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R&D Bourbon Barrel Kriek - New Glarus Brewing Company

R&D Bourbon Barrel KriekR&D Bourbon Barrel Kriek

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

133 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 133
Reviews: 82
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 10.75%


Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

August 2010 Release
1,500 Bottles

Ale infused with a large dose of sour cherries. Fermented in an Oak Vat using a blend of Ale Yeast and Lactobacillus. Then aged in freshly dumped bourbon barrels.

(Beer added by: alcstradamus on 07-30-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 133 | Reviews: 82 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

2.45/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Chilled bottle into a glass. I tried this twice: once courtesy of nerd, once from a bottle I shared (generously traded to me by Wisconsinality).

I'm a huge New Glarus fan. I think of myself as their homer from another mother. So when I don't enjoy one of their beers, I prefer to try it again and re-review it. That's what I did here.

A: Pours a brownish amber; quite clear in the glass. The pour generates some light beige head, which quickly vanishes, leaving a tendril or two of lace on the sides.

S: This smells like a cherry dessert of some kind. Maraschino cherries; not even much tannic bitterness that you would get from cherry skins. Bourbon and vanilla are muted, but you do smell them.

T: Definitely on the sweet side. The cherries contribute a mild tartness that is strongly muted by bourbon and butter. The finish develops just a hint of burn that suggests vinegar sourness, but it's not found in the main taste at all. I find myself struggling to detect any bacterial character. Instead, I enjoy the beer for what it is: it's like walking into the barrel room at a vineyard. It has that woodsy, rustic, cerealy, slightly grape-ish taste sensation that enters your mouth when you step into those rooms. It's tasty for sure; the flavors are balanced, delicate, soft. As a fruit beer, it's goo. It just doesn't have any 'wild' flavors, and it reminds me more of a barrel-aged fruit beer (specifically, the Belgian Red) than anything else.

M: As always, they nail the mouthfeel. Supple, velvety, rich in flavor. The cherries don't build up and coat the palate. I appreciate that quality.

D: I hate, HATE, saying bad things about New Glarus. But if you're going to call your beer a kriek, you conjure certain expectations of it tasting like a cherry lambic, and failing that, at least like a cherry wild ale. This does neither. So I'm forced, based on style considerations, to give it a lower score.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2010 18:36:04 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of JAXSON
JAXSON

Pennsylvania

2.55/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Dark clear pink pour. Nose is a whopping vanilla, medicinal cherry syrup. Tons of vanilla in the mouth, cotton candy. Sickly sweet body, a bit of bourbon, some sour cherry somewhere in the mix. Buttery, oily palate. Difficult to drink. Weirdly overrated.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2010 20:30:31 | More by JAXSON
Photo of yeahnatenelson
yeahnatenelson

Illinois

3.35/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance -- Rose red with golden highlights. Pretty.

Smell -- Rich macerated cherries, gentle oaky vanilla, and soft bourbon sweetness. Delicious, but not at all wild, funky, or sour.

Taste -- Classic Wisconsin Belgian Red flavor of freshly macerated cherries and a gentle cracker malt. On top of this is oaky vanilla, woody tannins, and a taste of bourbon liqueur. Again: no funk, no sour.

Mouthfeel -- lighter carbonation, medium body. Slightly syrupy.

Drinkability -- Let's call a spade a spade; this isn't a lambic or a wild ale; this is essentially barrel-aged Enigma. If this were listed as a fruit beer, it would be a perfect 5.0. But it isn't.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2011 22:40:16 | More by yeahnatenelson
Photo of brystmar
brystmar

Texas

3.4/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brendan provided this tick, thanks!

Gorgeous pour: murky body with tons of head, foamy lace, and excellent retention. Astonishingly good-looking for a kriek.

Lots of sweetness in the nose, sweet cherries and malts. Not much funk or tartness though, and that has me worried.

Mild cherry flavor is reminiscent of maraschino cherries; this one's more sweet than tart. Nice mouthfeel. Needs more sourness, more yeast, and a lot less sugar. Reminds me of Wisconsin Belgian Red. Zero bourbon, btw.

Far too sweet to be taken seriously.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2012 01:28:04 | More by brystmar
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim

New York

3.43/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Matt (mtunnell) for this one. Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Lost Abbey tulip.

