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Festina Lente - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Festina LenteFestina Lente

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

80 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 80
Hads: 117
Avg: 3.87
pDev: 21.96%
Wants: 147
Gots: 7 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
Lambic - Fruit |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: taez555 on 10-23-2003

A neo-lambic ale that goes through both a yeast and bacteria fermentation and is then aged on oak chips and 400 pounds of Delaware peaches. This beer is very tart and complex. It is bottle-conditioned in champagne bottles.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 80 | Hads: 117
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

wow, this is a stunner. i wish they would fourpack this one instead of the base version. this is ten times the beer, and i like festina peche. this has way more peach, riper, less candy-like, and the oak takes it to the next level, blending subtle vanilla and sap into the fold. the beer is also much more sour than the base berliner beer we all know. its way more lactic, puckery as anything and super dry. carbonation is equally aggressive as it is in peche, but in lente the beer is bigger, so its more in demand. im not sure if the grain bill is bigger, the peaches added that much more fermentables, or if its just a more patient brew. perhaps some combination of all three. but i love the wheat weight to this, its got body but its also really light without sacrificing flavor. the peach is so forward, i love how intense it is, driven home by effervescent carbonation too, very cool palate on it. not often a beer this dry can retain so much fruit flavor, but somehow it does. i also like how the oak brings it all together, its only minimally oaky, not weighty and mature, its still young and clean, but it helps. maybe just as a vector for the bugs, but this has the perfect mix of carbonation, fruit flavor, sourness, and alcohol. one of the best dogfish beers i can recall, and its ones like this that keep me a loyal supporter through the less impressive musings.

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Photo of Camjmorton
4.41/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Back story: I went to the Dogfish Head brewery on the 4th of July, three days ago for a free tour. As my girlfriend and I were leaving, we saw Sam Calagione walking in. We instantly turned around and went back in, and I got another beer just to sit around and talk to Sam, the owner and founder of Dogfish Head. He said he was there to unveil the first ever "Vintage Beer Thursdays" at Dogfish, and to stick around to try some of the beers he had brought in. Of course we agreed. Some more people showed up (I guess this was an event, but we were just at the right place at the right time) and then they started pouring some old brews.

The one my girlfriend and I decided on was called Festina Lente, and was from 2004. Sam told the story that they brewed this beer back then, and a lot of it was essentially recalled because so many buyers/distributors were complaining that it was too bitter to even drink. Sam saved a few cases of bombers until now. Nearly a decade later, I guess this beer was ready for some more open-minded people.

It poured a bronze/peach sort of color, and smelled overwhelmingly tart. I took one sip, and it reminded me of putting a bunch of Warheads in your mouth as a kid. Extremely tart! However, it was very enjoyable. We sipped on this beer for a while. The mouthfeel was puckering, and it had little carbonation at all. I guess after 9 years this makes sense though. Overall, it was a very enjoyable experience. I know I'll probably never get to taste this beer again, but what a treat it was.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.58/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

9 year old bottle, opened June 2013.

A - Opaque peach juice. Low white head with ok retention.

S - Awesome nose. Strong, sweet peach nose.

T - Unbelievably sour; straight lemon juice with a shot of peach puree.

M - Brisk, medium body with a clean, bracingly acidic finish.

O - This evolved into an unbelievably sour american wild; stelar for what it is right now.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked and caged bottle into a Cantillon tulip. Shared with capra12 and schen9303.

Pours a .5 finger foamy white head with poor retention. Beer is crystal clear goldenrod that reveals ample carbonation. Spotty lace with oily legs. Not great head, lacing, or legs but the color is amazing.

Nose is sour peaches, acetone, lemon rind, and vinegar. Decent. Lets you know you're in for a sour experience.

Opens with huge peach notes. Acetone and vinegar in the middle. Mild fruit sweetness comes through a touch as it lingers in the mouth. Finishes super sour peach skin and vinegar. Aftertaste of sour peach skin. Solid considering the age. Amazing that the fruit character is still so prominent here.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Slick with a touch of bubbles in the mouth. Filmy and slightly dry going down. Finishes messy with a long, lingering aftertaste. Very good for the style.

