DYCSoccer17 (3620) - Woodland, California, USA - APR 1, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
750mL bottle purchased at BevMo in Vacaville, CA. Very pleasant aroma with lots of roasted and chocolate malts in the nose. Lightly metallic, lightly sweet. Quaffable and pleasant. Mostly opaque mahogany body with a nice, creamy khaki head that leaves good lacing and is pretty strong. Creamy, slightly sweet start. Has some chocolate notes and a ton of good roastiness in the middle. Very tasty and roasted. Finishes with just a bit of astringency and a bit of belgian estery flavors. Very drinkable and impressive.
bhensonb (13975) - Woodland, California, USA - MAR 31, 2008
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Corked and caged 750 ml bottle from BevMo. Interesting slightly sour aroma with dark toasted malt; perhaps a chocolate piece. Very black color with a decent tan head that laced a little. Surprising fresh and fruity flavor (with a tad of sour) over very dark malt. Itís rather full bodied and coarsely creamy in carbonation. The flavor is complex; seems to have bits of everything dark. The finish is pretty dry, and there seems to be floral hop. It is just exceptionally tasty. Smooth. Donít miss this.
Vac (2445) - San Diego, California, USA - MAR 31, 2008
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Sampled at the North Park Belgian Beer Party at my house on 3-29-08. Pours with a dark brown to black body topped by a medium thick, off-white head with some lacing. Itís slightly sweet yet malty with a tough of bittersweet chocolate. Full bodied and tingly on the tongue.
padrefan98 (854) - (San Diego) Santee, California, USA - MAR 31, 2008
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Sample tasted at "Spring in the new year with brett" at fordests house. No brett in this one obviously, but a nice break. Was ok.
StefanSD (2352) - Ouray, Colorado, USA - MAR 30, 2008
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Tasting, courtesy of Fordestís event. Beer #7. This was a transition beer away from the lambics. And in that capacity it failed. The sours had pretty well taken over our palates by then. Poured a black color with a creamy beige head. The aroma was light and understated with roasted malts and some yeast. The flavor had burnt malts and spices laced with a funky Belgian yeast. "Guinnessís on crack" is how toncatcher described it at the tasting, and I donít disagree. Overall; an interesting, but not a great, brew.
brewblackhole (1588) - Muskego, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 30, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Aroma is molassas and burnt caramel heavy at first,roastedness and bakers chocolate trail behind and followed at last by some hop spiceness. Taste is initialy sweet,like a old fashioned chocolate soda with not enough chocolate and a little to much seltzer,this slowly becomes dominated by hop and choclate bitterenss and this becomes the major player the rest of the way. Has slight carbonic bite, alcohol not really noticeable, oatmeal didnít get the job done in smoothing this out. Points for being a little different and enjoyable
wetherel (1863) - Cupertino, California, USA - MAR 30, 2008
2.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Tried at Fordestís tasting. Dark brown color. Big cork pop, but not over carbonated. Small head. Dry roasty, slightly sour aroma. I donít think Iím going to like it from the smell, but I prefer sweeter beers. Taste is ashy, kind of like burnt cigarette butts.
jhumphries69 (1034) - Tyrone, Georgia, USA - MAR 28, 2008
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
750ml caged&corked bottle. Pours a dark brown (almost black) that isnít quite opaque - it has ruby and deep brown highlights in the light. The foam pours up light tan and very thick and pillowy. It slowly fades to next to nothing. The aroma has lots of funky esters - pungent cherry, hints of sarsaparilla. The smell of alcohol is strong considering the beer is less than 8% abv. There are also roasty -almost meaty- notes, too. The flavor starts rich and roasty. It has almost ashen notes of roast that fade with each sip until it instead resembles a slight peppery mustiness combined with coffee. There is also a very pleasant residual sweetness that balances the bitter roasted grains nicely - like mildly sweetened coffee or dark/semi-sweet chocolate. By mid-palate, the esters come into play - funky fruit, hints of bubbles gum. All the while there is a nice dark roasted grain character - grainy yet espresso-smooth. The finish is surprisingly dry with a nice, earthy hop bitterness - and more roast with hints of burnt toast. The mouthfeel is very nice - silky and luxurious but at the same time vigorously carbonated. Overall - wow, a great stout!
WeeHeavySD (3379) - Portland, Oregon, USA - MAR 28, 2008
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
So after trading for this, it comes to San Diego, what gives? Its life I guess. I found this bottle at the mission valley Bev Mo. Pours black with a 2 finger tan head. Nose is malty and sweet and smokey with a bit of a burnt coffee feeling. Taste is very much a roasted coffee feeling, with some burnt chocolate malt in there as well. Its pretty interesting, I donít know what to call this for style, its decent but a bit too one dimensional for me. Sadly a dissapointment from a Brewery who usually does no wrong.
FlacoAlto (4139) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAR 27, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours with a frothy, initially three-finger thick, dirty, brown-tinged, tan colored head that slowly collapses into a dense, varied surface terrain. The beer is a deep, burnt, concentrated amber color (almost, but not quite black color). While mostly opaque, if held up to the light, flashes of ruby can be seen at times. The aroma is quite roast dominated; aromatic notes of chocolate, charcoal, deeply toasted malt and even blackened whole-grain bread crust aromas. A deep inspection of the nose yields notes of phenolic driven peat-smoke, burnt prunes and burnt wine notes too. An interesting aroma, mostly roast dominated, but one gets hints of yeast character (fruit & phenolic notes), though these are fairly subtle at times. After my second pour the nose starts to pick up some spicy aromatic notes that remind me faintly of cardamom & ginger.
Sweeter than I was expecting up front, though not overly so; this accentuates a flavor of sweet plums up front just before the roast character kicks in and washes over the palate. The beer finishes with roast driven flavors of salty-smoky peat, a roasted acidity, flavors of burnt cocoa, a roasted bitterness and a substantial, darkly toasted grain not that lingers on in the palate. The long finish also gets a touch phenolic with just a hint of warming alcohol to it as well. Up front flavors of cocoa combine with the fruit flavors (raisin notes are here too). The body is on the light side for a beer of this strength, though it is not down right thin like some super-attenuated Belgian beers are, instead this has a mild heft to it that seems to allow the smoky, cocoa & toasted notes to cling to the palate.
As the beer warms up (60+įF / 15.6įC) the fruit notes become a touch more noticeable, though not any sweeter, and the roast character becomes much more rounded and rich tasting. It really starts to open up and the yeast character becomes much more evident; there is nothing quite new, but the plum notes begin to pick up a bit of tartness and spicy notes of pepper & clove are added to the previously noticed, but now accented spice flavors. The spice & phenolic notes begin to mix quite interestingly with the roast character towards the end of my second glass.
An interesting beer, the dark malt at times can overwhelm the softer yeast character, but I have a feeling that it contributes more than one might expect (probably adds to the smokiness of this brew). On the other hand I was feeling like a roasty stout this evening, and this most definitely fits the bill (with a little added complexity & lighter body than one would typically find in one). As the beer warmed it becomes more complex, which definitely helps my enjoyment.