BBB63 (5601) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - MAR 22, 2008
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle shared with the Thursday night crew at Redlight in Orlando (bought at Greens in Atlanta):
Cloudy brown with reddish highlights, small head and some lace. The aroma has notes of funk, cheese, white wine vinegar, wood, pepper, anise, plum and hint of bakers chocolate vapours. The taste is spicy and lined with rich fruit tones over a base of earthy yeast and oak barrel. The finish is more acidic with a grape twang and dry mocha chalky undertone. The mouth feel is is smooth and warming with a bite around the edges, very dry chalky finish. Surprisingly good in a weird way, still not sure if worth the price however.
JMFG (1585) - Florida, USA - MAR 16, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Courtesy BBB63. Poured a dark chestnut color with a thin white head. Sweet sugarcane, apricot, molasses, some spice. Taste not as sweet as the aroma, kind of just a general dark fruit sweetness, with some alcohol in the finish, but still mild for a 10% brew. Another interesting Italian brew.
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - MAR 14, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Courtesy BBB63. Pours a cloudy, dark chocolate brown color. A minimal, swirly tan film crowns the top. Sudsy, spotty lacing noted. The nose was a little funky for a barleywine. Familiar notes of chocolate and caramel were present, though soft, and were accompanied by tobacco, dark fruit, and red grapes. A slight vinous quality in the aroma hints at oak barrel aging, perhaps. Flavors were similar, along the lines of a malty barleywine with tannic red grape qualities. Smooth and well blended, but lacking real punch, this is a subtle, delicate example of the style. Medium-full bodied with a sweet caramel finish. This one was very enjoyable.
DragonStout (1408) - Pickerington, Ohio, USA - MAR 14, 2008
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Thanx to BBB63 for sharing this. This was strange. The nose was funky, grapes and moldy cheese?Poured black with a thin lace of a head. The flavor was better. A nice subtle hint of grapes and a small presence of alcohol with a small bite. This finished with a nice warming going down.
tyler_mn (1475) - SLP, Minnesota, USA - JAN 14, 2008
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
750ml colbalt blue bottle. Hmmm... This one is quite interesting. Rich brown, thick, damn near black pour. Accented by... Nah. Just thick opaque brown with a rich, creamy khaki head. A very nice looking pour actually. Spices, wine tannin, wood tannin, chocolate malt and alcohol on the nose. Quite unique and unlike any barleywine I’ve ever nosed. Tart grenache skin interwoven well with cocoa malt on the palate. Dried fruit, new oak, bitter chocolate. Acidic and tart but far from bracing. Full bodied with the fusel alcohol distracting from the overall essence a bit. I think this will be one killer beer in a year or so. As it stands now, there’s plenty of potential.
boboski (1095) - Alabama, USA - JAN 9, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
The pour appears flat, but a soft film of tan carbonation pokes its head out briefly. The body is dense, not opaque, and very dark chocolate brown with violet hues outlying. This appears well-suited for mulling or chilled consumption, or anywhere in between. Molasses and smoke lead a grapeskin parade that is riddled with woodiness and bittersweet cocoa. Caramel, dried figs, strawberry and black cherry notes peek through. Tobacco, vanilla, charred grains and wine acids seep through next. The remainder is tumultuous, a nutty expedition weaving inward to a dark fruity core. this has loads of personality, seems suitably spiced and above all else is enjoyably unique - the last of which is a trait I am beginning to readily associate with the new breed of wildly experimental Italian brewers - my heart is stolen away once again. Alcohol is readily available but seems aligned with the intentions of the aroma and is therefore not troubling. The flavor is a dynamic cross-section of vinous cultures and wood-infused chocolate with gargantuan caramel and bittered undercurrents. The sweetness level is high and the mouthfeel is sticky but this doesn’t reach cloying levels due to hearty underlying acidity and pleasing bitterness. Experimentation here is a success, the palate soothed by full body and velvety low carbonation. The finish is medium-dry, sticky, sweet and chocolatey. Incredibly enjoyable and one-of-a-kind.
CheesedMan (554) - Saint Cloud, Florida, USA - JAN 9, 2008
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours an insanely dark brown, with such a small head I wonder if there is any carbonation at all. The aroma is a fiesta of dark fruit, cedar, light cigar tobacco, a slight cola note, some figs and the malt. The flavor is as complex and intriguing as the aroma. A roasted component comes through here, with a slight chocolate note and a slight, but harmonizing acidity. I really need more of this one.
SSSteve (3550) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - DEC 21, 2007
3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
murky brown with no head. looks like swamp water. opaque. musty, basement funk, grapes, hint of chocolate aroma. flavor is winey, powdery, grapes, cocoa, alcohol. palate is dry and chalky.
Rastacouere (6103) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 7, 2007
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: APR 22, 2009 Now that is something special. Catherine hated it! John, from the excellent Off License shop in Rome recommended us this beer as his favourite on that particular day. It is made with grapes from Sardinia. It comes out a deep purple (like the band!) colour with brown connotations, almost headless and simply begs for a first place certificate in the Prof. Van Vliet’s Contest for International Unfiltration. From the first whiff, you’re dealing with dark malts of the burnt toast kind. They feel rather awkward with the fruits, contrasting chocolate, walnut and black olive notes with a forward grapey vinous character that never gets juicy nor dominating, but procures the warming effect of a Southern Italia Cru. Its darkness also translates into a very limited sweetness and that adds to the pile of characteristics that surprised me from that bottle. The palate is thick and very creamy while its carbonation is very soft, though it feels closer to syrup than silk. In the finish, extra notes of toast, tobacco, blackberries and wood chips all chime in. A very potent beverage, but one that tried a bit too much to me. I could not find anything to grab and focus on and it did not seduce me enough on its own for me to just follow its leadership.//////////////// A second tasting gathered the following notes and pushed a raise from 3.1 to 3.5: hugely grapey indeed, very very sweet choco, soft carbo. not that thick, excellent nuttiness, roast even.
JorisPPattyn (7547) - Antwerpen, BELGIUM - OCT 15, 2007
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Good dark beige head, fine & dense; deep dark brown beer. Chocolate, or cacaopowder, dark malts, hints at raisins or half-dried fruit. Bitter chocolate, tipped of by good hops & coffee flavour. Good body and balance, alcohol well-hidden. Impressive, not only because it is still a BEER. Fruit very unobvious.