A decent beer overall, again considering the age. However, this is a touch too sour for me. Amazing that the fruit characteristics are still very prominent. Worth seeking out for the experience but don't expect flavors or body that will blow you away.

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Photo of russwbeck
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opened at Monk's Cafe Beers of the Cellar event. Pretty sure this is from the first year. It pours out hazy yellow with no head. The aroma is really focused on the peaches, which I'm pretty impressed have remained this prominent. It hints towards sour and funky. The taste is delicious, why did they stop making this? Peaches and funk, very fruity overall. Very well carbonated still and nicely drinkable. It smells exactly like the taste. One of my favorite from DFH.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.55/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Finally...2003 Bottle

A: Poured almost still. When the cork came out it barely made any noise at all. Color was very clear with no carbonation or head. Really nice bright orange color. Little bit of gold thrown in as well.

S: I was shocked there was still this much peaches in the nose. It smelled fresh. Quite a bit of sourness as well. Not really and bret or funk smells but plenty of lactic acid. Overipe peaches.

T: God damn this is a sour beer. A friend at the tasting said he had this beer in 2007 and remembered it being the most sour beer he had ever had and declared this more sour then he remembered. Again I was shocked at the amount of peach that came through. Lots of lactic acid. Just a touch funky but it again came across as overripe fruit.

M: The beer was almost still. Just the slightest hints of carbonation after an extremely aggressive pour. Medium body. It could have used a bit more carbonation.

D: This beer is doing just fine. The peaches have held up amazingly well as this is SOUR. When you poured the bottom of the bottle in it became even more sour. From what we could all remember they let this spontaneously ferment with unwashed peaches. The level of fruit and sourness is something to behold. A real treat.

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Photo of mrmanning
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to IMTHEOPTIMATOR for sending this one my way! Pours no head, flat and still looking. Cloudy orange body.Apricot, sour brab apples, and yeasty esters fill the nose. Flavours are sour fruit, semi-tart apricots, and lemon jiuce. Tart aftertaste. Alcohol no noticable. A well made American Lambic that keeps up with most of the belgian ones I have had. 04' Vintage.

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Photo of tuckevalastin
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2003 Bottle

A: Translucent orange with no head to speak of

S: A strong sour peach smell dominates

T: It's like drinking a not yet ripe peach. Sour, acidic, and dry. The peachiness is obvious but it hides behind the sourness.

M: Feels alot like drinking a dry wine. No carbonation on this one.

D: For a sour it's very easily downable. Although the sourness makes it lean towards a sipper.

Overall it's a great representation of a sour beer. Wonderful summer beer or dessert beer. Can't speak for the taste of a fresh bottle, only had this aged one.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 6/11/08. 2004 bottle at Spuyten Duyvil. Pours a light orange with no head. Aroma of sweet peaches. It tasted just like biting into a sour, juicy peach. Very smooth, extremely drinkable, and quite delicious.
Aroma: 9/10
Appearance: 4/5
Flavor: 9/10
Palate: 4/5
Overall: 15/20

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Photo of weeare138
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brewed in 2004...
Appears a hazy, orange toned amber with a spritzy, white head that quickly fades away. Scattered spots are left around the glass. Small streams of CO2 slowly rise to the top.
Huge aromas of brett, vinegar, sweaty clothes, horseblanket, peaches, and citrus.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a mouth puckering vinegar smack that reminds me of a hand full of sour patch kids. Very tart up front with some candy sweetness that is buried way in the background.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, spritzy, finishing thin and dry with my lips still smacking together at the thought.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a mag by beerbeing after DLD 07 in the hotel. The liquid was a light pale yellow with very fine carbonation. The head was small and fizzy very wine like.

The smell was strong, sour and peachy.

The taste was no suprise, a puckering sour peach brew, acidic and dry. The taste was good to be sure as the bottle did not last long.

The mouthfeel was light and airy like a sparkling wine

The drinkability was tough. Eventhough the brew's taste was interesting and drew you in for more with each sip, the acidicness and the sourness made it hard to have a lot.

