Mike Castagno's picture

Orchid

Judges Rating: 
79
Aroma: 
18 / 24
Appearance: 
5 / 6
Flavor: 
33 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
15 / 20

The beer pours a mahogany brown color with good clarity but the head dissipates immediately. Isovaleric acid (sweaty) and acetic acid (vinegar) dominate the aroma. If you can look beyond the vinegar, you might notice a slight smoky note with soft oak character. There are complex fruit qualities in the aroma and flavor consisting of dark cherries, fig and plum which are complemented by the oak. Despite the aggressive acetic sourness and assertive carbonation, the beer finishes quite sweet in the same vein as a Flanders Red Ale. That is the only style where acetic acid is acceptable, but it should complement the lactic acid and malt character rather than dominate the landscape of the beer, which is what it does with this beer. Acetic acid is usually a sign of excessive oxygen exposure during aging where brettanomyces and/or acetobacter will oxidize ethanol into acetic acid. If there were any floral qualities to this beer, the vinegar overpowers them beyond recognition. If you are seeking out an overtly sour beer then this is definitely the beer for you. If acetic acid is too sharp for your palate, you may want to pass on this.

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