TAR (2499) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - JAN 29, 2003
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: JUN 18, 2005 Caramel color. Dirty white, sticky, whipped foam. Boisterous, balanced aroma chock full of pine cone, spruce, hop oils, and caramel. Underlying notes of fresh soil, shades of spicy hops, figs, floral tones, sweet red apple, and a kiss of phenols. Alcoholic vapors are its only detraction. Mind boggling soft, oily, and chewy palate. Astonishing manifold of flavors and complexity: The initial flavors exert tamed hop flavors, which quickly turn to pine sap. Complex finish with lemon zest, rich, gooey caramel, and piney goodness. So marvelously balanced, it’s hardly imagineable. Hop belches yield plethoras of piney goodness for hours. A thorough beauty in her creation. Easily one of the most complex IPA’s I have tasted. Summer release is much more subdued and lacking the thick caramel richness of the Skip V. version, which was also more sappy/piney and much more aromatic. More like a beefier IPA than a Double, ala Midnight Cohoho and Smutty Big A. All in all, still quite good and what a wonderful bottle-conditioned mouthfeel.
Schroppfy (2360) - Łódż, Warsaw, Poland; Michigan, Ohio, USA - JAN 25, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Somewhere on the vague continuum between Stone's IPA (an IPA) and Dreadnaught IPA (an American Strong) lies this beauty of a beer. It will absolutely ruin your palate in it's excesses. Incredibly piney hop blast coupled with powerful sweetness from the malt just is beyond the pale. In a good way. Thick and cloudy and with a deep yeasty component as well. Wow! Thanks to Marc for this one!
mwsf (360) - San Francisco, California, USA - JAN 18, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Damn, this is one hell of a hoppy beer! Full hop blast in aroma, flavor, and bitterness. Big citric C-hop presence with a nice earthiness in the middle. Strong malt presence that attempts to back up the hop assault but fails to provide the backbone that this level of alpha acids needs. Dare I say unbalanced? And I'm a hophead! Still, quite a tasty beer.
BeerLimey (2154) - California, USA - JAN 13, 2003
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Clouded (bottle conditioned) orangey amber, moderate head formation. Aromas of fresh tangerine, accompanied by pineapple and pink grapefruit. Gains a little spice as it opens up. Sweet medley of fruit juices on the palate with tangerine and apricot most prominent, like a tropical breakfast juice blend. Makes a great forerunner to the hoppy citiric grapefruit in the second half.
baobubba (455) - Starkville, Mississippi, USA - JAN 10, 2003
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Serious resin aroma (cedar, pine, little citrus), little grass, sweetened by caramel. Sweet flavor with a nice bitterness. Good and somewhat unique.
igneous1 (1498) - Davenport, Iowa, USA - JAN 8, 2003
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
2002...very much a copper color (little lighter than the lost coast i just tried), but i wouldnt call this IPA ’clear’. head is not light beige and creamy and not to thick, but what is there lingers and leaves some great sheeting. aroma is initially pure pine, but as it warms the malty sweet notes come through along with some citrus. flavor is big on grapefruit qualities with a very strong bitter finish and aftertaste..develops an oh so slight metallic quality in the finish as it warms and the nose develops a buttery caramel sweetness. this is probably one of the most complex IPAs i"ve tried. thanks to SpaceMonkey for this gem!
Marc (486) - Yokosuka, JAPAN - JAN 2, 2003
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Standard west coast hops in the nose of this one. Oily medium head that left tons of laceing. Creamy, resinous, and so very thick. Creamed citrus and pine with a gooy sweet malt backbone that keeps it from falling over itself. Notes of Cherry pie (?!) and pie crusty malts, and a long bitter finish.
JCW (1274) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - DEC 23, 2002
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAY 4, 2005 Cloudy and the color of cider, and it really does have a thick head. Big citrus aroma. Warm, creamy feel, with a citrus taste. I really like this beer. It’s a good reason to look forward to the Yule season. Hoppyholidays, Thanks Herbjones!
lowner (19) - astoria, New York, USA - DEC 20, 2002
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: OCT 30, 2003 2003: Version
Just got a case from Alesmith (Thanks Bill!!!). Very different than last year. While this version is a lot more maltier than last years it still has the creamy, smooth (ESB style yeast, small bubbles, nice hop flavor and aroma(!!!). While I found last years to be unlike any double IPA I've ever had this years version is closer to its competitors.........but better. A top, top beer. Plus it was the closest I've ever tasted a bottled beer to taste like a PERFECTLY drawn real ale!!!!
This is a very unique beer. It has the definite qualities of Alesmith that I adore: unbelievably smooth, very creamy, very quaffable. The Hops are very tastefully done. They're are a lot of hops but they are recessed almost enough to hide them. The malt is difficult to taste. This is not like a Rogue I2PA or Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA where the malt is sweet with hops ta boot. This beer almost seems to be trying to hide that it is a double IPA and when you combine the fact that it is creamy, smooth, and quaffable it makes it the session beer of Double IPA's.
Crit (3350) - Surrey, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 16, 2002
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: APR 26, 2009 Light brown,lasting off white head.Piney nose. Light smooth malt foretaste finishing with huge hops.