Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Barrel Aged Small Animal Big Machine | Half Acre Beer Company

no score
Awaiting 10 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Barrel Aged Small Animal Big MachineBarrel Aged Small Animal Big Machine

Brewed by:
Half Acre Beer Company
Illinois, United States | website

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Belgian-style Abbey Beer with red currants and Brettanomyces aged 5 months in a French oak Pinot Noir barrel. A collaboration with Pipeworks & De Struise.

Added by MasterSki on 11-16-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 3 | Ratings: 14
Photo of Etan
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle into a snifter. Shared by Oscar and Caitlin, who won this in a charity auction at the Fountainhead a while back. Bottle 85/144.

A. Pours a woody ruby with a small off-white head.

S. Big brett in the nose. Egg cream, vanilla tannins, lightly horsey, currants, mildly vinous, toffee.

T. Tart currants, dry oak, caramelized grain, earthy and gamey brett, lightly acetic, more red wine notes.

M. Medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

O. This beer was quite surprising. I wasn't expecting much, but it looks like the barrel-aging lightened the body a bit, and the fruit works well with the barrel. Quite nice.

 621 characters

Photo of GbVDave
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a Loterbol tulip. Thanks to the crew at HA for the hook up!

Name BBL Small Animal
Process Pinot BBL, Lacto, Cherries, Currents
Time 5 Months
Bottle 32

A: Pours a dirty, muddy deep russett color with a thin and creamy layer of light khaki foam on top. Retention was decent but only a few specks of lace were left stuck to the glass.

S: Right out of the bottle I noticed a sharp vinegar-like tang that eventually subsided and let the dark musty fruitiness of the base beer emerge. Hints of funk, lemon, and red grape skins.

T: Tart and tangy dark fruit with a rich deepness to it that I found quite enjoyable. Towards the end of the bottle the wild yeast and damp oak flavor really began to shine.

M: A bold blast of sharp tangy fruit that leads to some spiced dark fruit, pepper, dry oakiness, and finally some funk.

O: I like what they did here to the regular Small Animal. The "wild"ness of this was pretty tame and I'm totally ok with that.

 981 characters

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

On-tap at FoBAB 2011. Served in a taster pint. I had the base beer earlier in the day to re-familiarize myself with it.

A - Big tan foam settles to a thick cap, leaving behind stray lacework. Filtered transparent chestnut body.

S - Lactic sourness, with some musky, sweaty brett notes, cherries and currants, and mild vinous oak in the periphery. Much better than the base beer, and a solid and unique American Wild.

T - The taste is a little less successful. There's cherry skin and currant tartness, plenty of lactic character, and hints of oak. Unfortunately there's a medicinal and somewhat off-putting brett finish that distracts from the good flavors.

M - Medium body, creamy texture, lower carbonation, and a fairly dry and tannic finish. Alcohol is significantly better hidden than the base beer.

D - It's a shame they pulled this from the barrel already, as I think some additional age might have improved this even more. Still, it was a huge step forward from a problematic base beer. Hopefully some of the kegs still have bugs at work in them.

 1,059 characters

Barrel Aged Small Animal Big Machine from Half Acre Beer Company
- out of 100 based on 3 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.