andrewje41 (1356) - Kenmore, Washington, USA - FEB 17, 2015
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2014, beautifully dressed foiled black bottle, poured and split with Tcon. Purchased at Engine House No. 9, Tacoma. I just love it when I’m out and about and run in to a bottle by complete accident. This situation surely is one of those. Pours black with a light bubbly tan head. Flavor is cocoa nibs, coffee grounds, bold vanilla and spicy chocolate. Some booze sneaks into the aroma as well, but we’ll expected. Doesn’t ruin things for me. I’ve said it before, but I absolutely love it when a beer lives up to its hype. Flavor seems initially boozy, as it is. However it smooths out very nicely. Nice smooth chocolate and coffee flavors with some vanilla and sweet butterscotch. A solid, must try beer with the make up of a perfect stout. Very happy to try such a storied beer. Awesome stuff to say the least.
Alengrin (3240) - BELGIUM - JAN 30, 2015
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: FEB 22, 2015 Three year old bottle, but with black neckfoil (the print on the bottle says "with coffee and aged in bourbon barrels", so I assume it is the same thing). One of the most expensive beers I ever bought, delivered to me by my dear former colleague Maaike. I taste this a little above cellar temperature from an old port wine snifter. Black colour (but in fact an extremely dark ochre brown), thin deep beige head, a little more ’loose’ than I had expected and breaking open after a short while but retaining well around the edges, with a delicate, silky lacing. The aroma is heavenly: a dense, thick, strong and intoxicating perfume of all the good things you would expect in a big stout, and more. Impressions of freshly roasted coffee beans, kahlua, orange liqueur, warm chocolate sauce, cognac, liquorice, vanilla beans, peat, leather, oaky tannins and even moist wood, gingerbread, hints of soy sauce, cooked meat, cloves and butterscotch. This liquid commands respect, nothing in the nose reveals even the faintest flaw; I’m beginning to understand why this beer scores so high on this site. Taste is... well, intense, to say the least: an overpowering symphony of candied fruits, espresso beans, fondant chocolate, vanilla, oak, candi syrup, dried orange peel... Difficult to point out which comes first. Carbonation is sharpish, even a bit fizzy at first; mouthfeel is thick and smooth, somewhat cloyingly sweet at first but drying more and more towards the end, over a big yet refined, oily, multi-layered maltiness. Spiciness, bitterness and intensity increase in the finish, where a strong bourbon presence takes the lead along with strong woody tannins, with a drying, even somewhat burning effect which can be felt from the tip of the tongue till deep in the throat; peppery hops are quite strong as well, and so is the remaining syrupy maltiness. The bourbon alcohol and the strong, coffeeish roasted bitterness keep struggling for dominance but remain matched. How sweet the onset may have been, the ending of this complex ale is bone dry. This is a powerful, demanding form of liquid gastronomy in which many things are happening at the same time. Still: this is, contrary to what I had expected, probably not quite the best stout I tasted so far - the alcohol burn is just a little bit too much over the top for me, the mouth and throat keep sticking a bit with the initial candied sugariness and it is, for this particular style, a bit overcarbonated. Nevertheless: hugely complex, hugely enjoyable, very impressive with a formidable balance between sweet and bitter, both present in their most ’compressed’ and intense form. Something to be reckoned with and enjoyed carefully, concentratedly - and sip by sip. Wow, what an experience... Big cheers to Maaike!
stoutnick (734) - Brisbane, AUSTRALIA - JAN 24, 2015
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: APR 8, 2015 Black with tan head foam. Aroma of bourbon, vanilla oak, brownie batter. Taste is bourbon forward, strong roast, oak alongside plenty of barrel tannins. Quite rich! Medium full palate. This didn’t blow me away like I thought it would but still enjoyed it. Maybe wouldn’t pay the same price next time though.
Iphonephan (4495) - McLean, Virginia, USA - JAN 23, 2015
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
From a 75 cl bottle. Pours black with a tan head. Aroma of prunes and dark. Berries. Flavors of bourbon, oak and vanilla. Velvety mouthfeel. Boozy finish. Superb.
bursprak (1378) - Aarhus, DENMARK - JAN 18, 2015
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle split 5 ways as part of Dangerous Bottleshare 5.0. Pitch black pour with a tiny tan head. Nose is bourbon forwarded but still with the ground coffee notes and light chocolate. Taste is super smooth, sweet notes from the barrel that blends perfectly with the bitter coffee notes. Super tasty stuff!
hombrepalo (1953) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 8, 2015
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bomber from a trade. Pitch black color. Aroma of molasses, coffee, chocolate, roasted malt, licorice, vanilla, oak, brown sugar, almost port wine like. Very complex aromas. Very full bodied with an almost oily thick texture and a flat carbonation. Moderated sweet malty flavor with light bitterness. Sweet thick warming bourbon like finish. Happy to have tried this but not nearly as good as GI Bourbon County Stout.
AWISLguy (1772) - Wisconsin, USA - DEC 31, 2014
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bomber from Woodmans in Waukesha, cellar aged 8 months. On Christmas night. Shared by many. Best one of the night. Best in a while, in Austin’s honor. The solid bittersweetness of the base beer - excellent in its own right - amplified with some tangy vanilla sweetness. Somehow the barrel aging added its smoothness, and was a definite plus. 17.8
WillRunForBeer (1432) - Massachusetts, USA - DEC 28, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2013 bottle, 750mL. Pours nearly black with a medium brown head. Aroma is dark chocolate, vanilla, spent coffee grinds, and whiskey. Flavor is dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla oak. Finishes strong whiskey.
Chalumeaux (385) - Methuen, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 28, 2014
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Poured from bottle dark chocolate color with minimal white head. Aromas of chocolate and smoky malt. Very smooth silky mouth feel with a nice taste of chocolate and vanilla. After taste is a nice warm lingering bourbon heat. This is a super beer.
Westmeister (2093) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - DEC 28, 2014
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Shared with the crew. On a night of many highlights, this was perhaps the best. Big beer, but came off very smooth for the ABV. Smooth coffiee, good bourbon, vanilla, bit of barrel, dark chocolate, roast. Super thick sipper, decadent.