Michael McGuire's picture

Free Spirit No. 6

June, 2016
Judges Rating: 
87
Aroma: 
22 / 24
Appearance: 
5 / 6
Flavor: 
35 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

This beer poured a mostly clear, lightly hazy, rich orange color. The initial thick white head disappeared quickly. The aroma was complex, replete with sour notes, fruity esters and the earthy funk often found in farmhouse ales. The resulting nose was pleasantly multi-dimensional, suggestive of a stylistic hybrid. The flavor started tart and dry, with peppery notes and mild funk. The yeast contribution was not typical of strains cultivated for Belgian breweries, which might be where the "wild" in the description comes from. The beer finished mild and slightly yeasty on the palate with medium body and low carbonation.

Overall, this was an interesting and drinkable ale especially for those looking for something more experimental than standard brewery offerings. Indeed, while many farmhouse ales are brewed in Belgium, France and the U.S., no single country produces a definitive version of the style. Given its provenance in home/farm breweries in the old and new worlds, this makes sense. Drinkers who approach this particular beer with a pioneer spirit of their own will surely be rewarded.

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