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Summer 2010 Vintage - Blackberry - Almanac Beer Co.

Summer 2010 Vintage - BlackberrySummer 2010 Vintage - Blackberry

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

68 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 68
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 15.46%

Brewed by:
Almanac Beer Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Our golden ale reflects a dueling love of classic Belgian ales and American hops. We balance two row barley, pilsner malt and wheat with a touch of Magnum bittering hops added at the beginning of the boil, and a California-sized addition of Citra hops added at the end of the boil. This late hop addition adds a delicate grapefruit-peel aroma. We then age the beer in used oak wine barrels from California wineries with two hundred pounds of fresh Cherokee Blackberries, and another fifty pounds of Marion, Ollalie and Boysen Berries. All of our berries were hand picked at the family owned and operated Sebastopol Berry Farm.

After six months of barrel aging with the fruit, we blended the barrels back together with freshly brewed "base-beer" to reinvigorate the citrusy, hoppy aroma. Blended beer is re-fermented in the bottle to provide a final layer of complexity. Bottle conditioning provides a natural carbonation of superfine bubbles, similar to classic sparkling wines. The finished bottle is alive, and will continue to evolve and change over time, gaining nuance and character for years.

(Beer added by: nataku00 on 02-20-2011)
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Ratings: 68 | Reviews: 48 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Ryan011235:
Photo of Ryan011235


1.99/5  rDev -48.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into a snifter on 6/1/12

Bottled 5/29/11
Bottle No. 3065

Thanks to Nickd717

A) Clear, golden amber. Thin layer of foam with some ring retention.

S) Plastic, fake blackberry aroma, grains, and a soft oak note. Mustiness is on the low side. Light fruit tones.

T) It doesn't taste nearly as good as it smells. Dank oak turns to stale, wet swamp grass and grump, sleepy fruit suggestions. Blueberries are all but gone.

M) Light body with moderate, prickly carbonation. The finish is vinous and a tad earthy and funky.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2013 06:56:35 | More by Ryan011235
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New York

4.16/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled May 2011, opened May 2013.

A – Bright, opaque, dusty honey body. Fine, bone-white head has ok retention and lace.

S – Sweet honey, banana pudding, mixed berries, vanilla, sweet rice.

T – Sharp acidity. Lemon-lime Gatorade, fermented berries, honey, wheat, touch of oak.

M – Big carbonation on a smooth, medium frame.

O – A few years did this bottle well. Great integration on an excellent flavor profile. Another great beer from Almanac.

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05-02-2013 10:39:29 | More by pperez38
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North Carolina

3.76/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle No. 344

Appearance: Pours a hazy honey golden color with a modest head that leaves some splashy lace

Smell: Blackberries and wine barrels, with Belgian yeast undertones and a grassy character

Taste: The Belgian yeast character overwhelms the front end (I read somewhere that this was the Duvel strain) with the tart blackberry aspect developing in the middle; after the swallow, the wine barrels add a tannic dryness, with the tartness of the berries bringing up the rear

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: There is a lot going on with this beer, almost too much; the yeast strain is a bit too strong for the rest of the flavors and the blackberries might be just a bit too tart without adding enough of their fruit; having tasted some other Almanac beers lately, I think this brewery is coming along from some of the elements that are distracting in this beer

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2013 22:40:53 | More by brentk56
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03-21-2013 20:07:16 | More by DJButters
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3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

03-02-2013 18:22:53 | More by GRG1313
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3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to drewone for sharing this one at jmgrub's birthday tasting.

Bottled 5/29/11. Bottle # 1152.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy bone colored head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, honey, berries, wine, and wood. Taste is much the same with a slightly sour berry flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and light.

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02-26-2013 02:53:11 | More by UCLABrewN84
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02-25-2013 00:30:54 | More by drewone
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3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

01-17-2013 05:43:43 | More by spycow
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4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

12-17-2012 23:12:20 | More by CheapBeerBuzz
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4/5  rDev +3.1%

09-12-2012 15:33:14 | More by Pinche_Oso
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New York

3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to stupac2 for this one...
Bottled 5/29/11, Bottle # 79

A: Pours a cloudy yellowish gold/peach/grapefruit with a massive amount of pure white head. The foam takes a bit to settle, and leaves a nice bubbly layer along the surface of the beer. There is a solid amount of lacing to this brew as it drinks.

S The nose is straight up funky and sour. I get a definite hit from the wine barrel aging, as well as a good helping of funky yeast. I also pick up notes of mild grain, big citrus, and some serious alcohol.

T: It's sweet to start with the funk coming on strong right after. The sweetness carries through in the middle, where it mixes with some citrus. The finish is bittersweet, funky, and a bit dry. I really don't get any blackberry at all.