A: Standard pour yields a slowly rising 1.5 finger frothy, fluffy, off-white head with decent retention. Beer is a clear deep amber. Lacing is stringy and spotty with nice legs at points and very good stick.

S: Nose is bourbon, oak, vanilla, and an odd, medicinally sweet cherry. There's also that signature New Glarus fruit beer yeastiness. Aromatic and pleasant at first, this one declines and becomes less appetizing as it warms. No hint of funk or lacto tartness detectable.

T: Sweet cherry, bourbon, vanilla, and an odd, unpleasant butterscotch upfront that thankfully, fades into the background. Yeasty spiciness. Tart fruit builds gradually towards the middle but never really gets there. Sweet throughout. Butter returns towards the end along with sweet candied cherry. Buttery residue at the finish. Aftertaste is more of the same.

M: Light to medium bodied and amply carbonated. Prickly and bubbly in the mouth and abrasive and spicy going down. Finishes subtley with an aftertaste that is oily and filmy and lingers.

D: I'm not the most knowledgeable about brewing practices but I'm pretty sure something is amiss when a wild ale is largely missing any sort of funkiness or sourness and instead, displays an odd butterscotch and popcorny flavor. This is much more a fruit beer than it is a AWA... as a fruit beer though... its pretty good and quite enjoyable and refreshing. Not what I expected but decent nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2010 23:31:13 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of nickd717
nickd717

California

3.48/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle shared by Arbitrator.

Pours clear medium brownish-reddish-amber with a small off-white head on top.

The aroma is big on the bourbon barrels, with slight cherry, like a toned-down Wisconsin Belgian Red, with slight buttery oakiness and vinous notes.

The flavor is also a lot like Wisconsin Belgian Red without as much cherry. Rather sweet - definitely more sweet than sour. Acetic and vinegary with slight butter and metallicity.

Smooth and medium-bodied, but come on, where is the sourness and acidity? Medium-low carbonation level.

Overall, a tasty beer, but still a bit of a disappointment. Just not really very sour at all and not at all to style.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2010 06:15:41 | More by nickd717
Photo of cpetrone84
cpetrone84

Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a light dirty brown color with red edges and a thick off white head with a solid lace.

S-the nose has a ton of vanilla, hints of bourbon, lots of slightly synthetic cherry and very sweet from all the vanilla and cherry with a slightly medicinal note.

T-flavor follows the nose, the vanilla from the bourbon barrel is overstated, the bourbon and oak are subtle and impart the right amount of flavor. the cherry is very ripe and sweet, sharp red cherries with just a hint of sour to it. The vanilla dominates and it is too sweet, not cloying but just sweet.

M-extremely creamy juicy feel to it on a full body with a strong bite with a powerfully carbonated finish that is semi dry.

D-this is somewhat overly sweet and the vanilla is rather strong. the bourbon is so faint and the barrel is mostly oak. the cherry is tasty and not really medicinal in the flavor, it is somewhat sour and the finish mixes well being semi dry and sour but the overly sweet vanilla and the sour tart cherry seem to contrast. drinkable but a few flaws.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2011 18:06:22 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of Sean9689
Sean9689

Illinois

3.58/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by Kan, thanks dude!

A - Pours a reddish brown color, slight bubbly carbonation with reduces down to a few large bubbles here and there. No lacing, no retention.

S - Sour cherries, barrel, bourbon, burnt sugars.

T - Not as much sour/tart/funk as I'd would have expected. More like Belgian Red aged in bourbon barrels. Lots of barrel, bourbon, and cherries. Not enough funk for me, plain and simple. Sweet bourbon finish. I'm not a fan of the bourbon in this beer.

M - Light to medium, good carbonation, dry finish.

D - Meh. Good, not great. I think this one needed some more funk to bring it to the next level. If I want a cherry beer, I'll drink Belgian Red. The bourbon doesn't work well here.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2010 15:01:09 | More by Sean9689
Photo of Overlord
Overlord

California

3.68/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to a very generous TPatuto!

Pours a deep brown amber with maybe some orange/slightly ruddy highlights.

Light white crust. No real head.

Small champagne bubble streams. Ooooo.... pretty.

