temporrari (373) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - MAY 11, 2004
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: FEB 10, 2009 Well I wanted this to be 100, but Iím gonna go ahead and rate it. Bottle # 87. Thanks to jonwell. Pours black with a small brown head. The aroma is fantastic. Just a hint of bourbon, a bit of chocolate and coffee, and just a small touch of alcohol. Flavor is explosive, but very balanced. Oak, some alcohol, perhaps vanilla, cocoa, with coffee dominating the finish. Silky smooth and creamy on the palate. The aftertaste was marvelous and seemed to last forever. This was superb in every way.
7/30/07 I probably overrated this a bit when I had it. I know itís a good beer, the plain version is terrific. But Iíve grown to not care for oak aging so much... and so I likely wouldnít give it quite this high of a score today. BUT, not much I can do to change it since itís very probable that I wonít taste this ever again. So Iím leaving it, with this note.
jsquire (2957) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - MAY 11, 2004
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Black beer with a nice brown head that dissapated to an oil slick and left nice lace. Wonderful, almost hypnotic aroma of buttery caramel and toffee sweetness. Perceptable alcohol but not obtrusive. Lots of coffee in the beer, which I expected from the Speedway, but sweetened with toffee and spiked with bourbon. Some red wine tanins up front with bourbon barrel in the middle with beautiful coffee in the finish. Such creamy mouthfeel. I did not want to like this beer as much as I did. Thanks a ton to temporrari for sharing his bottle with me.
iwantalambic (1478) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - MAY 5, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
750 mL bottle [#6 of 115, capped]: completely still jet black silk melts from the bottle. An opaque gold rim lines the top. Deep creamy vanilla bean pod aroma, sweet oaky wood with the smallest hint of Irish malt whiskey, dark cherries, and peppermint combine in the aroma. Cream, almost milky palate . . . I must be honest, I was expecting a more silky, tightly carbonated palate from the top beer, though this was good in its own way, however still. Flavours start with dark roasted coffee-alcohol and melt into black chocolate truffles, bitter raisins, burnt gooey honey, and tangy cherries. This is a great beer, made by an ever greater brewer(y), and though we did everything possible to keep the bottle perfect (temperature controlled cellar 55 degrees) it does not deserve to be the best beer in the world, a title I feel only monks should be responsible for . . .
Jokes (1453) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 3, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle #6 of 115, shared with iwantalambic. Thick, viscous pour that produced exactly three bubbles, despite the decidedly aggresive pour. Big roasted coffee aroma with combined elements of cocoa powder, anise, vanilla, oak, bourbon, and subtle hoppiness. The body is thick and rounded, but could really use some carbonation to help move everything along and give the tongue even something more. The flavors are nice and really show that this has not been barrel-aged for too long. The coffee, chocolate, bourbon and vanilla meshed well, though I yearn for a bit of vinous character and a touch more hops. Ultimately, I am not disappointed by this beer, but I also never thought it could be the best in the world. It is very nice that the aging was not over done, but it really needs *some* carbonation and a hint of fruit to even consider being the best in the world. I love AleSmith beers and the people have been very nice both times I was there, so I mean no disrespect, but lets bring back Westvleteren to the top.
DrunkAsASkunk (847) - Lynnwood, Washington, USA - FEB 28, 2004
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
This beer was sampled at the San Diego Strong Ale Festival, bottle #20 of 115. Oh my god....oh my god... I have seen the dark and it is good. I bow to thee...I kneel to thee oh great bearer of this bountiful substance. It pours a vile blackened thing with little head..of what is there orangey froth clings to glass. The aroma is that of bourbon, coffee and thick enchanting chocolates. The beer is bold and syrupy...a coffee lovers paradise. Wonderful mouth tingling choco-malts...hardly ANY alcohol presence..but a slight sense of aged woodiness. This could potentially rival the top beer on my list.
dberger624 (1028) - Phila, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 22, 2004
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Had this with Probiere and JF-Grind at the RB gathering in Philly. This beer was fantastic. Bourbon, coffee, and alcohol worked perfectly together. Dark ad night on the poor.
JFGrind (1715) - Glenside, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 12, 2004
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Amazing coffee-malt-bourbon aroma comes from this oily black stout. Complex flavor mask the high alcohol content perfectly. I've never had a beer so well blended, aftertaste of coffee/bourbon works perfectly together. Thanks to egajdis for bringing this bottle to the RB Philly Gathering.
Probiere (992) - Iowa, USA - FEB 8, 2004
4.3 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Very dark chocolate, vanilla esters, caramel, and almond. Big, oily mouthfeel with dark-roasted malts and caramel. Too much alcohol in the finish and aftertaste. Still very tasty, though. I'm glad I didn't have to finish a bomber of this....it would eff me up but good! Many thanks to Eric for sharing his bottle! Had at RB Philly gathering February 2004.
wavesofgrain (2) - California, USA - FEB 3, 2004 does not count
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Black pour with a brown head. Tastes like a shot of coffee and vodka combined...what a lovely combination! Reminds me of an alcoholic version of my favorite coffee beverage. I also noticed some woody flavors which really brought out the complexity of this beer.
Silphium (2972) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - FEB 2, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle #67/115. John (hopsrus) was generous enough to share this beauty with Jeff (TAR) and myself. Perfect appearance, opaque and dark with a creamy light tan head. Wood and bourbon are strong in the aroma along with alcohol and underlying roasted dry chocolate. Flavor is also heavily influenced by the barrel aging, with bourbon and wood character finishing with a creamy, buttery coffee and roasted chocolate malt medley. Smooth and velvety palate; this is not a sticky Imperial, but it is smooth as silk. I can understand why this is currently the top-rated beer on the site, though I would be interested to taste this (2002) batch without the effect of barrel aging and the bourbon flavors aging imparts.