tiggmtl (4545) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAY 7, 2004
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAY 16, 2004 Initial impression of chocolate and cherries melts into a bouquet of dark fruit aromas, yeast and sweet malt. Deep, dark, rosy orange brown with thick, dense tan head that lasts forever and coats the glass. Yeast in suspension. This is mighty impressive looking in a Trappist glass. Sweet with a restained balancing spiciness. Plums, raisins, honey, caramel. Lightly tart toward the end with a lasting chocolate finish. Incredible smooth mouthfeel. Alcohol not apparent in either flavour or aroma but the warming is there. Bottle (green).
jeffin7 (613) - Silver Spring, Maryland, USA - MAY 3, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours with a nice fluffy head that fades to a thin layer of creamy off white. Aroma of dark fruit and belgian yeast. Flavor is of dark fruit, honey, and a nicely balanced bitterness that keeps sweetness from bogging everything down. The aftertaste is at first much like the primary taste but then a surge of chocolate with a hint of coffee comes from nowhere and lasts for a while. The palate is velvety and smooth with a medium to full body. Very nice. Its a tough call to pick between this and the regular Rocs.
rajendra82 (1011) - Alpharetta, Georgia, USA - MAY 2, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: SEP 23, 2005 The 750 ml. green bottle was distinguished looking with a cap underlain by a cork. The cork was very large and broke my corkscrew from its handle while trying to pull it out. A trusty pair of pliers was able to extricate them anyway. The beer, when poured in the goblet, displayed a deep red color with a 1 ˝ inch tall, off-white head, and a fine onrush of bubbles underneath. The smell is reminiscent of raisins, cherries, plums, and hay. The taste is also quite fruity with notes of apples, cherries, rum-raisins, as well as some vanilla, and chocolate. There is also some hoppy dryness in there. The mouthfeel is buttery smooth, and rich. The 10 percent by volume alcohol is very well covered. I was expecting this brew to be a lot more complex, but this turned out to be quite one-dimensional. May be a few more years on the remaining bottle will eat up more of the residual sugars and generate some complexity.
Update: The beer is now available in 330 ml. four packs in Georgia, so I decided to try it again (since I had traded away that other 750 ml. bottle picked up in Chattanooga). Either the beer was more fresh, or my palette had evolved, but gone was the cloying sweetness that bothered me so much last time. Instead this bottle displayed a perfect balance between sweet, spicy, tart, yeasty, and bitter flavors. 9.5% ABV was not evident anywhere in the taste. I certainly enjoyed it a lot better this time. And the heady carbonation, and the resulting full burps were an outstanding finishing touch. And there was no way to sip this one. It just begged to be quaffed. Liquid Crack.
BeerAteHer (384) - St. Paul, Minnesota, USA - MAY 2, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Well-rounded brew showing typical Belgian malt blending expertise. Pours a good, clean head and shows the natural rust color of the malts. Nice lacing and well-carbonated. Pleasant, soft aroma. Fruity, applespice sweetness dominates the flavor (as with any brew at 10% alcohol) but definitely not "sugary". Perhaps could use just a little more hops added to round it off. Still highly recommended and a good deal at under $8 for a 750 ml bottle. Goes good with a meal; beer like this can be saved for at least a couple of sittings -- no need to finish it all at once.
elnadeau (786) - Laguna Niguel, California, USA - APR 27, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Big thanks to jcalabre for this very special brew. Displays beautiful color in the glass, yeasty sweet fruity spicy signature aroma drifts out to entice. As noted by most, this is a complex flavor array, best enjoyed by slowly savoring in the proper glassware. After a bit of tang, the flavors settle into a full but smooth texture and satisfying finish. With all that is going on, cherries & honey & caramel & yeast & nuts & on & on, it is balanced to perfection and hardly shows it's 10%. World class, find some and enjoy.
crzybob77 (530) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - APR 26, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
This brew was absolutly delicous. It was the best of a night with many good beers. Came in a huge 750ml bottle that was capped and corked. At 10 percent, this bottle will kick up your buzz real nice. Creamy, rich smoothness with a delightful hoppy beer taste. The high alochol is hidden perfectly. Buy this stuff if you can, you won't regret it!
Gunshy (479) - Ohio, USA - APR 24, 2004
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
This beer poured a very dark brown amber color and formed a huge bubbly off white head that left laticed lace as it subsided. A large amount of carbonation and some sediment is present. It has a wonderful aroma of malt, caramel, raisins and other fruit with a touch of pepper. A heavy flavor of malt, caramel, raisins and a warming touch of the alcohol. The finish is of a medium body and slightly sweet and creamy with a warm aspect of the alcohol present. Another one I wish we could see in Ohio with our new laws
papajohn (1249) - San Diego (Mira Mesa), California, USA - APR 17, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: APR 19, 2004 Pour is a cherry amber color with a huge frothy light brown head. Nose is fruity, peppery malt. Flavor: Tangy start with notes of cherry, plum, a touch of honey finishing with a lingering sweet aftertaste and a hint of yeast and spice. Smooth on the palate with just a light alcohol burn in the throat.
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 (2580) - 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.