Thanks again to BB for the taste of this rare brew. MK

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Photo of morebeergood
3.57/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Wow, this beer is sour. I bought a corked bottle in 2004 and just opened it this past weekend July 22, 2007. Poured it into 2 oversized red wine glasses. The first thing you notice is the lack of carbonation, not fizz at all and a very very minimal head that disappeared in an instant. It has a great peachy lambic smell to it. The first sip almost knocked me out, though. One of the most sour beers I have had in a long time. I expected this from a Belgian perhaps, but not from DFH. Kudos to them for taking a chance and making a beer true to its style. There was no way I'd be able to drink the whole bottle, so it was nice to split. Lente was quite a nice treat and went well with some nectarine cobbler we had for dessert.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.7/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a cloudy straw yellow, with almost no head. What head is present, is white. It leaves a surprising amount of lacing, considering the fact that almost no head is present.

This beer has a pleasent spur aroma. I smell some fruit. Peaches and pears. It has a slight citrus aroma as well. Although that is pretty much all the aroma, it smells great.

This beer has a sour flavor. It tastes great. Some fruityness is also present. As with the aroma, I taste mostly peaches. It has a slight earthy Belgian yeast flavor to it also.

This beer goes down smooth leaving a crisp sour aftertaste. It has almost no carbonation to it at all.

I think this beer might make a good session beer, but it might get a little overbearing after a while since it is so sour.

Overall: I really liked this beer. Thanks so much to ggaughan for this great beer. I owe you. Hats off to Dogfish Head.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An aged version. Label says it was brewed in 2004.

This beer has a light golden tone that is ever so slightly hazed. Bubbly head, but not much of it. Lacing is nearly absent. The aroma offers smells of peaches and barnyards and acidity. The tartness hits my palate first with a refreshing blast of peaches following. Almost a residual sugar coated fruit sensation after the swallow. But just for an instant before the acidity washes it away. Some definite Brett character here. This is a dry beer. But not as dry or mouth puckering as the lambics I've tried from Cantillon. I'm no expert in this area of beerdom, but this seems to be a pretty damn good representation of the style.

Gotta give props to my man in Long Beach for setting me up with a nicely cellared beer like this. Thanks much Darren.

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Photo of barknee
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Festina Lente pours a slightly cloudy 14 K gold with a light head and micro carbonation.
A splendid nose of sweet & sour peaches and apricot, with a magnificent stewed sour peach compote aroma that soars from the glass. The taste is slightly sour with some wild yeast elements; sour peach teamed with citric fruits makes for exiting drinking. Wonderful light fizzy carbonation easily detected in the mouth, not unlike a bottle of Riesling wine. Very refreshing on the palate; this is a romantic-sexy brew perfect for a summer picnic, to share with a loved one, or simply to bogart all by yourself!
DFH does it again with a unique and wonderful beverage. Bravo!!

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 750ml flat bottomed brown glass bottle, sealed with a plain thumbed cork restrained with a black steel cap and a gold colored wire cage. Label clearly states options “2003 2004 2005" with the words "Year Brewed” on the right hand side and the “Packaged in” code is left blank and free of nicks. So no markings at all, as such it is hard to say how old this one is, I suspect 03 or 04. Listed as “A right musty ale made with honest to goodness peaches”. 7% ABV.

Appearance: Hazed body with an unnatural bubbling head which very quickly rescinds to nothingness. Very low carbonation, yet this exhibits a striking look which has a very reminiscent aura of a straight lambic.

Nose: Fresh peaches, and lots of them, with a ‘just cut’ sweetness which melds with a hint of apricots and some sourness to offset the sweet flesh of the peaches.

Taste: Lots of peaches, sharp with a sweetness that crushes the sourness. As you work your way through the sweetness from the fresh peachy flesh soon fades and the sourness builds. Light on the funk, which could be a nit-picking comment, but I like the fact that this is high on the acrid fruity aspects rather than the funk. Gentle Brett tickles but never forces itself out of hibernation, yet it contributes to overall lambic character that this exhibits.

Mouthfeel: Refreshing crisp with a soft light body which adds a ‘sessionable’ quality to this sharp fruity-beauty. The lack of carbonation does not really detract from this one, though a little more oomph in the conditioning would have been a bonus.

Drinkability: Incredibly refreshing, it exhibits this single aspect of lambics incredibly well. Soft, yet sharp, with a tart twist in the finish. Biting satire licks the ending whilst a sarcastic introduction has you begging for more. I had a 750ml but it still didn’t feel like enough.

