Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - APR 12, 2004
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
The cork is off, there's no turning back, in we go...A lovely, hazy tumult of deep auburn colored brew pours into my glass, joined by a Brobdignagian layer of fizzy, creamy, off-orange foam. Looks good so far, I'm tingling so far.
Aroma: lemon...biscuits...orange...must...sour...but sweet...cinnamon...a spiced lemon cookie, to wrap it succinctly. Nice. Lively, luscious, in an utterly other realm than any other beer I've ever sniffed.
Taste...Good Idea, let's!
Oh, it's happening again! A shockwave of pleasure engulfs and enwraps my body and all the senses. Certainly very winey in flavor, but uniquely beery, too! Softly peppery, deep in dark fruit (besides grape, we wander among fields of cherries, berries, melons), it's a grand melange, a masterful marriage of flavors. There's something uplifting here, something that sets my soul free, something that happens in few brews, and you know it when you feel it, and it's happening now! Something ancient exists in this, a collection of metaphysical passages through the centuries. It feels light at times, deep at others, citric for a stage, then a touch woody, even oaky, showing some malt, as if peeking through peepholes in a glimpse through time itself.
If my remarks seem grandiose, forgive this foolish ale imbiber, for there's simply no better way to transmit the feelings this glorious brew delivers than to let imagination soar, and transplant the sensations into corresponding comments that may seem at times beyond the ordinary. So be it, for this beer is...I'm still drinking, it's still changing, tasting sweeter now, with a sharp candyish feel, still an underlying layer of tart. The tongue dances and darts, utterly delighted by the play it encounters from this frisky brew.
Sweet, deep, dark, toffee-ish, completely original, a meal in a bottle, a dream trapped under a cork, ...
Oh, so very, very, very wonderful! I wish it would never end.
radiomgb (2503) - Peterborough, Ontario, CANADA - APR 11, 2004
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Reddish brown in colour, large rocky head. Aroma was of yeast, malt, lots of fruit(pear, lemon, orange), spicy with some pepper. Flavour of malt(cookie, yeast), fruity(apples and oranges), pepper. Very smooth body with hardly any alcohol coming through. Finishes with a slightly sweet, creamy bitterness. Very nice. Thanks for sending this my way jeffc666.
Syd (921) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - APR 11, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle pours a crystal clear ruby red with a monster fine head and Belgian lace. The aroma is very fruity, almost wine like, somewhat yeasty, and a touch of spice. The flavor is a very well rounded and smooth mélange of dried fruit, sherry, caramel, and some hop oils. I say rounded in the sense that there is nothing cutting that grabs you and makes you take note. The thing I really notice about this one is just how smooth and coordinated it tastes. The palate is also smooth, rounded, and coating, but not sticky. Overall, this is a very well designed brew. Thanks to Slikwily for this!
raindog (560) - Evansville, Indiana, USA - MAR 31, 2004
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Farily clear,oarnge/brown. Thin,but lasting,creamy,head. Excellent aroma. Lots of spicy,fruit and light nuts and caramel. Quite thick,but might be the smoothes beer I've ever had. Starts sweet and yeasty. Lots of fruit,and nuts follow. Finish is smooth,lightly sweet and spicy. The most,unique beer I've had in some time. Lots of flavors in there,some I can't explain. I'm guessing by the size of some of the floaties this bottle is at least,2yrs old. I couldn't imagine this being any better. Great,complex,beer. Thanks Bierbauch!
xsketchyx (184) - Oregon, USA - MAR 30, 2004
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Thick and complex, toffee and caramel with a nutty taste. Weird neat floaters in the beer.
BigBastard (668) - L.A., California, USA - MAR 16, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Lots of floaties in there, but this was an awesome beer. Big port wine flavor, lots of different fruit like grapes, raisins, some cloves and spice. Slight alcohol burn. Really good.
haddon90 (1561) - Costa Mesa, California, USA - MAR 11, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bought at Whole Foods in Vienna, VA. Ruby/Mahagony color with a nice frothy off-white head. Some vanilla, caramel, malt, and a hint of cherries in the aroma. Very pleasing. Great taste!! Malty flavor, smooth, cherries and some other fruits. Alcohol is hidden well. Definitely a great Belgian Ale!!
whaleman (2178) - North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 7, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: APR 6, 2007 Thanks to The_Beer_God for this one. Ruby-brown body with substantial carbonation and a soft spumous buffy head. Sweet aroma of vanilla, rum, bubble gum, cherries, caramel malt, yeast, candy sugar, maple, flowers, and wet grass. Wow. Basically I can smell most things that I can think of here. Big malty flavor but less sweet than expected. Has some leathery bitterness and a turpentine fusel alcohol quality that reminds me of Orval. Freaking delicious though. Nice long finish. Smooth, round body. I’m a sucker for a great Belgian Strong Ale.
Rastacouere (6159) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 7, 2004
4.2 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUL 15, 2010 Cheers to you Matta for this succulent appetizer!
Appearance is a murky brown, even more so when pouring the immense amount of yeast into the chalice (which helped a lot to release the subtleties of the awesome aroma). It seems paler than the regular abbaye des rocs. Relatively high apparent carbonation level, huge head with irregular bubbles, but quite spectacular. It slowly fades away, but still sticks to the glass. Aroma is very complex if not too intense. This is ultimate belgian goodness and balance between brown sugar malt sweetness and yeast funkiness. Ultra-complex fruity profile (berries, cherries, plums, pears, apples), very spicy also (sage, parsley, cinnamon cake). That’s all great by itself, but what makes the aroma truly unique is how it combines the above flavours with the belgian farmhouse character from the yeast which lends it a unique hay-ish and floral side that I love, almost a Fantome. The taste also contains this good dose of funk and spicy unexplainable weirdness, wet fieldish hay drying under the sun, pepper grains, basil, thyme? full of subtleties and perhaps the apotheosis of a spiced belgian strong dark ales with masterfully hidden alcohol, very sweet, bready and yeasty with a creamy, silky crème caramel medium-full body. Plain delicious and worthy of world-class status.
Lowering from 4.6 to 4.2. One of my favourite brown strong Belgian ales, but this is a style I enjoy far less than I used to.
zach8270 (3858) - Henrietta, New York, USA - MAR 6, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: DEC 12, 2008 [bottle] Pours a cloudy and hazy deep red/orange with a thick and lasting off-white head. The description is right. The aroma is definitely complex and I can most definitely detect the cherries and raisins, and I think I caught a slight hint of cranberry as well. Taste begins with a shocking of the tongue with flavor. Definitely can taste the caramelly raisins. Nice smooth mouthfeel with a warm and roasty finish.