hophead75 (2008) - Largo, Florida, USA - DEC 17, 2007
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
sampled from a 750 at YEHA. Dark brown with ruby highlights and a small head. Aroma of heavy caramel, oak, vanilla, bourbon, light smoke and chocolate. Taste is caramel, bourbon, oak, with chocolate and touches of smoke. Very full bodied- but smooth. Another great Alesmith beer.
hopdog (9189) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 17, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
750ml bottle. 2005, bottle # 79/222. Poured a deep brown color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of vanilla, oak, earthy, bourbon, chocolate, some peat, and caramel. Tastes of bourbon, vanilla, woody, earthy, toffee, nutty, and chocolate. Thanks for bringing this Jason!
after4ever (6251) - Brier, Washington, USA - DEC 13, 2007
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
750, capped. Thanks, Foolish_Mortal! Awesome stuff. #144/223 of the í07 release (í05 beer bottled 18 months later). Blackish purple. Still. Headless. Laceless. Huge sweet oaky vanilla bourbon nose. Lightish body--not a bit syrupy or sticky or heavy. Complex toffee, butterscotch, vanilla, and bourbon on the mid-palate. Long, light, sugary finish.
ryan (3186) - Beltsville, Maryland, USA - DEC 1, 2007
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
2005 batch, #42/222, provided by kmweaver. Opaque dirty dark brown with a tiny, fading, tan head. The nose is fairly sweet with lots of toffee, bourbon, alcohol and dark fruits. The flavor is moderately sweet with lots of caramelized sugars, prunes, raisins and bourbon. Full sticky body with light carbonation and a hot finish. This was a boozy, sugary bourbon bomb. Not Alesmithís best work.
cbkschubert (2900) - BFE, Arizona, USA - NOV 21, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: FEB 16, 2009 2005 750 ml bottle #81/222 shared with highibus - Pours a hazy brown color with no head or lacing. Aroma is oak/bourbon and dark esters. Flavor is much of the same. Has a lingering oak/bourbon aftertaste. Medium to full body. Alcohol is noticeable. To be honest, I think I like the regular version better. I think the barrel aging masks the malt character found in the regular version. Still, a fine beer.
Re-rate: Well an additional 16 months has done this beer wonders. The oak/bourbon presences is no longer overbearing. Also the vanilla is more noticeable. If you have a 2005 bottle, itís ready
Ughsmash (7181) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 16, 2007
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2004 bottling, #201/234, Rating #2100 for me!
Poured a deep, smokey garnet-brown with just a little off-white headage. The aroma picked up sweet bourbon, vanilla, and smoky peat on top of chocolate and aged caramel.. quite sweet overall, with a little sourness from the oak.. I enjoyed the barrel influence, but it was just a tad too pronounced.
The flavor also had a significant barrel influence.. very tasty bourbon, vanilla, and lightly-toasted oak hit first with light sourness on the tip of the tongue.. sweeter chocolates, smoked caramel, and more vanilla ride smoothly across the middle.. brown sugar and molasses sweeten up the back-end, and everything comes together nicely for a sweet, warm finish! Warm, malty, and medium-plus bodied with low carbonation.. just a touch too influenced by the barrel, but great overall!
Gregis (1281) - Shawnee, Kansas, USA - NOV 16, 2007
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle #90/222 of the 2005 Vintage shared by mreusch. Pours a deep, dark chocolate brown with a thin, light tan ring clinging to the edge of the glass. Nice legs. Velvety smooth bourbon on the nose with lesser notes of chocolaty malt, nuts and peat. Medium-bodied and oily with a mellow, lightly boozy finish. The flavor is of bourbon, vanilla, oak and lightly peaty malt with a hint of chocolate in the background. Amazingly tasting. A very nice beer and one I feel priveleged to have sampled. Thanks a million, Matt!
mreusch (851) - Olathe, Kansas, USA - NOV 15, 2007
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2005 bottle, #90/222, with much appreciation to jarspag, THANKS Jared! Pours a dark, dark brown with the slightest of large bubbly head that quickly disappears, no lacing. Aroma grabs your attention from across the room, dominated by bourbon and charred oak, with background traces of milk chocolate, smoked peat, vanilla and some dark fruits. Flavor is bourbon forward, but everything else comes along nicely, so it works very well; great warming on the finish. If you like bourbon this will be very impressive, if you donít, plan to not enjoy this one a whole bunch...
boboski (1095) - Alabama, USA - NOV 15, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2005. Number 16 of 222. The pour from the bottle is a criminally dark mahogany with plum hues, very oily and visibly thinner and more viscous than the unaltered predecessor. Very low carbonation holds no hope of forming a head, but ultra-compact groups of tiny bubbles rest peacefully at the edge of the glass. Bourbon is evident as soon as the cap falls from the bottle, but the impact from the glass, sitting far across the table, is profound and more bountiful than expected. As the glass is drawn to the nose, a multitude of forceful and lighter but striking aromas glide forward from the top of the vessel to the depths of the nose and throat. Stronger and more forward nuances include plums, chocolate, caramel malts, sherried oxidative slivers, roasted grains, bourbon (including oak, vanilla, charred wood), raisins, molasses. Milder scents of smoke, peated malt, blackberry, varied dark red-skinned fruits and tar complete the parade. This is about what I expected. Thus far, it is very strong, relentless and lacks elegance. Nonetheless, itís intriguing and challenging, not to mention it wreaks havoc on senses eagerly awaiting a good throttling. A descending alcoholic burn opens the nasal cavities and is a steadfast implication of the near-overwhelming flavor that follows. The first sip is roaring with bourbon, but closely followed by a webbed structure unlikely to be encountered in almost any other brewersí works. Notes of sherry, from oxidation, are lessened as chocolate notes and stewing caramel lash out. Peat notes and smoke share an increased portion of the playbill, now arranged in a compact but straightforward display of spice and fervor. The flavor is immediately warming, a confrontation that arrives unexpectedly. Moderate roasted malt resides within this waming assault, unleashing tannic undertones and more vanilla and bourbon character than the nose. Sweetness is very high and bodes well for the very full body and low carbonation. There is low bitterness and barely any acidity present, furthering the dessert stylings of this ultra-dense concoction. The finish is hot and abrasive but satisfying too. An absolutely monstrous beer from an absolutely terrific brewery, but I canít think of another beer thatís so good thatís also so potent and warming. One to share.
pantanap (3366) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 12, 2007
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
bottle (2004 - bottle number smeared unfornately)....big thanks to Drewbeerme for sharing this special brew with us....appearance: dark caramel brown, thin dissipating white head with nice lacing qualities.....aroma: brown sugar, less prominent bourbon, toffee, and dark fruit....taste: roasted and smoky which supplemented the caramel, vanilla and bourbon qualities. a little boozy but still an awesome beer. one of my favorites of the night. very smooth and enjoyable.