Smells sweet. Yeah. Sweet. Like Maraschino cherries with a stronger than expected bourbon flavor. Aroma clearly the best part of brew.

Taste is too sweet. The cherries have some mild tartness, but this really reminds of their Belgian Red mixed with bourbon with a bit of cherry tartness. Not particularly integrated well. Like someone took an eye dropper of bourbon to it.

Grew on me after a while.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2010 08:55:20 | More by Overlord
Photo of Ineedabeerhere
Ineedabeerhere

Rhode Island

3.73/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing, James! From Nov 20th notes.

Pours amberish copper with nice frothy foam leaving some wispy lace.

The nose is mostly composed of a combination of cherry and vanilla-woody notes. I can't say its as pungently bourbon as the name would suggest. Definitely more woody-vanilla. Overall leaning toward sweet, but not as sweet or syrupy as their other fruit beers. There is a dash of acidity here to cut through it a bit. Overall the tartness is very subtle, relatively low carb, semi dry finish. I was hoping for this to be a bit more of a kriek than toward one of their fruit beers, but this R&D series shows promise for future blended releases. Thanks !

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2010 21:47:22 | More by Ineedabeerhere
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps

Oregon

3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Many, many thanks for this treat, Casey. I split this with Devin tonight.

Brilliant garnet red with a dense, off-white head that falls off to a ring, it does deserve to get dinged a bit, but the color and clarity are rather breathtaking. As for the nose, this is about as much of a Kriek as the Phoenix Kriek is. Very fruit forward with lots of cherry and a rather noticeable bourbon character with a mild heat and moderate vanilla. Sourness is all cherry with no real lambic character present. Vanilla, oak and not much cherry skin/pit character are other attributes, but this really does have gobs of cherries, reminding me alternately of maraschino and sour cherries.

The palate opens with plenty of cherry flavor, very pie like and almost a touch metallic. The sour cherry character is pronounced and is actually quite wonderful. Deep and rich, the fruit is very well expressed here. Brown sugar, vanilla and oak are present in the classic New Glarus combination. Drying on the finish with some sourness with plenty of tartness and moderate fruit character, there is some bourbon heat on the finish that comes across surprisingly close to a grain alcohol/neutral spirit like character, causing the flavors to fizzle out, leaving just a little brown sugar, cherry and vanilla. Decent stuff, I'd love to try this side by side with Enigma and Wisconsin Belgian Red.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2010 03:45:20 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.78/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Kevin for sending me this extra in the Whale BIF IV.

A: The pour is amber in color with a creamy off white head.

S: A big time cherry pie aroma to this one, shockingly similar to Wisconsin Belgian Red. A bit of a caramel and malt sweetness along with some bourbon and vanilla. I get very minimal tartness.

T: Cherries and a cherry pie type flavor are what this one is all about. Again, caramel, toffee, bourbon, and vanilla. Surprisingly sweet for a kriek. Seems more like a bourbon barrel aged Wisconsin Belgian Red.

M: The body is medium and so is the level of carbonation.

D: Very disappointing, I must say. I do like their Belgian Red, but I was expecting something that is a little more of a departure from the same beer that you can get year round.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2011 00:51:15 | More by womencantsail
Photo of phichifiji00
phichifiji00

California

3.78/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Amber with a sublte white head that fades quickly. Minimal lacing.

Smell: sour cherries, oak, a little vanilla, brown sugar.

Taste: sour cherry, oak, cola, bourbon as it warms.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, moderate carbonation, tart, cidery.

Overall: A good young sour. Not very complex, but very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2012 05:36:24 | More by phichifiji00
Photo of WeisGuy
WeisGuy

New York

3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle from glazeman -- thanks, Scott! Review #500.

