StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 1, 2006
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Translucent and magnifying copper-red in color with ice shavings that span the circumference of the head. Fresh hop goodness in the nose. Disaronno, simcoe and rhubarb pump out an a-characteristic aroma, supported with porous cedar panels seeping in maple syrup that’s sliding down the wood, cherry-scented spruce potpourri and some pine resin as well. Flavor glides in and stutter steps, pulling out a set of original tricks. Brandy flambé and liqueur ignited crème brûlée. Building hop abrasions pressurize the palate. Amaretto toffee candies with rum raisin sweetening, eventually leading to farm stock of oats and honey. Surprisingly thick and oily on the palate with a bitter cacophony at first, and a heavy onset to smooth it out afterwards. Carbonation seems to vanish fairly early in each subsequent pour. Seemingly well-balanced, yet it tips the scale at several turns and always manages to stay afloat. Dry, socket tugging bitterness manifests prevalently in the finish, along with buttery hard toffee flavors. Definitely a unique take on the style, though I’m much more comfortable with thinking of this as an Imperial ESB.
gputty (456) - Virgina Beach, Virginia, USA - JAN 29, 2006
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
From 22oz. bottle. Pours a dark orange, frothy head, with great lacing. Nose has grapefruit, some malts and a little lemon. Flavor is of strong, grassy hops, that are well balanced with the malt. Not a personal favorite, but a well done beer.
Immy (1955) - Virginia Beach, USA - JAN 28, 2006
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Thanks to kms399 for this guy. Dark goldpour with an awesome white head. Sweet, candylike nose. Odd. Citrusy hop flavor, but with earthy undertones. VERY interesting!
MilkmanDan (1943) - Eagan, Minnesota, USA - JAN 27, 2006
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Deep red-orange, thin, long-lasting creamy film of a head. Nose bitter and spicy, some pine. Flavor less hoppy that expected or desired, has a big, bready maltiness, but the hops are a bit thin. Definite pine, a bit of citrus. Nice palate, quite thick and creamy, but just not hoppy. It’s an over-malted IIPA, if such a thing is possible.
TAR (2401) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - JAN 26, 2006
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Burnt gold. Caked-on pearly foam retains beautifully. Attractive bouquet of pinewood, jellied toast, juniper berries, and mandarin oranges. Light note of butterscotch. Bottle conditioned - quite soft and full as a result. Poignant hop bitterness immediately commences and never releases its tight grip. Rather multidimensional, though, as softer citrus notes unite with a flurry of fruity esters to deepen the brashness. Significant hop-derived acidity unfortunately appears at the center, but an ample dose of juicy and husky malts dispense a hefty burst of toast and glazed sweetness. Bushy hop flavors dwindle as a firm edge of pinewood rises to ignite a cooling juniper effect. Rose petals permeate the impeccably attenuated finish before chalky Ringwood textures remind you of its English influence by gently scrubbing the tongue. Tightly woven aftertaste of candied peaches swirled with a delicate drop of butterscotch. A bit too acidic, yes, but the hop nose is delightfully polished and fragrant, and the malts are sound in stance. Gotta love it…an English- themed hop monster with a full-on American twist. Another keeper from the Ringwood artists.
kms399 (267) - plymouth, Minnesota, USA - JAN 26, 2006
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
bottle. pours a nice ruby red with an orange tint to it. a thin white head some lacing aroma of citrusy hops and malt mabye even a little fruity. taste is very much the same but with a very creamy malty base. an excellent warm weather beer.
badnewsbeers (2316) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - JAN 25, 2006
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
this was some what of an unusual IIPA...pours dark amber with little head....aroma is unique, and is of cream and floral hops....some earth tones as well...flavor is very similar, but hops seem more citrus-like...definite hints of cream and somewhat soapy....nice palate, and an interesting IIPA
deadguy (42) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - JAN 25, 2006
3.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUN 9, 2006 Dark amber body, thin head and thin lacing. Nose of wet earth and a subtle pine. Subtle hop flavor lingers in the aftertaste, mildly floral flavored.
"Subtle" is the best word to describe this beer, not one flavor or characteristic that over powers. Everything kind of mingles to a earthy, hoppy malt. Wish it had a bit more of a kick with the hops.
I would have to say the best thing about this beer is lack of alcohol burn at such a high AVB.
Styles (2014) - Lincoln Park, Michigan, USA - JAN 24, 2006
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Oily dark copper with decemt white head. Aroma very has a very harsh bitterness. Lots of pine resin and musty hops. Flavor has a sweet malt kick initially, turns to the same harsh bitterness, again very musty hops. Can see where hopheads would enjoy this but, just doesn’t appeal to my tastebuds.
nolankowal (921) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - JAN 23, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: SEP 2, 2006 Sampled at the From the Vine tasting. Pungent aroma, similar to a tomato plant...very pleasant. Overbearing vegitable and pine flavor doesn’t let go which in the end it just doesn’t seem to be balanced out.
09/02/06 - trying this one out again...the pour is really nice...hazy dorty orange with a soft light tan head. Aroma holds some fresh hoppy elements: pine, grass and citrus all seem to be present...some pineapple and some light bready malt...a bit of smoke. The flavor holds a good bit of the grass and grapefruit as well as the tropical fruit...a bit of vanilla and dry malt...the hops certainly overcome the malt making the brew more fresh and crisp rather than rich and sweet. Decent body the holds a crisp bitterness from beginning to the dry, warming, bitter finish. The carbonation is nice as well, making itself known without being too brash. The malt presense seems to come out a bit more as it warms but not too much more. Overall, a lot nicer than I recall...a lot of west coast qualities in a brew from the mid-west...and that’s gotta stand for somethin.