Aubrey (3356) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - APR 11, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark brown in the shadows; bright, ruby-red in front of a light. Light beige, creamy head; thin layer is lasting. Fresh, malty nose. Creamy-chewy texture is really nice. Rather malty-sweet and a little nutty-woody. Some chocolate as well. Malt flavors were stimulating. Hops chimed right in and seemed to keep up, though they never really hogged the stage. Mild smoke flavors, which I was happy about (not the biggest smoke fan here). Overall, intense fo' sure, but very drinkable and pleasant.
FlacoAlto (3676) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - APR 3, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a clear garnet color, that is quite beautiful & charming. It is topped by a creamy light brown head. Wafting from my glass are deep sweet malt aromas up front, and a finish that has a hint of roast malt character. There are some nice fruity unexpected notes, as well as a hint of alcohol in the nose. The taste is thickish, malty, and creamy. This beer has a nice body to it. There are some deep caramelized malt flavors accompanied by a fruitiness that is reminiscent of figs and raisins. This is pretty well integrated. Perhaps there is a bit of astringent alcohol in the finish, but you really can't complain much given the wonderful malt complexity and hint of roast character that is found in this beer. This is a great beer that is smooth and calming on this cold (at least for AZ) rainy night.
If I were to think about how highly touted this beer was I might be a bit disappointed, but this is just too enjoyable right now to even think of that. This beer is all about the malt, quite refreshing from a premium American brewery. With AleSmith's wonderful ESB, it gives me faith that the over-hopping of America is not necessarily a way of life. Some bastions of reasonability and malt still stand. Just beautiful, stylistically this beer is just so on.
bu11zeye (11740) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - APR 2, 2004
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
(Bottle) Pours deep mahogany color with a thin head. Has an alcohol and vanilla aroma. Flavor is mostly dominated by alcohol with some hints malt and chocolate.
whaleman (2178) - North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 1, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Slightly viscous bronze body with a silky light tan head, delicate carbonation, and a heavy sheet of lace. Fruity malt aroma of raisins and cherries and some light roastiness. Vanilla and molasses elements come to the fore as it warms. Great roasty smoke and chocolate flavor plus some leather and maple syrup. Big malty body. I love this style and this beer in particular. Another stroke of genius from AleSmith. Thanks BigBastard!
Nuffield (3541) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - MAR 30, 2004
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
A very aproachable aroma with so many elements--wood, vanilla, rum?, and more. Slightly medicinal flavor but a good balance comes through. I loved the particular combinations of malts and big hops. Good red-brown color. An interesting and rewarding beer.
3fourths (7521) - Boulder, Oregon, USA - MAR 29, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAR 31, 2009 Aroma of scotch, malts, vanilla and bread. Sharp pine, other woods and some sweet plums in the flavor. Finishes with some sweet grass and scotch. Sharp alcohol everywhere. Dark brown appearance... overall it seemed too harsh but still very good.
adwoan99 (244) - Ft. Worth, Texas, USA - MAR 28, 2004
3.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Some whiskey notes in the flavour, nice & strong. Tasty, but not much aroma. Mostly woody and vanilla in the nose. Flavour is very strong, alcohol is noticeable, but not harsh.
BückDich (5464) - McCall, Idaho, USA - MAR 14, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Dark dark ruby mahogany color with a light oily cream head and spottings of lacing. The aroma is full of molasses and some fruits like dark grapes and fig, some malty chocolatey notes as well. The flavor has a fair bite of alcohol and hops with some good ol' fashioned maltiness. The finish is very balanced and the mouthfeel is light with lots of alcohol.
Sham (1845) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAR 14, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark mahogany pour, little head, and spotty lacing. Caramel in the nose, some roasted malts, hops, maybe some wood, grapes and alcohol. Roasted malts, toffee, chocolate, some notes of molasses, and alcohol. Hops hang around in there as well. Big and chewy. Sharp alcohol finish. Very nice.
Suttree (4736) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - MAR 14, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAR 16, 2004 Thanks to slikwily for the trade. Blackish Brown, tan head. Aroma of apples, pears, chocolate, and pine. Full and rich on the tongue. Flavors of coffee, walnuts, smoke, chocolate, and a hint of blueberry, maybe. Finishes with a slight alcohol burn and some oaky, woodsy flavors. Very tasty brew!