For the first time since September, both Henry and Kevin join me to review a beer. "The Vine Bubbles" was sent to me as a Christmas present from Romain, my friend in France who has been hooking me up with the Trappist Westvleteren beers since the summer of 2010. This is the first-ever FRENCH beer to be reviewed on this show.
3.4AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Split a 750ml bottle with two friends. Got this beer in a trade with a user in France (thanks, Romain!)
Appearance: bright orange, tons of tiny little bubbles suspended in the middle of the body (not rushing to the top like champagne). Not much at all, not retention or lacing.
Smell: Typical European style sour with tartness, funk, green apple and white grape. Slight woody quality. While complex, it is actually not that strong.
Taste: very sharp and taste immediately. Sour through the middle of the tongue, but with a pleasing fruity taste of peach, white grape and green apple on the edges. I’ve no idea if this is a lambic/wild ale brewed with fruit or simply a sour ale (I can’t read the bottle as it’s all in French).
Mouthfeel: Fairly thin and flat-feeling, but I wouldn’t call this watery or tepid. Consistent sharpness start to finish. Wears out the tongue after 6-8 ounces.
Drinkability: While it is quite a sour beer, it’s nothing ridiculous. I think drinkers who aren’t fans of sours would enjoy this. The sourness does get cloying after a while, though. The 6% ABV seems high as it drinks like a Lindeman’s 2.5% ABV lambic.
Overall a tasty, interesting, and novel beer. Difficult to rate and analyze fairly. I’m glad I got to try it, even if I’m not a huge fan of sours to begin with.