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Judge's Review: 82 Rating - Volume Fourteen Embroidered Bird Motif, 19th Century by Wunderkammer Bier

December, 2018
Judges Rating: 
82
Aroma: 
20 / 24
Appearance: 
5 / 6
Flavor: 
33 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
7 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

Volume Fourteen Embroidered Bird Motif, 19th Century by Wunderkammer Bier is a sour ale with yarrow which puts it under BJCP 2015 category 28C Wild Specialty Beer due to its use of herbs/spices. The beer pours a deep golden color with an orange hue and some haze. There is an off-white head with low retention, but still has a ring that hangs around.  I’ve never tasted yarrow before, but this beer is quite herbal forward which seems largely due to it. The aroma is a bouquet of spices/herbs (all spice, coriander, pepper, lemongrass, dandelion green) that dominates the beer. Some seems yeast-driven (saison-like) but more seems yarrow driven. There is also some floral and earthy tones behind and finally a mild grainy malt. The flavor is very similar. One can even feel the spice/herbs on the palate, reminiscent of a jasmine flower tea. There is a light dry, tartness on the tongue too.

 This was a very interesting beer. Unfortunately, it didn’t work for me. The level of herbs overpowers the beer, whereas its meant to be complementary and support it. It was difficult to tell where the spice came from the yeast or the yarrow, but in either case there wasn’t much beyond it. The spices were complex, but the overall beer was just this one dimension.

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