2002 vintage from Cheers, Carrollton, GA, USA. $21.99 for the bottle, an excellent price considering the vintage and the general price for this beer. Just about the best bargain that one could hope for on Deus.
Heavy, heavy foil over the corked & caged bottle. Lots of gun smoke on opening, but not quite the pop or the gush that I was half-expecting. poured into champagne flutes the pour resembles a typical champagne with great cascading bubbles and that typical huge bubbly head that can get a little annoying after a few minutes. Eventually the beer settles down and we get to where we need to be.
Some nice lace and very good, persistent carbonation. Color is a golden macro lager type that is darker than your typical sparkling wine.
Nose has some medicinal, sweetness and a strange, difficult to place herbal quality.
Tastes are not really what I was expecting at all. I was anticipating a dry, champagne like experience and with perhaps some tartness. Perhaps not a Brute-like tartness but at least some semblance of white wine/sparkling dry character; there really was very little of this.
The beer drinks VERY sweetly to me – sweet as in sugary, not sweet as in S-W-E-E-T! There are quite a lot of apple and cider characteristics but they don’t come with either the usual tart character or the dry nature of many, high quality beverages of this type.
The missing dry notes, and the relatively missing yeast influence is quite surprising to me.
The second half of the bottle was consumed after it had been sitting in an ice-bucket for some time, and as a result the carbonation seemed even more prickly than the firs half – to me, this was a good thing as it seemed to help the beer become drier and more well-defined. I think that temperature could be VERY important here and I might even look for a frosted glass! As we go down the bottle the sweetness gets a bit much – it never becomes cloying as such, but it is noticeable.
This IS a bottle which is between 7 and 8 years old so I might try a much younger bottle next time. For now, I’m a touch underwhelmed but I can see how this COULD be fantastic. I preferred Brute to this, but IT was really pretty tart. If we could reach a halfway house in between the two we’d have a really interesting beer.
Good, but for now I’m on the fence as to whether I would try this again. Next time ULTRA cold from the beginning and a younger bottle.