Tag Archive: Alvinne

Alvinne: Oak Aged Cuvee Sofie Kweepeer Quince ( Belgium: Sour Ale: 8% ABV)

Visual: Pale apricot. Thin white bubbly head.

Nose: Mashed apricots. Sour. Dry white wine. Grapes. Pencil shavings. Vanilla. Sharp lemon.

Body: Very sharp. Yellow raspberry. Vanilla. Sour jelly sweets. Tart lemon curd.

Finish: Tart. Sharp lemon. Quince Rakia. Dried apricot. Yellow raspberry. Sour jelly sweets. White wine. Marmalade. Sour lemon curd.

Conclusion: Fuck me, this is sharp. Ok, after a few sips I acclimatised to it, and it became a pleasant tart and sour thing, but that first mouthfeel was a heck of a shock to the system.

I’ve only had quince in quince rakia, so I probably don’t have the best yardstick for comparison here (delicious though that rakia may be) to say if this tastes much like the fruit used. The fruitiness in this tastes like yellow raspberries meets mashed apricots meets tart lemon curd. So, possibly that is actually what quince tastes like and if I had tried it I could have saved myself a heck of a lot of words there. Any which way it is very fresh, very citrus and very enjoyable.

Super tart, super sour, this is carefully smoothed out at the edges by vanilla notes and a slight white wine dry character, into light, sweeter marmalade notes in the finish. It stops it from being just a flat out sour assault, and, considering my response to that first tart mouthful, for that I am very welcome. With those rounding notes it is still mouth puckering, but very enjoyable, if slightly single minded as a sour ale. It doesn’t change too much once you get over the initial shock, but the beer is fairly different from most others on the market, so I kind of welcome that for once.

So, initially a shock and may seem overwhelming for those who aren’t super into their sours, it does soften a touch into tart and rewarding fruity sour character (which may or may not be predominantly quince).

I would easily recommend this to any sour fan who are not shy of the tarter end of the spectrum and want something a bit different from the usual fruit experimentation. I very much enjoyed this.

Background; There area lot of words on this label, and I will admit I am unsure of which are the name and which are descriptors. Looking online there seem to be a lot of different versions of Cuvee Sofie, so I’ve played it safe and listed as many as I could here. So, this is a sour beer, foeder aged and made with quince. It mainly caught my eye as I tried a quince rakia in Belgrade and very much enjoyed it. So a sour beer made with the fruit sounded right up my street. This was another one grabbed from Independent Spirit, and I put on Genitorturers – Flesh is The Law to listen to while drinking. S&M themed industrial metal turned out to go very appropriately with the very sour and tart beer!

Beavertown: Alvinne: Tempus: Uptown Monk (England: Abbey Tripel: 9.3%)

Visual: Deep apricot skin. Small off white dash of a head. Semi clear and still body.

Nose: Peppery. Cane sugar to brown sugar. Rye crackers. Dried apricot. Crushed Blackpool rock.

Body: Smoke. Vanilla slices, but dry. Dry lemon. Light lime funk notes. Apricot. Tart notes – tart grapes. Vanilla yogurt. Orange. Cane sugar. Champagne.

Finish: Dry cheesecake. Rye crackers. Pepper. Darkly bitter. Malt chocolate drinks. Dry lime. Tart apples. Slight yeast funk. Vanilla and lemon yogurt. Champagne.

Conclusion: Oh, there is a shit-ton going on with this beer. On the front I seems to be a simple literary conflict – peppery spice rye versus a cane to brown sugar tripel style sweetness. An enjoyable pulp tale of beer rather than an intricate layered script.

Time brings funk influence and side characters of tart lime and drier lemon yogurt notes that explore further themes of the beer. In fact the beer in general has a drier, yet tart backing character that creates layered and complex characters that accentuates that initially simple base conflict. The peppery character expands into bitterness, showing the futility of attempts to map reality linier plotting while hanging a lampshade on its own beery progression.

Dried, fruit sugar apricot comes out – giving a nod to crowd pleasing simple beers but here deconstructing that in its contrast to the complex developments below, showing both funk and barrel ageing influence in equal share rather than being shunted to sub plots as the more simple beers would do.

It does however revel in its barrel ageing, gaining a champagne character that freshens your mouth, allowing for tart grapes to join; Here the subtext of the tart funk becomes the text, the funk joining the barrel ageing to make the beer’s theme plain to all.

Hopefully the above has allowed me to explain how complex this layered beer can be, and to illustrate its character to you clearly. It is unusual, deep and one I enjoyed very much.

Background: I have no clue why I wrote the notes like this – I mean obviously I was drinking, but due to the oddity of the beer I decided treating it like a book review seemed a thing to do. I have no reason, no excuse and no excuse would be accepted. Anyway, decided to leave the notes as is an upload them because, well it amuses me if no-one else. Anyway, this is a beer I grabbed from Independent Spirit before Christmas – as a heavy rye Triple aged in white wine barrels I figured a bit more time would not hurt it. Been a while since I had an Alvinne beer, even as a collab, but this should go some small way to correct that. Drunk while listening to some Testament again, no real reason, just did.

Alvinne: Podge Bourgogne Barrel Oak Aged (Belgium: Imperial Stout: 10.5% ABV)

Visual: Deep dark brown with a fizzy reactive head that has a mayfly lifespan and indicates the present degree of carbonation in the beer.

Nose: liquorice, sour cherries come out massively. Bitter chocolate, potpourri. Oak and wet salty rocks. Sharp lemon acidity and bitter red wine. Strawberry cream centres and slight cream.

Body: Rich chocolate, oak. Slight fizzy texture. Malt. Quite bitter. Liquorish. Lots of sour cherries. Cream. Undertones of sweet creamy chocolate. Slightly oily.

Finish: Red wine and sour cherry. Dry bready taste with accompanying texture. Charred wood. Very long lasting. Roasted buts, charcoal and bitter. Salt – anchovies

Conclusion: A completely different beast to the original podge. The Bourgogne elements overpower a lot of the chocolate elements making it an almost kriek lambic stout.

Whilst it is a pity that the two elements were not married to better effect the resulting beer is still decent, but not what you would have expected knowing it pedigree. This wine like stout is powerful and every now and then the chocolate comes out reminding you of what it could have been.

When this beer hits its stride it is very good and even when the wine elements are massive and overpowering its still good, but you get the hint that this could have been something much more subtle and complex.

A good beer, but at the same time a missed opportunity.

Alvinne Podge Belgium Imperial Stout (Belgium: Imperial Stout: 10.5% ABV)

Visual: Very deep brown back, with a quickly diminishing brown head that leaves islands of froth along the surface.

Nose: Bitter in all things, hops, black chocolate. Slight salt, vanilla. All merges into a rising nose that makes you thirsty for the first sip. Fruit – grapes and white wine.

Body: Bitter, then chocolate, then settles on treacle as it lounges around your mouth. Touch of peanut butter and chocolate spread. An overly rich late coffee. Richly sweet like luxury chocolates and death by chocolate cake. The words double and triple chocolate cannot be overused here, sponge cream layers and chocolate dusting.

Finish: Dry, slightly bitter, coffee cuts in at this point. Wholemeal crackers then light sugar sweetness.

Conclusion: A very sweet and chocolaty interpretation of the stout with just a slight bite to add. Feels luxurious, like your treating yourself. The alcohol barely registers, it feels like it should be drunk from an overly large brandy snifter whilst relaxing in a hot soothing bubble bath (Cigar optional)

Note: This tasting note was done while listening to Ulver: Shadows Of The Sun. This beer goes perfectly with that album.

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