonation, and a bit dryness. Light bodied.

O - Best beer Evo has done in the series. Lots of flavors, and hopefully it will just get better.

Photo of inlimbo77
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle Fall '11 batch #47 of 1350. Poured into a Lost Abbey Stemmed Snifter

A: Pours a really pretty yellowish orange. Two fingers of bright white head. Beautiful pour. Lots of carbonation. Bubbles streaming off the bottoms of glass. Lots of sticky lacing left in glass.

S: Smells really nice: funk, Brett, white grapes, green apples. Some of that belgian yeast is behind the others.

T: Really nice sip. You get a little sour on the tip of the tongue. Not like a lambic or Kriek or another. Just a note that lets you know the Brett is there. Middle of the mouth you get a little of the Chard barrel and the buttery notes. Really smooths it. You still get the white grape and apple flavors. The alcohol is hidden extremely well.

M: Medium bodied with dry finish.

O: I have to go A- on this one. Really enjoy the flavors. I wish it was a little more sour, but they really did a great job here.

Photo of womencantsail
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Bobby.

Pours a somewhat cloudy golden orange color with a tall white head. A nice bit of oak barrel aroma to this one as well as some must. Quite heavy on the white wine. There are some mild funk and tart notes to it, too. Just a hint of melon. The flavor is also lightly tart and funky with quite a bit of chardonnay flavor. Oak and mild vanilla along with some light fruits such as green melon and apple.

Photo of HopHead84
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12/02/2011

Bottle shared by Bobby at Strong Ale 2011.

A: Dark orange and slightly hazy with a white head.

S: Hay and wheat with grain and earthy notes. Lightly lactic with evident Chardonnay and oak. Fruit elements are redolent of apple and pear.

T: Wheat, grain, leather, and earth. White grapes blend with a pervasive apple presence. There's a light tartness in the lactic finish.

M: Upper light in body with high carbonation.

Overall: A highly drinkable slightly sour wine barrel aged Belgian Pale Ale. Good and worth a try.

Photo of SwillinBrew
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Props out to Bobby/T0rino for bringing a bottle to the pizza port strong ale fest.

Poured a vibrant dirty straw color, very rich and deep, with a solid quarter inch of frothy egg whites for head, small bubbles everywhere.

The bouquet was of green apples with some mellow hints of an empty glass that had some grape juice in it right before you smelled it.

I tasted chardonay notes with some nice barnyard and hints of wet haystacks. Not overly tart but noticeable. Very effervescent and dry on the tongue. Easy to drink. I could go for more of this.

Photo of jmfc8237
4.54/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes : Poured at the pickled pig beer dinner in Rehoboth beach tonight. Appearance was a hazy golden amber with champagne like ferocious carbonation. Silky layer of laced head covers the top like a frosting. Mild lacing with no legs and head retention was nothing to speak of. Smells strongly of acid and sour apples. Bright notes of farmhouse funk and grapes are evident amongst the Brett yeast strain. Taste is dry and entertaining but lacks the sour finish I was expecting. Hay and spice make everything nice with a hint of cedar wood.

Photo of lackenhauser
4.52/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pale amber in color with a decent enough head on top. The chardonay really is present in both aroma and flavor. Quite wine like. Very well balanced against the oak too. Distinct hop bite-not as noticeable at first but as you get into the beer you can really pick it out. Some nice BRETT going on. Lingering chardonay flavor. Solid mouthfeel, has an almost creamy finish. Just outstanding in my book. Really, really enjoyable. Damn I love these guys.

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Chardonnay Barrel Belgian Ale (Fall Migration) from Evolution Craft Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 136 ratings.