a - pours a dark copper color with a ruby tint, one-inch ivory head with decent retention for the style, light lacing, lots of bubbles indicate a high amount of carbonation, pretty clear with little sediment

s - sweet cherry aroma that's similar to other NG beers I've had, what's different is the oaky notes and considerable bourbon, very light tartness, smells a bit like cherry pie with a mild spiciness and vanilla

t - sweet and lightly tart cherries up front, slightly medicinal, pretty oaky on the midpalate, finish is more sweet and lightly tart cherry with some spicy and vanilla notes, oak makes its presence known and substantial bourbon flavors creep in as the cherry leaves the palate, there is a lingering mild tartness and spice, while this is a bit sweeter and not quite as tart as I would like, it's still a complex, unique beer that I'm enjoying drinking

m - medium-bodied with higher carbonation, some alcohol warming, on the sweet side, but the mild tartness balances it out a bit

d - the cherry sweetness limits drinkability for me a bit, I don't mind the bourbon notes though, there's quite a bit going on in the flavor, so it remains interesting for awhile, though the flavors don't work together perfectly

Very interesting beer, but, as other reviewers have noted, I think NG does the beer a disservice by calling it a kriek. The tartness and sourness is very mild and the sweetness is a bit high for my taste. That said, I'm glad to have had the opportunity to try this unique beer. I have higher hopes for the Gueuze.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2010 22:56:47 | More by WeisGuy
Photo of craytonic
craytonic

District of Columbia

3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice off-white head, pour is an amber/red with ruby edges

Aroma: Tart cherries, brown sugar, vanilla, toasted oak,

Taste: Tart cherries and brown sugar, this one is somewhat sweet and not very sour. After that I get vanilla and toasted oak, although the brown sugar never leaves. I get plenty of oak but not very much bourbon.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, slightly aggressive carbonation.

Drinkability: I keep wanting to call this one a Faro. I wish it were a good bit more sour.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2010 03:16:13 | More by craytonic
Photo of SummitVA
SummitVA

Maryland

3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Reddish brown, hazy pour.

S - Huge oak, bourbon, and cherries. Malt sweetness behind the cherries.

T - Sweet, cherry syrup followed by enormous bourbon barrel character. Definitely wasn't expecting quite so much oak. A bit of tartness on the finish.

M - On the lighter side of medium.

O - Very happy to try this, but I must admit that, like others, I was expecting more sour. Still, a nice brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2011 02:32:53 | More by SummitVA
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

9/17/2010

Thanks to Mike (Overlord) for sharing. The Law of Equipoise must be restored in the near future.

A: Burgundy tinged dark brown with a lilliputian and short lived white head.

S: Sweet and lactic cherries against a faint backdrop of bourbon. The fruit is sugary, brown sugary, and lightly sour, and I detect a dash of chocolate and wood.

T: Sweet cherries with a moderate lactic sourness and a little tartness. If bourbon was faint in the aroma, it's almost nonexistent in the flavor. Brown sugar melds with oak and vanilla.

M: Thick, creamy, and sticky with adequate carbonation, upper moderate I'd say.

Overall: This has traces of Belgian Red, Enigma and Old English Porter. I found it quite nice, but the sweetness cuts down on my desire to consume large quantities of it (not that it's a beer that should be consumed in that fashion). The bourbon was pretty subtle, especially in the flavor, and I was hoping that aspect would be more pronounced when I first heard of the beer. All told, a good fruit beer, but not among the New Glarus elite.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2010 04:21:35 | More by HopHead84
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy reddish orange body, ample foam and minimal lacing. Decent retention with some spotty bits of foam clinging to the glass after each sip. Clarity is good, though the color isn't red like a traditional kriek (no points off for that).

Sweet nose of oxidized malts, vanilla, caramel, and dried cherry. Seems more like a sweetened Flanders (WI Belgian) Red than anything. Not really funky, acetic or much resembling traditional Kriek, though it's pleasant enough for what it is.

Slightly sweet tartness on the tongue, bolstered by sweet malt (more than expected), some saddle leather and damp hay notes, but not especially funky. Cherry is there, not as pronounced as a fresh bottle, but it melds nicely with a light vanilla pastry flavor. Light to medium bodied, easily sipped.

