Summer 2010 Vintage - Blackberry | Almanac Beer Co.

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Summer 2010 Vintage - BlackberrySummer 2010 Vintage - Blackberry
Very Good
81 Ratings
Summer 2010 Vintage - BlackberrySummer 2010 Vintage - Blackberry

Brewed by:
Almanac Beer Co.
California, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by nataku00 on 02-20-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 26-50 | 51-75 | 76-100  | next → last
Ratings: 81 |  Reviews: 50
Photo of Trilogy31
4.42/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle number 1674. Pours a pretty sunset orange with hints of red, with a creamy two fingers of head that leaves nice lacing. The nose has almost a souffle egg quality to it in a pleasant way. Also yeasty spice, sweet vanilla malts and vinous dark fruits. Very similar to me in the way of dfh red and white in nose and taste. The taste brings a nice creaminess along with dusty spices, hints of vanilla and dark berries, along with a touch of bright citrus at the end. The mouthfeel brings oaky tannins as well as the abv being somewhat noticeable which really makes me look forward to trying this with some bottle age on it. Call it bay area homerism if you want but i find this to have some striking similarities to red and white another beer i love.

 753 characters

Photo of beddachedda
2.61/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bought this at City Beer to try a new American release before I zip off to Belgium today. First review, I felt that after dropping $18 on a bottle of beer that had all A/A+ ratings I should review it to give a counter-point.

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Brooklyn tulip-style pint glass, July 1, 2011. Bottle No. 2437, bottled 5/29/2011.

A - Pours a clear straw color with an inch of white head. Looks good for a Belgian Pale.

S - Heavy berries (black I can only assume) and a little bit of that funk ever so present in BPAs. No slouching on the heavy berries though.

T - This is where I was disappointed. Fruit sweetness and very crisp on the front end, but it transforms to harsh charcoal / sulfur / metallic bite on the finish. Not the kind you get from an overly hoppy beer, but the kind you get from sucking on a penny. This really hurt the drinkability of the beer and I drain poured half the bottle after realizing that I had lots of other things to choose from that I'd rather have.

M - Light, refreshing mouthfeel, if not for the finish of the beer this would be a very pleasant, light drinker.

O - Disappointed. High hopes for this beer that were dashed. At $18 a bottle, and with such stunning reviews so far, I was expecting more. Nice to try, and hopefully it was just a bad bottle, but I will not be revisiting this.

 1,340 characters

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.85/5  rDev +27%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Bruery fluted goblet to produce about a half inch head. Body is a hazy apricot color and the head is a foamy and a luscious eggshell white. This looks like a Belgian golden ale, and leaves some soapy lacing on the glass, but the lacing is more motile than dry and sticky. Has decent head retention to the end of the glass.

This smells of sweet malt, citrus rind, berry fruit--subtly, but definitely smells of blackberries to me--as well as cinnamon spice. There is a nice strain of Belgian yeast used in this.

The taste is wonderful but also a challenge to describe. Tastes first of Belgian bready malt sweetness and yeast. It has that special combination of malt and Belgian yeast that many a good Belgian golden ale possesses. A more bready Duvel base, the malty sweetness coats the tongue. Then the blackberries and other berries come in with a lovely but different sort of dark berry sweetness. Finally, this ends with a spicy finish, like Supplication--I wonder if Pinot barrels were used in aging this. Also a pleasant toffee note in the finish. There is just enough alcohol in this to make it a strong ale without being overpoweringly boozy. But the main sensation overall is the wonderful berry fruit that lasts and lasts in the long delectable finish. This is so nicely balanced.

Body is medium, and the carbonation is prickly, producing a nice creamy mouthfeel. Sort of like a champagne combined with a fruit nectar.

This is a wonderful beer. I had a barrel sample at a party last fall but I couldn't predict then how well this beer would come together as a finished product with superb bottle conditioning. This beer is very fresh and pleasant to drink; it has no off-flavors at all (to me), and lives up to its billing as a good summer ale. As a first product, it hits so many good notes. This beer will surely accumulate some medals. Wonderfully drinkable and satisfying.

 1,905 characters

Photo of DaveHS
4.42/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #1713

A-Pours hazy light amber with rusty copper highlights and an inch of foamy, eggshell white head. Leaves sheets of intricate, soapy lacing down the side of the glass.

S- Musty, tart aromas of blackberry, citrus rind, vanilla and horse blanket. There’s a hint of funk, but it remains on the periphery.

T/M- The first sip is tart on the tip of the tongue, with a mouth coating wave of slick, earthy yeast. The berry flavor comes in residually, with a backbone of delicate citrus, most likely attributable to the Citra hopping. The finish is a soft decrescendo of zested grapefruit skin and subtle bitter hops. Mouthfeel is bright and refreshing, with balanced, somewhat prickly carbonation.

O-Really nice stuff, in the vein of the better Jolly Pumpkin releases. I look forward to seeing what these guys come up with next!

 837 characters

Photo of ScottMansfield
4.92/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thick head on the pour. Deep peach color; fairly clear for a bottle conditioned brew. Solid cooperation of oak, grapefruit, and berry tang. The oak holds to the finish. Lots of flavor but not overwhelming. Dry and crisp; would not know this had fruit in it, but there is certainly another dimension besides malt, hops, and oak. Get this while you can.

 351 characters

Photo of nataku00
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap served into a fluted glass. This beer pours a hazy reddish-orange, bits of scarlet at the edge of the glass. Thin soapy head with a few large bubbles right at the edge of the glass, off white leaving some light lacing with a little swirling. Plenty of tiny bubbles streaming up from the bottom of the glass, effervescent.

Nose is citrus peel, juicy red berries, tart and astringent grape peel, light woodiness. Very fragrant beer that improved as it warmed up some.

Tastes follows through, lemon, bit of grapefruit bittering, with a hint of red berry sweet and sour. Light oak tannins mid tongue and finishes with a bit of astringency.

Light bodied with lighter carbonation than I was expecting. It looked champagne like but the bubbles are much gentler than their activity in the glass visually. Very easy to drink, alcohol is well hidden, and the beer is very refreshing. Nice first effort from Almanac.

 918 characters

firstprev| 26-50 | 51-75 | 76-100  | next → last
Summer 2010 Vintage - Blackberry from Almanac Beer Co.
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 81 ratings