JaBier (5160) - Capital City, Ohio, USA - AUG 24, 2010
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Sampled at the brewpub on 8/6/10. Clear reddish brown pour with a medium tan head. Aroma is cherries, dark malt, caramel and berries. Flavor starts with brandy and cherries, then moves to caramel before a semi-boozy and fruity finish. Very nice. Took me a while to make the parallel, but I finally realized it reminded me of 3 Philosophers if it was a little less hot and made with American yeast instead of Belgian.
carboloader (674) - Houston, Texas, USA - AUG 7, 2010
2.6 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
On tap at brewery. Pours penny red. All malt. Caramel. Cloying, syrupy sweet. Yuck. Not for me. High alcohol as with most strong ales, but few hops and all rich sweet malt.
hayduke (3560) - Eureka, California, USA - JUL 16, 2010
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Om tap at the brewpub on July 9th. Not sure what was going on with the prior review but none of the problems mentioned were present during my visit. This came in the pint glass a deep dark garnet color with an off-white head with some pink tinges in the bubbles. The nose was caramel malts with some ripe fruit aromas, and floral and pine hops Full body and a smooth mouthfeel that was almost oily. Flavor was full of fruit and the hops were nicely present leading to a bitter finish that was good to the last drop. The alcohol was well hidden. Well done.
MartinT (8351) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JUN 28, 2010
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
My Bottom Line:
Deep caramel displays berry-like edges before being balanced out by earthy, tea-like hop bitterness.
Further Personal Perceptions:
-A veil of foam covers the cloudy mahogany with dark amber edges.
-The dirty mop flavour found in 2 other “brewpub specials” that day was at play here too... Discreet, but present enough to make this half-pint unpleasant.
-The aroma was quite simple; caramel malts, fruity esters, vague hops, in an incohesive interplay.
-Alcohol was well hidden, as this was quite drinkable.
-There seemed to be an important discrepancy between the house regulars (Racer 5, Hop Rod, etc.) and the brewpub specials.... Coincidence?
On tap at the brewpub.