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Solenna | Funkwerks

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very good
11 Reviews

Brewed by:
Colorado, United States

Style: Belgian Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Solenna pairs the fruitiness of a traditional Belgian yeast strain with the subtle spicy character of Brettanomyces and the floral notes of German hops. Notes of candy apple, cinnamon, and fresh-cut grass give way to a dry finish and firm lingering bitterness.

Added by denver10 on 08-17-2012

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Reviews: 11 | Ratings: 51
Photo of champ103
4.09/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark amber, almost brown color with a bit of haze. A dense beige head forms with excellent retention and lace all the way down the glass.
S: Spicy, bready, lightly phenolic. Toasted malts, caramel apples with fresh baked bread. A really interesting mix that keeps growing on me.
T: Wonderful toasted and bready malts up front. Like fresh baked bread. Lightly tart cinnamon apples with a peppery and phenolic spice. The peppery flavor dances on the tongue as this finishes. A touch of earthy hop bitterness in the finish as well. Lots going on here, but everything is balanced and I like it more and more with each sip.
M/O: A medium body that is very smooth. Would like a bit more crisp carbonation bite though. Really enjoyable to drink. Something that is complex, but really welcoming and keeps drawing me in for more.

This wasn't exactly what I had in mind when I picked this up. I saw it on the shelf, and without thinking about just picked it up with no research. Cause, it is Funkwerks and everything they do is worth it. Without much description, other than "Belgian-Style Ale with Brettanomyces" I was thinking this is more along the lines of a Brett Saison. Which, this is pretty far from that style. Really more along the lines of a N'Ice Chouffe. The Brett is just slightly noticeable, but the beautiful maltiness and phenolic spice shine. Really interesting and well done.

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Photo of morimech
3.86/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Gushing head that slowly settled to a foamy cap. Heavy lacing is left down the glass. Heavy Brett aroma of barnyard along with some spicy hops. A dry beer despite the darker malts used. The Brett funk is first and foremost flavor which is complimented with spicy hops and bready malt. Body feels a lot thinner than the ABV would suggest. I think the carbonation blew its load during the pour and gushing of the bottle.

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Photo of bsp77
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Strong Brett aroma, with barnyard funk, grass, apple and rye. Taste is also very funky and grassy, with apple, rye and fruity esters all playing a role. Finish is very dry, but the body is not quite as effervescent as desired. Overall, this is a very nice...something. Almost like a mix between a Brett Pale Ale (like Orval) and a darker Rye Saison.

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Photo of Parmesan
4.09/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Slightly Hazy mahogany red color with a small white head and just one or two fingers of lacing.

S: Caramel and dark stone fruit, notes of apple and grass. A strong note of Brett.

T: Earthy grassy hops, caramel malt, notes of apple and a strong note of Brett. Finishes with a note of rye.

F: Medium body and carbonation.

O: A very interesting combination of Brett and malt.

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Photo of mactrail
2.94/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Really big foam in the tall goblet. First pour is all head, but eventually it's drinkable though overly fluffed-up. Lots of sediment makes nearly a third of the bottle less palatable.

Some slightly spicy grain flavor. Moderately bitter, though it tastes more yeasty thn hoppy. Just a hint of Brett. A little rye tasting, with the bitterish resiny cereal. Slightly sourish at the finish and sort of woody. I keep thinking it's lemon peel flavored and the acidity creeps up.

This sound like such a good idea, but it's not really much fun. From the mercifully bottle-capped 750 ml bottle purchased at Grapevine Liquor in Denver.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #77 (June 2013):

LOOK: Dark amber, thick eggshell head, magnificent lacing

SMELL: Spice, yeast, pepper, nectarine, lawn clippings

TASTE: Crisp, lively, apple, light tartness, grassy, stone fruits, spicy, phenolic, faint cinnamon, toasty, biscuity, biting finish

This meeting between Brettanomyces, a traditional Belgian yeast strain and German hops yields a very pleasant and highly drinkable brew that boasts much complexity, but also remains approachable. Rustic and familiar, it grows on the palate with each sip.

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Photo of MistaT
3.36/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

As a huge fan of Funkwerks I'm always excited to catch something new from them. Solenna, billed as a Belgian style ale, is another good beer from them but it falls short of the excellent standard they've set with their Saisons.

