TChrome (1448) - Bedford, Texas, USA - AUG 13, 2004
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Beautiful mahogoney color with an initially thick light brown head. The head is quickly consumed, Iím assuming by the massive ABV. Aroma is thick, rich, and intoxicating. There is a lot of complexity here: tons of dark fruit, figs, raisins, lots of candy sugar, and rubbing alcohol, though it is not obtrusive. Flavor is to me, highly delicous. Lots of high sugar flavors, candy sugar, some raisin and prune. Again the alcohol is there, but IMO, highly restrained for this ABV. Must be very careful with this one, my precious, yes very careful. Incredible brew. Two more in cellar for years to come.
krisbierjaeger (844) - dolores, Colorado, USA - AUG 12, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: AUG 22, 2008 last spring i actually got to share a few beers with adam avery, who told me tons of amazing things about the preparation of this monstrous libation and the cunning little messages concealed within both the packaging, and within the hypnotic formula of the beer itself. iíd love to share a few of them, but damned if i can remember even one. what i know is that this beer is a fusion: a beer/liqueur crossover. in rating a beer, we typically employ illustrative language: "diScriptors", to grapple with flavor likenesses that the brewer has achieved with the simple ingredients of brewing. when we say a beer tastes like peat or pine or piss or leather, usually, those things arenít really in the beer, it just SEEMS like they are. here, for the most part, the beast smells and tastes exactly like what adam literally put into it: raisins, dates, molasses, turbinado, honey, and ass-kicking proportions of biting hops and eloquent malts and enough yeast in a controlled environment to make alcohol faster than olí belzebubís appalachian still. yet these things have coalesced into a sum greater than the constituent parts: itís the most port-like non-port beverage iíve ever tasted. for a scotch drinker, this drink may be overly sugary and even mild. to a beer drinker, used to our 7 and 8 ABVs, the alcohol swings over the goblet like a ghostly ball bat, knocking our senses a little more askew with each sip-- yet we step up again and again willingly to be pummeled by the delicious fullness of sensory engagement. the gorgeous aroma has wonderful smoky aspects, the blackened mesquite satan himself uses in his barbeque-- when heís cooking to entice the celebrities. itís like cane sugar resin rode in oak casks with burgandy and bourbon ítill singed by the fires of hell-- it only became denser and more complicated. the label features huge white teeth-- teeth so sharp, you wonít feel them sinking in, yet the damage will be instantaneous. the label also erroneously suggests a malevolent entity-- yet this beast comes and beguiles in the form of warmth and familiarity. true, it fucks with your mind, but this is a gentle beast-- think puff the magic dragon-- he doesnít ask you to fly planes into buildings, he asks that you love and play, laugh at life, and let the gentle rhythms of nature wash over you-- just like this alcohol is fixiní to do-- with a holy vengeance.
heykevin (1281) - Decorah, Iowa, USA - AUG 9, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thanks to MilkManDan for providing this treat. Deep, dark brown. Surprisingly non alcoholic aroma. Rich and sweet smelling, with loads of noble hops. Flavor is rich, quite sweet, with some serious alcohol flavor, but its not too much. Glorious swirling noble hop flavors. Iíve never tasted a beer that has such a full, rich noble hop flavor, theyíre quite sexy. I really like this.
Cobra (1100) - - AUG 6, 2004
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: OCT 17, 2004 I think this is only my second perfect beer in rating them for over 2 years now. (I was keeping notes long before I joined this site.)
22 oz. brown bomber bottle, with a red foil seal over the crown.
No freshness date seen, but none needed either at 15.7% ABV.
WOW ! What a whopper of a beer! Poured out a deep burgundy / mahogany color into my Chimay chalice. (What else would you serve a Grand Cru in?!!!?) Extremely red in color around the edges.
The head was a dark tan color, and lasted until the bottom of the glass. Itís a miracle they even got a head out of a beer this big.
Aromas are of rum soaked dark fruits, prunes, raisins, dates and the like. Big hop aromas along with fresh malts. It smells like fresh ground malt in here. Molasses, dark brown sugar, and Belgian candi sugars round out the aromas. And, they are only the beginning of the flavors. Big, chewy malts here, along with the rum soaked fruits and the big hops make for an interesting combination.
Iíve only had 2 or 3 sips, and I can already feel the alcohol kicking in. Funny thing is, thereís none in the flavors or tastes. It sneaks up on you, and literally takes your breath away. Iíve never had a beer do that until now. Thick, rich, chewy even in mouthfeel. This is most certainly a meal in a glass. Finishes rich and caramelly.
One whizz bang of a beer here gang! Get some, IF YOU CAN. Does this beer deserve such a high score? Damn right it does. Itís THAT good.
