mbgrayson (469) - Anaconda, Montana, USA - SEP 23, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours super dark, almost black, with a solid tan head. Aroma is malt with wood, and some sweetness. Taste is rich and sweet and complex. I can taste the birch and honey. A very strong RIS. Thumbs way up.
badgerben (4334) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - SEP 22, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Tasted September 21, 2011, my 8 year RB Anniversary. Black color with a small head. Syrupy and malt-laden aroma with a light roasty note. Sprucy flavor. Light chocolate after warming. A bit sugary. Very full bodied.
talon1117 (1152) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - SEP 21, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
The pour is coal black with a a fairly small, tan, foamy head which is mostly diminishing and leaves minimal, foamy lace. The nose is nice and complex but the smoked malt almost gets in the way; maple wood, rich toffee, subtle floral, faint honey, I get a maple and brown sugar oatmeal note, and a meaty, campfire smoke. The flavor is similar, malt forward and adjunct focused; initially sweet with honey, burnt caramel, English toffee, and maple. The maple carries throughout adding faint smoked meat, light ash, mild espresso roast, and wood (obviously birch). The palate is nearly full, silky, chewy, and soft to lively. The beer finishes with more wood notes, smoke fading, floral coming back, and a dry chocolate lingering. Interesting beer with so much focus on the adjuncts but they work well together in the base beer, and the notes all seem to work without much bitterness to speak of. The other complexities really keep the beer fun and inviting, it almost reminded me of breakfast with oatmeal, maple, honey, and smoked meat. Nice and different from others in the style.
Ernest (5925) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - SEP 20, 2011
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Head is initially small, frothy, brown, mostly diminishing.
Body is black (virtually opaque, flashlight tested).
Aroma is moderately malty (roasted grain, chocolate, caramel), lightly hoppy (flowers), with notes of vanilla, smoke, wood.
Flavor is heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly to moderately bitter.
Finish is lightly to moderately sweet, lightly acidic, moderately bitter.
Medium to full body, velvety texture, lively carbonation, lightly to moderately alcoholic.
Along with the smoked porter, this is among Alaskanís stronger efforts...but also like that one, itís just not fully developed. The nose shows promise, with a nice blend of the usual stouty aromas of chocolate, roast, and vanilla, along with a pleasant waft of smoke, but thereís just no depth to it...I spent an hour with this thing and it just never revealed anything outside the standard stout basics (and smoke). No flaws, just plain. Itís a little less satisfying to drink, too...the flavor balance is certainly not bad, but it just doesnít have the cleanliness, elegance, and richness of the better examples in this field. Good effort for this brewery, though.
curly (2397) - Redmond, Washington, USA - SEP 19, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Draft pint. Solid black, thick frothy brown head. Aroma of caramel, molasses, some mocha. Taste has mostly sweet notes, milky, caramel, chocolate, not much on any ashy or burnt bitterness or hop bitterness. This was a good beer, but I thought it could have been balanced a little more. Overall it left me wanting some of that coffee flavor.
DalzAle (1847) - Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA - SEP 17, 2011
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Rich dark black pour, spotty carbonation and an aroma of honey and a little roasted malt. Flavor is slightly smokey chocolate, some of the sweet honey and dry with a little more spicy sweetness on the finish. Decent, and priced well at $8.99/bomber.
peteinSD (1183) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 16, 2011
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours black with a small but frothy tan head. Aroma is roasted malt, smoke, brown sugar, dates, and a thin, woody sweetness. Unique and wonderful aroma. Taste is pleasant sweet malt up front with smoke and light roast followed by raisin, candied sugar, and a slight hop bitterness into the finish. Bit of a creamy feel in the mouth. Loving this beer and very glad have one more tucked away for a few years down the road.
badlizard (5526) - Berkeley, California, USA - SEP 16, 2011
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark brown with a fizzy tan head. Sweet chocolate and molasses aroma and taste with smokey notes and hints of honey but too sweet overall.
BMan1113VR (7702) - Los Angeles, California, USA - SEP 15, 2011
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Pours with a black body and a thick, tight bubbled brown head with some very nice legs and a bit of lace. Aromas are estery and floral from a long ways away. Vanilla, pear, even a peach like ester meld with coffee, toffee, marzipan, burnt notes, maple and light smoke. Rich chocolate truffles, light leathery and campfire notes. Some alcohol, minimal to absent hop aromas. Overall: kind of sweet and fragrant. Flavors are also on the sweeter side of things. Cocoa, coconut, smoke, iodine and medium to strong initial bitterness that fades. Medium to strong esters (banana even and some vanilla). Leather, roast, light smoke. Medium to dry floral notes. To be honest there is a strong adjunct sugar flavor that I have experienced in some of my homebrewed RISís (when Iíve added too much molasses and sugar). It sticks out in a harsh way for me, especially as it warms. Bitterness and sweetness are well balanced overall. Full bodied, nice balance with alcohol and the rest of the components. Medium sweet, light smoke, creamy, light carbonation and a well contained ABV. Sadly this got harder and harder to drink over the first half of the bottle. Did not encourage further drinking.
cbkschubert (2900) - BFE, Arizona, USA - SEP 15, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
22 oz. bottle from Total Wine - Pours a dark brown color with a one finger thick tan head. Aroma is semi-sweet roasted malt and smoke. Light lacing. Flavor is roasted malt, smoke and a bit of chocolate. The smoke lingers a bit in the finish and is borderline cloying. At this point, the beer is still fairly bitter. Medium to full body. A good beer.