M: Medium bodied beer. It looks light, but there is a good amount of heft to this one. It starts out sweet and cloying, but gets really yeast and funk-i-fied in the middle. The finish is a mix of all of those, and in the end it is a bit dry.

O: Solid beer. I remembered it more fondly the last time I tried it, but it's still a good beer. Now that I have had the opportunity to write down my thoughts, I don't think I'd seek this beer out again.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2012 21:00:58 | More by trxxpaxxs
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3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

08-18-2012 12:59:15 | More by t0rin0
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4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I purchased this bottle when it was released. A special occasion beer for a special occasion. And what could be more special than… Wednesday night?. Bottle #2015, bottled on 5/29/2011, poured in its proper glassware and shared on 4/25/2012.

This pours a cloudy golden-straw color with a billowy cap of foam topping it.

I pick up a traditional Belgian golden ale aroma, rounded yeasty esters—but no blackberries. To be honest the aroma isn’t spectacular, which is only to say that I had expected to be amazed by everything about this beer. Did the blackberries fade like hops over the course of a year? Where’d they go?

On the flavor I find an oak presence, almost like a chardonnay feels to me (coming from a non-wine person, admittedly). Only the most nuanced of berry notes remains, and that might be more from the power of suggestion than anything I actually can taste. Hops have faded as well. The beer is effervescent with a dry, gentle body and a finish just to the side of being resiny. No complaints regarding its body or its finish.

I found the beer grew on me as it opened up and devloped. The oak barrel ageing gave it a well-rounded character that I appreciated. While my tasting companion loved this absolutely I am not as enthusiastic about how it came out—but that doesn’t diminish my enthusiasm for the brewers or their process. A mixed review, to be sure.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2012 21:50:12 | More by elNopalero
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4/5  rDev +3.1%

04-15-2012 22:11:56 | More by jpajpajeff
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4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle # 3,444

From the first time I saw the Almanac website, which was my introduction to the brewery, this beer was at the top of my list of ones I hoped and wished I would get to try.

Looks very interesting on the pour. Nose is soft. Flavor seems to have many things coming together and then hitting you at once. I want to say that the variety of berries in this beer creates a somewhat muddled delivery. There is no distinct character showing through over any other. There seems to be a mild funky thing going on so far in the back of this that you have to wonder if it's waiting to make a grander appearance. I will assume that this is from the barrels. Interestingly, I had this in a wine fridge which didn't chill it down to being cold, and after it warmed up it seemed to open a bit and get more interesting.

Overall, this is a pretty good belgian ale. I think that aging this one may produce some interesting characteristics; but who can guess what that may end up being.

Beautiful design on the label too, by the way.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2012 08:17:19 | More by RblWthACoz
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3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

#3075 Bottled on 5/29/11

Thanks to leschkie for the LIF

A - Pours a hazy, pale straw color. Four-finger, fizzy white head slowly settles to one-finger width and remains throughout the drink. Some light patchy lacing.

S - Can't say anything is extraordinary about the nose. I do detect some oak from the barrels. Berries don't really come through, or are a little overpowered by the yeastiness.

T/M - I do enjoy it. Berries come through more and more as it warms. No sign of being 8%. Definite wine/chardonnay characteristics. Highly carbonated. Very prickly and delightful.

O - Has some very good things going for it. Liked it enough to be interested in Almanac's other "seasonals".

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2012 01:12:50 | More by bigaltemple
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4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Huge white foamy/soapy head. Mild lacing remains on the glass. Medium viscosity.

S - Very dry and champagne scented. White grape and bitter berry. Berries open up when the beer comes to room temperature.

T/M - Very dry (think champagne). No heat whatsoever. Huge white grape from the oak barrels. You can tell Chardonnay barrels were used. The berries have fell apart by this point and are very bitter and hard pressed. Perfect carbonation.

O - This is definitely the champagne of beers...The closest i've ever had... A unique brew, not for all, but quite complex and enjoyable, in a weird way. I really wished this beer was tart and forward. All-in-all, a very enjoyable beer! Thank you dsgolovin!

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2012 03:46:52 | More by chugalug06
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3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

01-08-2012 21:33:57 | More by imperialking
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4/5  rDev +3.1%

12-27-2011 23:36:48 | More by rob133
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Ontario (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting and complex creation.Dark coloured body. Yeasty initially, and then bold berry fruity flavour, finishing with abundant merlot tannin flavour, and somewhat drying. The smell did not give away the mystery of the berries. Tremendous range of flavour, best experienced at about room temperature. I could not knock this bomber off myself, but could easily do so with two or three people round a campfire.Thanks Tom.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2011 03:25:14 | More by Sammy
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4.5/5  rDev +16%

12-12-2011 04:38:10 | More by ThePorterSorter
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Summer 2010 Vintage - Blackberry from Almanac Beer Co.
87 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.