muzzlehatch (4420) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - JUL 23, 2006
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Vermont Brewer’s Fest 2006, 2 draught samples. My first beer of the evening, and my last; it poured a very rich deep brown black with endlessly lasting dark head -- at first I thought nitro, but nope. Impressive. The first thing you notice in the aroma is fruit, lots of it....fresh slightly underripe cherries and blueberries at first, with dried fruits (fig) coming in later, all underlaid with a very lively fresh Belgian yeast, no mustiness here just fluffy fresh sourdough, chocolate coming through as well as vanilla.....the flavor is even more impressive, an insanely drinkable and luscious milk chocolate, caramel nougat, faint yeast and at the end just the right touch of robust, roasty coffee bitterness to keep things interesting....raisiny/vinous aspects are muted but elegantly entwined with the candy character....stupendous, amongst the two or three best yet from this fine brewer.
SuIIy (1983) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - MAY 23, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Draught pint at redbones. Pours a dark oily black color with a frothy dark brown head that leaves ample lacing. Nose is chocolate, vanilla, light doughy notes with some dark fruits and dark malts. Palate is nice and smooth, quite clean though a welcomed film residue is left on the molars. Flavor is rich chocolate fudge with some great belgian yeast notes, more of the dark fruits like raisins and prunes show themselves in spurts and the beer is greatly enjoyed.
ClarkVV (4430) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - MAY 19, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Draught pint at Redbones on 5/6/06. Dark black, very nearly opaque with a very well-retained light chocolate head that provides ample lacing. Moderate chocolate tones falling off the liquid intertwine gracefully with clean Belgian yeast notes (soft dough, vanilla, marshmallow). Very reserved roast and light prunes provide depth, with succulent malts hidden, waiting to burst forth as it warms. Highly aromatic, especially for a draught beer served out of a shaker. And as it warms, definite sticky fudge comes forth, almost showing a touch of tobacco and crunchy, earthy black malts. It never gets too far dry, however, thanks to the prunes (which sort of share a note with some raisins and/or dates) that sweeten things. Chocolate fudge, woven amongst vanilla and light yeast slowly assuage the palate, while light tinges of bitter chocolate provide an intriguing change of pace, as some minimally crunchy malts show themselves. Just enough to add a little oomph and cut the sweet chocolate and soft vanilla-creme sweetness. All the while, visions of Abbey Dubbels and dark Belgian ales flash through my head. WIth a slight change of malt, this could blend seemlessly in to a true Belgian ale. Very tastefully yeasted, perfect attenuation with low, fairly engaging carbonation. Maybe a light touch of leafy, soily hops, but it is mostly lost amidst the dark malts. Clean, flavorful and quite complex. It dosent seem to have been boiled that long, and that contributes to a drinkable beer, with a lighter palate. When I think of Alvinne Podge imperial, I just think of too much chewy, near-syrupy brown malts building up too heavily on the palate. This concentrates on presentation of flavors, which, ultimately, I think beer should do, without confusing things with a heavy mouthfeel or overly aggressive flavors. No alcohol noted in flavor or aroma.