Overall this is a bit too similar to the long line of closely related fruit beers from New Glarus. Barrel-aged Belgian Red isn't too far off to be honest. Elements of Cherry Stout, Enigma, and WI Belgian Red show up here. Hopefully future batches are a bit more wild... it's just too similar to past releases to seek out. Thanks Joe for sharing this alongside the Gueuze.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2011 01:46:07 | More by emerge077
Photo of hooliganlife
hooliganlife

Missouri

4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pour was a deep amber and copper with a little to no head. i got the bottom of the bottle though...

light cherry and light bourbon with a dark candy fruit. the cherry was quite pronounced.

lots of real cherry that was equally blended with a bourbon barrel flavor. this was totally 50/50 on balance. it was quite interesting. nice light sourness or tartness.

fairly light body with a moderate carbonation. a bit dry

this was quite interesting, not sure if i could ever finish the entire bottle though.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2010 14:39:03 | More by hooliganlife
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nerd shared this one. Thanks, Michael.

Clear red with copper highlights, this has great color, and the head is solid and lasting.

The nose is redolent of ripe macerated cherries, sweet with a mild tartness. There's a hint of vanilla and caramel, which I guess is the influence of the bourbon barrel, but it's subtle.

Abundant sweet cherries, this is only mildly piquant on the tongue and hardly sour. Vanilla and caramel make brief appearances, along with hints of oak in the finish. There's a bit of graham cracker maltiness; otherwise, it's all about the sweet, intense, dessert-like cherry flavors.

OK, this isn't a true kriek, nor is it particularly sour, but it is a very good fruit beer. I enjoyed my pour and I'd gladly drink it again.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2010 17:58:17 | More by largadeer
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one a while back from the fantastic enelson... Thanks a ton Ed for a badass trade. I shared this one with the geeks and just now entering the notes.

Pours a clear orange... like a lite tawny port... little in the way of head or lacing.

The nose shows alot of bourbon with a lesser cherry.. not very sour at all.. Honestly alot like a vanilla and booze spiked Wisconsin Red... no funk on the nose.

Great cherry flavor.. oaky vanilla and bourbon.. doughy sweetness adds to a "pie essence"... too sweet for a "wild ale", but still very nice for what it is... the barrel presence adds waves of complexities to a familiar beer. I was just hoping for more funk.. instead there is a mild acetic quality that is the tie that binds.

Medium body and lite carbonation for any beer... for this "style", it is too heavy and needs more carbonation.

All of the above negatives go away on the drinkability... I loved this one and want more... a lot more... I want to score a couple more of this batch and let it age for a few years before I ever touch it again.

Thanks again Ed.... if you have more, please hit me up. :-)

3.5/4/4/3.5/4.5

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2011 05:54:49 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of hopsbreath
hopsbreath

Oregon

4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A New Glarus beer review usually starts with me giving a shout-out to my main trading partner zimmerbloke from Wisconsin. I love you Matt, but this time I have to give thanks to black13 for sharing his personal 500ml bottle with my wife TulipSnifter and I. We met up with Michael last night at Hair of the Dog for some Cherry Adam on tap and were invited back to his place to split a beer with him. Down into the mans cellar we went with him where he opened up a Bruey Old Richland, an '08 BCBS, and than one of my big wants, New Glarus Bourbon Barrel Kriek. As grateful as I wanted to appear, I still needed to tap out some notes about the beer on my BlackBerry. Again, thank you Michael... Now here's the review.

A: Poured into a Hair of the Dog tulip glass. A solid pour kicks up a nice fluffy white froth on top of a crystal clear, vibrant, ruby-orange body. The head retreats only a little and maintains a nice half-finger cap on top. Very impressive looking in the glass and moderate sheets of lace are left throughout the drink. 4.5/5

S: Sweet pie cherries, signature NG vanilla, cinnamon, no bourbon presence. I'm a sucker for the "New Glarus smell" and this is no exception. Just sniffing my glass is a very enjoyable experience for me. 4.5/5

T: Sweet cherries again at the forefront! This is barely tart at best. No real sour presence. Again with the signature NG vanilla. Pretty much just following the nose here but so damn good and supportive of the aroma. 4/5

M: Moderate body with minimal carbonation. Sticky lips and a sticky finish. I would expect a drier, crisper finish for a wild beer so this is one of the beers low points for me. None the less, I like it over all so I'm not docking it below a 3.

D: Another solid winner from Dan Carey and company. As far as krieks go, I don't think this one is very traditional, but as far as American Wild Ales go this is very approachable and enjoyable. 4/5

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2011 01:06:36 | More by hopsbreath
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AleWatcher

Illinois

4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes-- still trying to get caught up!

