SDalkoholic (2206) - Linda Vista, California, USA - NOV 11, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle: Aroma is faint but has some sweet notes of maple syrup and caramel. Poured a dense mahogany color and was topped by a thick patch of foam. Flavor is mild and smooth and reminds me of an aged barleywine very much. A light touch of sweet caramel malt and sugars balanced between the hops harmoniously. Perhaps a little reminder of clove in the aftertaste even though i might be imagining it. Sticky palate that has perfect carbonation and comes across buttery as well as heavy in body. Finally an old ale i’ve come to really appreciate.
sloth (2602) - Ceciltucky, Co., Maryland, USA - NOV 11, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Sampled in my 10th anniversary Alesmith glass, damn t-shirt was in the wash! Developed a small brown head with fair retention, lace is weblike, clingy. Good clarity, dark brown with a slight red glow. Nose is fruity, plums, raisins, chocolate and a touch roasty with a subdued spiceyness. Body is full, rich, creamy and coating. Chocolate flavors up front followed by cocoa, black licorice, dark fruits and berries, hints of butter and some hops showing, citrusy and fruity. Finish is medium sweet, fruity and lasting. Alcohol evident through the whole ride but moreso in the finish, heating up, not really detracting from the overall expierence. An interesting brew indeed. Luckily i,ve another sampling to try at a later date. Thanks to SDbruboy for this groovy milestone brew! You rock Cliff!
muzzlehatch (4422) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - NOV 10, 2005
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
750 ml bottle shared with Da Montreal Crew at Fantômes and More! tasting. Clear, copper body, bright and luscious, with a bit of diminishing foam...acerbic hoppy nose, fairly dry and coarse, memborable but not at all sublte or complex...sweet, rather syrupy body at first, with ripe blackberries and anise edgining into stinging heavy hoppiness fairly quickly...too much alcohol and somewhat cloying, though what’s there is not without interest; probably needs a year or so to settle down though I doubt it will ever be a masterpiece.
ElDuderino (183) - Hyde Park, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 10, 2005
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JAN 6, 2009 Bottle opened Dec. 25, 2008, courtesy of SickBoy282. Poured a deep dark reddish brown with an off white loose head that had very good retention. The nose is nearly undecernable with notes of bready yeast, candied cherries, burnt sugar, a red wine reduction and some buttery toffee. The complexities continue as this beast explodes on the tongue. The mouthfeel is still highly alcoholic but far more subdued than when I had a fresh bottle years ago. The roasted malts taste warm and faintly sour, and the sweet toffee flavors meld with dried dark fruit notes and a vineous, again almost sour, background. My guess is that is the remainder of the hops. This beer was a pleasure, and a reminder to me that beers are so complex and exciting that there is always something new to peak my interest. Delicious!
Crosling (1864) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - NOV 9, 2005
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Gorgeous looking ruby color, with a small and quickly diminishing head. Apricot, cherry and plum aromas, with hints of caramel, but the main aroma is harsh alcohol. Flavor is malt accented, with hints of caramel and toffee, along with a variety of fruits. It is hot, possessing a lot of ethanol character in the flavor, and especially the aroma, but I still find it to be pretty tasty. I do have four more bottles to revisit for different ratings. Pretty brash and in your face.
Bockyhorsey (2610) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - NOV 9, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Has multiple aromas. Citrus, yeast, fermantation and alcohol presence. Dark amber body with good head. Flavor has that alcohol bite to it. But seems a mild sweet malt texture to the body the smmoth that out. Medium alcohol palate not like some potent beers that make you yearn for a gallon of water for hydration after drinking.
MartinT (8351) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 9, 2005
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: JUN 6, 2006 The Lure:
Muted maltiness proffers roastiness and alcohol to support the grapey fruitiness. Aromas are joined with diplomacy, but a firm hand is put upon them, and they cannot express themselves as they’d like.
Firey alcohol plagues the frail body and frightens the tongue at the onset. Roasted malt aptly leads into bitterness, and manages to get along with the many berries. This is either too young and underdeveloped, or it does not possess the wealth and depth such a massive ale deserves. I’ll have to wait and see.
The cold stare of a monarch.
A later sampling (after close to a year) revealed better integrated caramel and complex fruitiness. It still has some wisening up to do, but it is aging nicely so far.
Pailhead (5398) - Plymouth, Michigan, USA - NOV 7, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle: Courtesy of DarkElf via trade. Aroma of caramel, banana bread, toffee, citrus hops, and alcohol. Pours a hazy reddish-orange with an off-white head. Nice malty flavors up front of caramel, toffee, and banana bread. Finishes with a moderate citrus hoppiness and noticeable alcohol flavor and warming affect. As it warms, I get a sweet fruitiness in the middle. Very nice. Will have to get another bottle of this to sit on.
erway (1004) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - NOV 4, 2005
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
GABF-Med. Cloudy amber w/ a small off-white head. Malt cookie nose with notes of brown sugar and sweet earthy hops. Just amazing med-heavy body. Sweet caramel. Dried fruits; raisins figs and apples. Mild bitterness but not dry. Just another beautiful beer a beautiful brewery. God Bless Peter Zine!
mjg74 (2695) - Salem, Oregon, USA - NOV 3, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: JUN 22, 2007 Pours a deep, dark, somewhat hazy ruby color. Aroma is strong. It consists of roasted sweet figs and maybe prune. Alcohol is also somewhat noticable in the aroma. Rich roasted flavor up front with some alcohol. This brew finishes with a strong roasted maltiness that seems to have a hint of coffee in it. Alcohol does not seem to be present in the finish, but does have a bit of a warming effect. Bottled.