willblake (2653) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - APR 25, 2004
2.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Bottle, 04.25.04. Pours thick looking and nearly black; medium brown head that lingers and coats with lace. Aromas are sweet, dark maple syrup, raisin, dried cherries, roadwork, rich, ripe wines. No alcohol on nose. Disappointingly, I get no feeling that I should be expecting an unctuous Baltic brew. Flavor seems to lose alot of the aroma's sweetness, but a burnt, slightly smokey edge takes its place. Wine-like tanins come into play across the middle of the flavor and palate. Palate is murky, dry, and somewhat muddled. Lots of raisin, including a tart finish. I wish there was a bit more sweetness to round this beer out at the end; still a pretty tasty brew even if it is dishevelled. (later) As the beer warms, an unpleasant, lingering astringency evolves from the tartness. However, the wine-like qualities of the nose and front really shine to make this, if nothing else, an interesting beer. Still, I am let down by this beer that I was really looking forward to tasting.
jercraigs (7921) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - APR 15, 2004
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JUL 24, 2006 July 2006 Bottle. Following Michigan Brewers Festival 2006. Bottle. Black body with a good sized creamy tan head. Very lightly roasty, sweet malty aroma. Sweet malty flavour has pleasant cocoa and fruit notes. Average palate is a touch thin but works. A nice Baltic porter. 6-7/4/7/3/15-16 - 3.5<P>
April 2004 Bottle. Dark not quite black ruby brown colour pours with a large effervescent tan head. Aroma is of alcoholic coffee with hint of chocolate. Flavour has mildy roasty quality to it with notes of sweet toffee. Body seems light at first sip but has a pleasant medium weight mouthfeel afterwards. Finish has slight bitter astringency to it. Alcohol is warming in the throat but not overwhelming on the tongue. 6/4/7/3/15 - 3.5
HighGravity (926) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - APR 13, 2004
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
(Best by 11/12/2004) I haven't had many Russian beers that I have like, but I am willing to try this moderately touted porter. The beer is appropriately dark with an excellent head and lace work. The nose hits me with a good does of licorice, chocolate, and coffee. The palate is medium with a slight roastiness that rounds the beer out nicely. The finish is like an ice coffee. Best Russian beer to date.
BearBrewer (86) - New York, east village, New York, USA - APR 13, 2004
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Really unique. Pours a thick black/brown. STRONG caramel, maltey nose, mostly caramel. Brown thick head. Sweet syrup, caramel, mollases flavor. You can definately taste the alcohol but not so much as to be off putting. Was surprised with this one considering how little I liked their ale.
badgerben (4478) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - APR 13, 2004
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAR 16, 2007 Black color with a medium head. Some sweet malt aroma bordering on the soy sauce range. Also something that is kind of like Lysol. Hmm... that Lysol kinda continues into the flavor. Sweet coffee and malt. Pretty tasty.
HopsOrDie (687) - New Lenox, Illinois, USA - APR 11, 2004
3.7 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark pour with a medium off tan head. Nose is yeast and banana with some smoked malt. Flavor is different from the smell and more like a typical porter with caramelly and smokey flavors. Very well balanced, and the alcohol is very well hidden. I can't believe it's 7%.
whaleman (2178) - North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 1, 2004
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark black beer with burgundy edges and a medium grayish tan head.
Great big malty nose of burnt caramel, roasted chicory, chocolate, rum raisin, and a hint of smoked meat. More rum raisin and smoked ham in the flavor. Nice subtle tanginess ties this together very well. Toasty caramel aftertaste lingers. This is great beer.
argo0 (11562) - Washington DC, USA - MAR 20, 2004
3.3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Black body topped by medium brown head. Aroma is light sweet, roasty, some anise. Taste is milk chocolate, roasty, some burnt, finishing with chocolate and some alcohol. Medium body. Overall, a nicely balanced beer.
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - MAR 17, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
wet milky notes get soaked up into the roasted barley atmosphere turning the air almost whiskey-like, in an irish way..this dark creature had a secret, a brilliant ruby undertone selectably visible to the brightest of youths...the tan head had a chocolate milk-like appearance, was thin in the middle, but wasn't afraid to climb the glass...campfire smoke on coffee grains leads to sweet chocolate flavors...slight iron aftertaste, and a thin yet not quite watery palate leave questions as to where the alcohol is...Yes indeed it is the unthick; but flavors are still abound, and for what its worth, i like it.
jtw (1101) - farmington, Michigan, USA - MAR 16, 2004
3.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
robust chocolatey, vinous aroma. medium frothy head. nice simple roasty flavor. seems a little thin on body, but i still enjoyed it!