2004 Batch Update (18.1% ABV)
Well, let's see what this monster of a beer is all about, ok? Poured out a deep garnet color, with a huge head, once I used my beer engine on it. Aromas are mostly of alcohol, some macerated cherries & dark dried fruit as well. Tastes are of pipe tobacco, damp earthy basement, aged sweet potatoes, higher alcohols, lots of fusels, slightly dry oak barrelled brandy, some vanilla notes, lots of sugars, but not regular or Belgian Candi sugars, more like demera or palm sugars, and a slight smokiness to it as well. Very warming to the stomach, almost too much so. This beast is meant to be sipped slowly and savored, not gulped down for a fast buzz. It does need to be aged until Christmas. Christmas 2015, that is.
Brodie (540) - Boone, North Carolina, USA - AUG 5, 2004
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Aroma of caramel, malt, ripe apples, bananas and grapes, alcohol, and mild phenols. Ruby amber color, thin tan head. Smooth and malty, sweet, complex alcohol flavors. Full bodied, syrupy, low carbonation. This is a sippiní beer, very full, rich, and alcoholic. Would be good with a cigar. I had one 22 oz bottle and it hurt me in the morning.
ClarkVV (5138) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - AUG 4, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: AUG 8, 2004 2004 bottle. Pours a dark maroon-brownish tan. Big tan head, thick and aromatic. Lots of plums, candi sugar, alcohol, earthy hops and yeast. Big aroma that is fruity, estery and fills your nose. Though I couldnt get past the over-the-top nature of The Czar, I could handle this stuff. Drinking it warmed proved to let out the alcohol, but it seemed almost controlled by the huge malt, but also the big yeasty flavor and well-timed bitter hops balance. Palate, while being hugely bitter, alcoholic and sweet, is just superbly smooth and washes down with a soft, slow burn. Hints of banana and bubble gum on the finish, warm and vinous with tons of sugar. Hey, you canít fault the flavor, and I even think this one is going to improve after a year. I never thought it possible with the Czar, but it proved me wrong, so why canít this one?
YourDarkLord (1800) - Urbana, Illinois, USA - AUG 4, 2004
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: SEP 23, 2004 Just had the new 18.1% Beast. Awesome. Pours a deep ruby/copper. Complex and intense aroma of fruit and syrups and hops. Just a power-packed nose. Feels warm and smooth and slightly syrupy in the mouth. Gives that esophogeal warmth as it heads down to the stomach. The flavor is sweet and fruity, with the heat of distilled spirits. This is excellent and something to cellar and age.
15.7% VERSION: The Beast. My first car was a 1957 Ford Failrlane 500 with a big T-Bird engine. On the front fender, just back of the headlight, I applied the name The Beast. It was forever known as that among my cronies. And now, Avery The Beast. This poured a cherrywood color with a beige head. The aroma was fruity and spicy and, hmm, gingerbread. Syrupy, rich, and creamy feel in the mouth. The flavor was also fruity and spicy and that touch of gingerbread. Molasses. Rich and full. Worthy of the name The Beast. Thanks, Chris (belgianhomebrew), for this trade. Much enjoyed.
Kinz (3671) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - AUG 1, 2004
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
Big thanks to squidget for sending this my way! I tend to enjoy Avery offerings, and was happy to have the chance to sample this unique beer. Dark copper red color, decent head that faded fast. Aroma was molasses touched with jet fuel. In the mouth, thick, syrupy molasses competed with a strong woodsy note. But the predominant flavor was a fusel alcohol note. This was a nitro burning funny-car of a beer. I donít mind big alcohol, but this wasnít smooth. It flamed like the beast it was named for. These arenít flavors that die back with age, these are flavors that grow more violent over time as the supporting aromatics fade. A fasicnating beer whose alcohol content was pumped up too far by brewing sugars versus malts. Would still like to try another bottle in about 10 years to see if my prediction about flavors holds true.
Nuffield (3953) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - JUL 27, 2004
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Moderate, curiously off-white head on a clear red/amber body. The first cold aroma: vanilla cinnamon ice cream. But then there was lots more: cotton candy, blueberry, grape, raisin, cocoa, vanilla extract (made with vodka). Of the flavors, the burn at the back was the biggest thing. Rich and malty, for sure, but it was difficult to get flavors through the burn. Substantially carbonated, warming on the mouth with the alcohol, good coating effect but not truly syrupy--really nice palate effects. Overall: the alcohol loses a point on the flavor that was gained on the palate, making the high alcohol effects a wash.
Probiere (992) - Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 27, 2004
2.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Okay, look to your left. See the picture of the bottle? Anyone else think that the RateBeer sigil gives the Beast a funny-lookiní mustache? Smell: alcohol, mint, almonds, alcohol, wood. Taste: way too alcoholic, syrupy sweet, nutty, caramel biscuits, but over all this, lots and lots of BURN. For some reason this reminded me of amaretto and woodruff in the main, but there is a wierd mashing together of flavors that doesn't entirely thrill me. Thanks to Dave--now I know I need to cellar my bottle!