John C. Tull's picture

Frightened Baby Chipmunk

December, 2016
Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
6 / 6
38 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

Acidic aromas with lemon and orange zest and background fruit esters dominate this Belgian Specialty Ale. Some light spice, whether from yeast or other influences, is detectable underneath the more obvious aromatic layers. The complexity is very welcoming with nothing clashing in the nose. The color is light straw with a very light haze, and there is no head other than a few momentarily clinging bubbles on the glasses edge as new bubbles slowly rise to replace them. The flavors are very much like the aroma: a tangy lemon and citrusy zest with a firm, but not overbearing, tart sourness. Wheat malt flavors lend a bready, almost chewy, character suggesting some unmalted wheat may have been used. Again, a fruit quality is quite evident that provides a sensation of sweetness in addition to the apple- and pear-like fruit flavors. In some ways, the fruitiness and sourness come across as almost cider-like in the tradition of a spontaneously fermented cider. The mouthfeel is medium-light, and a slight drying sensation lingers through the finish. Overall, this is an excellent beer, particularly if you are fond of sour ales. The combination of fruit characteristics and some wild yeast contributions on a very simple grain background—without the distraction of hops competing for the limelight—makes this a wonderful beer that should be tried and enjoyed.