Thaichile (599) - 10aFly, New Jersey, USA - MAR 15, 2006
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle. 22oz. Pours a deeper golden color with a regular head. Strong scents of hops on the nose. Flavors of hops (of course) caramel and butterscotch and maybe some apple cider. Malts and hops are pretty balanced in this brew, but hops win. Thanks Flaco Alto !
krisbierjaeger (844) - dolores, Colorado, USA - MAR 11, 2006
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
hello and welcome to our tour; my name is winston hogfeller the third, your guide. of course we’re here to explore and appreciate this grand edifice of brewing: the renouned castle alesmith ipa. so if everyone is quite ready, we’ll begin. approaching, you’ll notice that the bottle itself has a minimalist facade, with it’s plain white and strictly utilitarian block letters forged in the helvetica font from the mountains of switzerland. the brooding exterior is highly misleading, even paradoxical. i would advise here only cursory photography to save your film for the famous and expansive pour. indeed, here it comes, with trumpets, banners and royal pomp (much gasping ascending to spontaneous applause). please stand back, the foam will bloom to extraordinary heights. yes there it is in the goblet! (sound of many cameras shooting). an inverted rotunda after the fashion of st. peters: interlocking panels of pure amber and aztec gold with enormous and flamboyant flying buttresses of foam-- at once seemingly snatched from and mingling with the clouds and heavens. but wait! do look more closely overhead and observe the exquisite lacing, an almost dizzying filigree of ivory, and notice as well the more subtle inlay of tiny gems of particulate matter throughout the interior. they do seem to defy gravity. lets move along to the aroma, and here you’re entering a lush emerald city of green hops. the architect had a penchant obviously for hops, and created the perfect halls and grottos to serve up whatever state banquet was called for, done in the verdant tones of piney saw dust, green banana peel, sage, toffee and gingersnap. during this period in the evolution of the great american lupulin palaces of course there was incredible competition among designers to create this kind of rococo stylistic hyperbole. and that’s seen here in the flavor, where the grand design comes to fruition. the great expense of the tonnage of hops is quite immeasurable, all the more remarkable in that it was done by hand-- and by artisans receiving but modest remuneration. on your left are orchard fruits, delicately wrought, and on your right, the bold imperial bitters in full regalia. now, watch your head as we descend into the wet catacombs of full body, carved out of living malts, structurally immense with pillars of caramel under arcs of subtle honey sweetness. walk this way please, stay together everyone. finally, after gurgling along a hop "randall" aqueduct spanning the entire grounds, the flavor drops at last into this splendid courtyard fountain. i say. just remarkable i think you’ll agree. this concludes our tour, thank you, and visitors are now free to relax in the hospitality area where everyone will receive a very handsome complimentary buzz. (final applause, much excited chatter punctuated with the mingled sounds of search dog sniffing and rapid swallowing).
Birdiebeagle (958) - Perkasie, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 5, 2006
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle Pours a hazy amber with a good off white frothy head. Good lasting with excellent lacing. Aroma is hoppy spruce with hints of leaves and molasses. Just about the perfect carbonation that a beer could be. Very smooth with a slight oily texture. Has a great duration with an excellent aftertaste. This has great blending. A wonderful IPA. It makes me want to move to California so I can get more of it. The only negative to this beer is that I can’t get it easily in Pennsylvania. Just awesome.
Ughsmash (6970) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 2, 2006
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. Poured a very slightly hazy medium golden with a well-retained white head... lovely intricate lacing the whole way down. Heaps and buckets of Pac NW hoppage (pine and grapefruit) in the nose balanced by a substantial caramel malt presence. Full and seductive flavors similar to the nose... freshly-squeezed grapefruit, Spruce needles, smooth caramel, and mild warmth from the alcohol. Bitterness was average for the style, just the right level considering the other components in here. Moderate carbonation gave it a creamy feel across the middle. Crisp Cascade finish left a lasting impression. Phenominal brew!
alobar (2593) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 2, 2006
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
A bland bottle desing is not representative of what is inside. Thanks to Firemoose 415 for sharing. Pours a cloudy amber color with some sediment. Soapy off-white head that lingers. Hops and pine dominate the aroma. Taste is a well-balanced combination of hops, malts, and some pine with a slightly dry finish.
kramer (4573) - Sunbury, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 27, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
22 oz bottle, via fordest. Pours a dark copper with a small fizzy white head. A few small streams of carbonation rising from the depths. Nice aggressive citric hop aroma, some toasted and caramel malt below. Hops focused flavor for sure, citrusy grapefruity goodness. Plenty of malt in the background to balance this guy out. Not over-the-top in anything, just a very clean and crisp flavor without flaws. No indication on the flavor that this is over 7% ABV. Light to medium bodied with moderate and extremely fine-bubbled carbonation. A classic example of an IPA, packed with flavor without being in your face.
Firemoose15 (567) - Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 26, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Courtesy of fordest. Bottle. Aroma very pleasant waffe of citric and pine hops. Poured a nice lighter amber with a thick white head. Flavor was just a treat, a good punch of the hops and light fruit character really combine well. Palate was nice, medium bodied that kept you wanting more. Overall one of the tastiest IPA’s I’ve had.
KAggie97 (3529) - Ugly, Hot, and Humid Spring, Texas, USA - FEB 24, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle at Enniskillen’s tasting
Pours a nice, mellow amber with clinging lace. Aroma is a round ball of grapefruit. Flavor is a rush of pine and grapefruit. Palate is sticky and slippery. Damn good IPA; one of the best out there. I MUST HAVE MORE.
entertheiceman (242) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - FEB 21, 2006
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Huge chewy hops, full bodied for the style with a dense orange color that is dark in the middle of the glass. Malt presence to balance everythiing out is substantial as well. Much preferred to their IIPA.
timmy300 (203) - bloomington, Illinois, USA - FEB 20, 2006
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
very balanced ipa that coats your mouth in sweet hoppy nectar for a chewy after taste that last a while......a little oily.....