Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, Florida. This is a collaboration beer, designed and brewed with "[Cigar City's] buddy and Beer Hero, Bob Sylvester of Saint Somewhere Brewing".
Big Mr. Wine Bottle has a lot to say. First, the tag line that goes with the name is really good. "Vuja De, the feeling that none of this has happened before..." And that is almost a certainty as this beer was brewed with elderberry flowers, hibiscus flowers, lemon leaves, cane sugar, and black currants. The label is nice and colorful with plenty of fruits and a cornucopia along with two women that I'll call muses (for some reason). The muses remind me of the angel on St. Somewhere's Lectio Divina bottle. One guy that could give you more info is Juan Alvarez of Humble Wear, who designed the label.
Big head. Great berry aroma, fruity with brown sugar. Tart berry and acidic fruity flavors start right from the first sip. And that tart potency actually takes more than a few sips to get used to, it's that in your face. Those initial flavors then take a wild and distinct yeasty, funky run. The next transition is to highly sour flavors, with floral and citrus rind accentuated by some warmth and bite from the 9.96% alcohol.
Finally, after that mega roller coaster beginning, you will meet some malty caramel and brown sugar to answer the puckering tart sour start. But it's only for a fleeting moment before the aggressive sours start all over again. There is a persistent fizzy and spicy burn for the entire length of this bottle, especially in the throat. Also, strong unripe grape flavors, combined with astringent lemon and what I'm going to guess are black currants, are relentless background flavors that never disappear for a moment. I can taste the elderberry as well, reminding me of that gum of long ago (it could still exist but I haven't seen it for a long time).
Well carbonated. Extremely unique! The flavors are quite a bit everywhere and often get in the way of each other, not in a complementary way. You finish with more of that tart and highly acidic black currant sourness. Great experiment, one that I'm sure Cigar City and St. Somewhere may need pharmaceutical help to eclipse. In the end, I certainly appreciated this beer but my palate and I are totally burned out and ready to sleep this off. If extreme is your desire, you've met your champion. The flavors of this beer are etched on my right-side brain forever!
OK. Besides criticizing the Christened one, this review isn't really that critical or controversial. If you liked this review, please use the buttons below to pass it along to your friends and foes alike. And if you never want to miss the times when I do stick my foot in my mouth, sign up for one email daily (assuming I can hold up my "daily" part of the bargain). Thanks.
Mighty Leaf Tea Chamomile Citrus, 15-Count Whole Leaf Pouches (Pack of 3)
Solaray - Black Currant Seed Oil, 500 mg, 90 softgels
Hibiscus Flowers Organic Cut & Sifted - Hibiscus sabdariffa, 1 lb,(Starwest Botanicals)