Overall: I have been lucky to try this one several times, from the first time at the 2004 BA Extreme Festival in Boston to sampling some recently this year at the Mondiale in Montreal. It is always an enjoyable libation and a favorite tipple. But until recently I never managed to snag a bottle of this all to myself, that was, until now. Thanks to BA Erica for snaffling a few of these for me. Much appreciated.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled July 2006
Pours virtually flat with a almost brilliantly clear, orange-tinged, copper color. There is a wan, ring of a head that cannot even be described as wispy; more a collection of large bubbles around the sides of the glass. Interesting the aroma still smells of apricots; a light fruity note reminiscent of fresh peaches and apricots. A light tart notes amplifies the fruit aspects of the aroma. The aroma is quite pleasant, there is perhaps a hint of oxidation adds some complexity to this brew. Surprisingly after all this time in the bottle, the peach and fruit notes are the most noticeable thing.

Definitely tart, even causes my mouth to pucker up just a touch. It is also quite dry, but still has a nice fruit character to it. I wouldn't necessarily guess that the fruitiness was from peaches, but it certainly leans in that direction. Notes of tart plums and perhaps some green apple notes join the apricot and peach like notes. There is perhaps a touch of oxidation character as well, but it is fairly muted and seems to add a richness to this brew. The sourness, though omnipresent, is quite smooth and definitely more lactic than acetic. In fact I would be hard pressed to pick out any acetic acid character.

I am quite impressed how pleasant this is to drink, while it is certainly missing the funky complexity of a good Lambic, it certainly makes a good stab at a still aged Lambic straight from the barrel. It is unfortunate that this did not carbonate at all, it would have added some liveliness and would have made this that much more refreshing. Carbonation really would have kicked this beer up to another level, it is still quite enjoyable (admittedly, with all of the rumors about this beer, I was expecting it to be lacking in carbonation). I would love for Dogfish to brew this again, at least to get the carbonation right.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazed yellow with light carbonation and no head, none what-so-ever. Smells like the funk, plus a couple rotten lemons and peaches. Tastes like melted wax, piss, muriatic acid soaked limestone, a donkey’s ass, my feet after a hike on a humid day, and lemonade. This stuff is awesome!!! Extremely acidic. Absolutely not for the faint of heart. Extreme as beers get. Perfect for capping off a long day of Barley Wine drinking. This stuff is just awesome. Geuze like. Sour as beer gets. It can match up head to head with a lot of Belgians and take home the prize. The best part is, it only gets better with age, much better! I fell in love with a three year old bottle of the stuff. Now if only I could get my hands on some more…

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Photo of Beersignal
4.45/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this over and over and over again at the Mondial V.I.P booth as I pimped it to all who would listen. This, to me, was the most memorable beer of the Mondial... I will enumerate why.

Lovely veiled peach flesh (fitting isn't it) tones with minimal carbonation from the pour. Looks almost muddy but the sunshine from within just lights up the glass.

Aromas are simply exquisite. A fully developped tartness that displays firm notes of peaches, vanilla and orange skins rises from the glass and kisses the nostrils. This is not in-your-face like 3 Fonteinen but much more subtle and doesn't proceed to scare you off.

Flavours are a cinch for a well blended gueuze. If it wasn't for the peaches I would have pegged this as a Frank Boon Geuze. Not overly aggressive but a punchy tart mouthfeel followed by firm notes of peaches, apples and a drying finish where hints of vanilla, oak and fungi meld to provide one of the most pleasing finishes I have ever experienced.

Was served from a 75 cl bottle, which I could easily have finished by myself as the drinkability of this offering by Sam Calagione is without fault. One of my ten best for sure.