Put a bomber down with dinner (homemade veal cutlets & orzo), and here's my take:

Appearance - not what I was expecting or hoping for. As a fan of Belgian pale ales I was hoping this would be lighter, and enhanced by the Brett. Instead it pours with a heavy, bubbly head that while quickly subsides isn't that attractive. Color is a dark orange caramel that is murky and hard to see through.

Smell - okay, not much here to excite which is disappointing as their yeasts normally bring more funk. Slight sour nose with standard dried fruits coming through.

Taste - again, disappointing as you'd expect a beer brewed with Brett to have more sour and complex flavors. This comes through flat and relatively devoid of flavors aside from the standard dark ale fruits. I did notice some sour flavors in the afteraste however...

Mouthfeel - good as it wasn't overly thick or syrupy which too often dark Belgian ales can be...definitely drinkable.

Overall - give it a go if you like dark Belgian ales and Funkwerks but if not, stick to the Saisons and their lighter ales (Provincial) which I believe they do much better.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

the newest bottled offering from funkwerks finally made it into my home. it is a unique beer that pours a rust shade and boasts a two inch off white head, thick and lovely. the nose is sort of bland compared to some other funkwerks stuff, I really don't get the heavy dose of brett I was expecting, but there is a nice spice element from either rye malt or some added spices, hard to tell. the flavor features nicely roasted german malts, some fall spice, and a warming Belgian yeast finish. its complex enough, but I don't think this beer is up to the usually very high level of funkwerks beers, it seems to be missing or lacking something, but maybe age will help this one, as the brett continues to develop. it also seemed out of context, like more of a cold weather beer, but the craftsmanship is still impressive. good bubbles and a medium body that drinks smoothly. others in our group liked this one more than me, I was really hoping for more of a brett influence, but perhaps a good introductory beer to those intimidated by or unfamiliar with the power of brettanomyces.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour at the 2013 Firestone Walker Invitational held at the Paso Robles Event Center in Paso Robles, CA.

Pours a murky orange with a foamy orange-tan head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus, and onion and garlic hop aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus and herbal flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that tastes better than it smells in my opinion.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.84/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml Burgundian bottle, thanks to doktorzee for lugging this one back from Colorado for me.

This beer pours a mildly hazy, medium copper amber hue, with three fingers of finely textured, frothy, glistening foamy ecru head, which leaves some broad chunky hollow warren lace around the glass as it slowly sinks away.

It smells of semi-sweet pale malt, with a touch of caramelized cereals, earthy funk, softly astringent Belgian yeast, played-out chewing gum, and leafy, grassy hops. The taste is grainy pale malt, dry, faintly fruity drupe skins, white pepper, somewhat ethereal bacterial funk, tame, surprisingly innocuous yeast, and earthy, weedy, and sort of grassy hops.

The bubbles are rather robust and thorough in their reach, the body medium-light in weight, and actually quite smooth, even a little beyond my creeping expectations. It finishes just off-dry, the malt exhibiting some staying power, while the subdued fruit esters and yeast bitterness balance things out, mostly.

I'm gonna quibble about the style designation here - this is by no means 'dark', so perhaps a plain ol' BPA would suffice. Aside from that, this is a tasty, decent Brett-infected Belgian ale. Not all that funky or sour, but evenly drinkable, and there's room aplenty in this world for that.

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Photo of denver10
4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Purs a dark red with a nice thick, frothey off white head. Aroma and flavor follow suit with some nice Belgain yeast at the get go with some subtle spiciness and bubblegum, it gets cut by some brett, that hints at some fruitiness and tartness (thought it never gets tart), there's some earthiness to this, a little caramel malt, and a mild bitter finish . A crisp, active mouthfeel, super drinkable. Overall, a beer I like more and more with each try. A bit on the subtle side at first, with each experience more of this beer seems to show itself to me. My first couple times trying it I was lukewarm to this at best, fortunately I kept giving it more tries whenever I would comes across it on tap, as it has since become one of my favorites from Funkwerks. Can't wait for the bottles of this come out (under the new name) in March.

Feel as though this bottle version is different from the version I tried so often on tap. Perhaps a slight recipe change along with the name change? Either way, still awesome.

From the bottle:

Pours a maroonish caramel with a big, khaki head. Love the aroma with some funkiness, some bubblegum, cherry-apple caramel, a touch of cinnamon, and a little grass. Flavor pretty much follows through. A crisp, active mouthfeel. This beer is dangerously drinkable Overall, bottle just might be better than the tap variations I had previously tried. A great release by Funkwerks here.

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Solenna from Funkwerks
3.8 out of 5 based on 51 ratings.
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