This is another beer, along with the gueuze, that I have had the chance to sample a few times. These notes were taken from the most recent time-- but I will flat-out say that it is amazing how well this beer has been progressing. I would have given this a D upon sampling the first bottle the week after it was released. Now, with each subsequent bottle, it gets better and better.

Served in a tulip. Both of these were shared by weatherdog.

Pinkish, kinda orange color. White head. Surprisingly good retention and lacing.
The nose is... wow. This is almost like brandy. It's like the cherry sweetness of Wisconsin Belgian Red, plus bourbon, plus a light tart sourness. It is kind of weird. There is a light toasted coconut note I'm picking up here if I strain really hard--- it's almost like the overall bouquet creates a note that reminds me of suntan lotion (which translates as toasted coconut). I like it-- it blends nicely into the nose.

This is fantastic now.
(at this point in the voicenote I have a 5 minute discussion with yeahnatenelson and oreo about my house)

The taste has a lot going on: some light sour funk, some really tasty cherry notes.

Medium body, low carbonation level. There is a lingering note of bourbon that lingers with a little boozy warmth. It has certainly faded out a good deal though.

Overall-- this is certainly improving, and has gotten MUCH better than it was originally.
I have high hopes for the NG sours from now on!

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2011 00:05:07 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared by Thorpe, kind of a fascinating beer really.

Beer is reddish, hazy, thin white head, wispy, small bubbles, some lacing, moderate carbonation.

Aroma is sweet and tart, cherry and bourbon all rolled into one. Mild citric nose too.

Beer is thin in body, bourbon slightly up front along with a little sweetness, the second half of the beer is bright and fruity with a tart finish. This beer was kind of like sticking two good beers together and getting a decent beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2012 16:39:25 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brewed 1.18.10, Bottled 8.6.10
13*P, 5.5% abv
A soft pour produces a fat-two-finger thick, nicely tan colored head. The beer is a deep, dark red color that shows a brilliantly clear, cranberry red color when held up to the light. The aroma smells lightly of tart cherries and a touch of cranberries (or is that just the color influencing me) up front. A lingering exploration yields a lactic sourness and a soft, spicy Bourbon / oak note. Interestingly enough this has quite a bit of toasted character; is it malt or oak toast though, it comes off more as being malt derived, but in thinking about it more it is definitely the toasted oak. There is definitely lots of oak and wood character, but I like that the cherries are expressive up front and then again in a long finishing aromatic note. As my nose gets used to this beer a much more expressive vanillin character starts to come out, at times it can even remind me of lightly toasted coconut. Towards the end of this beer the vanillin / coconut character even becomes the most dominant note.

This still has some residual sugars in it that adds a soft sweetness. Up front this has a nice lactic tartness to it, which accentuates the cherry notes. This then moves into a vanillin laden, fruity Bourbon-leaning, and lightly spicy oak finish. There is a lot going on in this beer and it is quite well balanced. I am definitely enjoying this a bit more than I was expecting. Up front the carbonation adds to the percieved tartness with some carbonic acid. The texture is a bit fizzy, though it is not aggressively carbonated. The beer is light leaning, but does have a medium'ish texture to it that lightly clings to the palate. I really like how the cherry flavors intermingle with the rich vanillin notes from barrels, this works together really well. It is also quite nice that the oak and Bourbon character is not too overwhelming for this beer; especially in a beer of this relatively low strength. Toasted coconut starts to come out in the flavor after a bit and becomes a significant contributor to the flavor of the finish.

This beer is quite nice. It is much better than I was expecting for some reason and even the light sweetness works well here. In fact, without it, this beer would be unbalanced as the Bourbon and oak character wouldn't work nearly as well as it does. My biggest complaint is that the base beer and the fermentation character really doesn't play much of a role here; the Bourbon barrel and oak play first billing, and the cherries play a significant role as well, but the base beer plays hardly even a supporting role here. The base beer contributes some soft lactic tartness, perhaps a hint of maltiness in the middle and not much else. Still the flavors that are here are quite enjoyable and balanced between themselves.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2010 01:42:17 | More by Gueuzedude
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R&D Bourbon Barrel Kriek from New Glarus Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 133 ratings.