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Photo of cubedbee
3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle at the Alehouse in Gaithersburg, poured into a pint glass, hazy golden yellowish orange, almost no head and no lacing, harldy appears carbonated. Nose is is a nice tart peach and not much else, fairly assertive and natural smelling. Taste is peach, peach, and more peach, nice tart, a restrained sourness that makes if fairly drinkable. Medium bodied with a medium/high carbonation for a fairly crisp beer. Overall, this is a pretty decent tasty beer, but it's a one note peach beer, and by the end of the bottle it was getting a little old.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, corked and caged.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, no head, just swirls of teensy bubbles over most of the surface, and some bigger bubbles along the edges, over the clear honey gold brew. Lacing is very minimal, as expected for the style. Aroma is tart with fruit notes apparent. Taste starts with a lightly funky maltiness that quickly bows to the tartness. The fruitiness comes out for me as the pucker fades, and that same fruit lasts into the aftertaste. Mouthfeel and drinkability very nice for the style, quite approachable. Sort of an intro to tart before one tries Cantillon, if you will. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of hopsaplenty
4.67/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked bottle consumed at the Dogfish Head Alehouse in Gaithersburg, MD. According to the menu, it was bottled in 9/2004, and the label also indicates that it was bottled in 2004. For some reason they blacked out all instances of the words "ale" and "beer" on label with the sole exception being the word "ale" in "A Right Lusty Ale.." under Festina Lente on the front of the bottle.

Pours a hazed and clouded tangerine with only a few clear bubbles lingering around the edges. No carbonation streams. Subsequent pours managed to loosen some microfine infused bubbles that drift and disappear, but a head is impossible to raise. This one looks flat and limp. The smell is tart and peachy, sharp, but not overly so. Hints of Tang, as well as some distinct white wine (Gewurztraminer or Riesling) tones. Nice and inviting. The taste is soft and tart, of peach pits and crunchy unripe peach flesh. Quenching and refreshing, the sourness is inviting, making each drink a pleasure and beckoning the next. I did not pick up any overt oak notes, nor was there any strong malt component. Just a beautifully tart, peachy profile. The mouthfeel is a bit limp with no carbonation and a medium body. A touch drying in the finish. I could have gone through plenty of bottles by myself without a problem. Definitely recommended.

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Photo of snilsen13
2.51/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Okay, only becasue I remember this beer with near perfect clarity I feel compelled to add the obvious two bits. Poured off tap at the EBF, I think it was the only Lambic around. This, is extreme lambic. I've had a few and the range is from light sourness to serious sourness, but this one just tips the scale. Too sour to sip, I quickly deduced, so quaff quickly and be prepared for something surprising... not a bad after taste. The taste is difficult to figure out behind all the sour and I wasn't going to let it linger. Maybe best left in the glass, were it proivides a nice ruby glow and fruity aromas. On the other hand, this is good one if you want to hit the rest button on your palate. Drink quickly and not copiously is my advice.

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Photo of ScarletLady
3.57/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

had never heard of this until I hit Dogfish Head in Gaithersburg. 750ml bottle made in 2004. The label had the words beer & ale marked out by a sharpie. hmm

It poured a medium orange color, slightly cloudy with no head and minimal to no lacing. I found the peach hard to pinpoint in the smell but a definite citrus, hint of vanilla and a light vinegar/alcohol aroma. It was hard to get a good read with the woodsmoke grill aroma in the restaurant.

Ahh the taste. Crisp, almost ciderlike. It starts a light sour/vinegar but mellows out on the tongue. Wonderfully tart and the more you sip the stronger the flavor of the peach builds. Finish is dry. :)

Mouth feel is light with just a hint of carbonation. The more I drank it the more I liked it. The complexity works itself out to an unusual and enjoyalbe lambic.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

01/28/06- Sampled at my tasting. Brought by Irishsnake.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, I think from the 2003 bottling. Poured into my Delirium Tremens tulip.

Appearance- Kinda of orange-golden in color. A tad clouded or hazy. Very light lacing, no head on the pour.

Smell- Funked out for sure. Lots of brett mixed with racetrack barn scents and a nice peachy scent in the nose as well. Smells like a tart one.

Taste- Wow, this is tasty. First off, it's not as tart or sour as expected. Much like a gueuze rather than a traditional lambic. Lots of brett infused with a hefty tart peach flavor. Maybe a touch chalky, but otherwise it's near perfect.

Mouthfeel- Light tartness with almost zip in the carbonation department.

Drinkability- Fabulous beer here. Thanks for bringing it to the tasting John!

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Festina Lente from Dogfish Head Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 80 ratings.